BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — When there are rooms available, there is room for negotiating. There are some secrets to saving money when booking your vacations that travel companies don’t necessarily want you to know about.
Holiday Inn Express’ Tom Falco in Branford says third party travel sites like Expedia don’t want you to know that if you call the hotel directly before booking, there’s a good chance they’ll beat the offer on the table. That’s because hotels only get a percentage of the room cost when you book through a third party site.
“I train all my desk clerks, to beat it because we’re only getting $75. So if we beat it at $90, we get $15 more, save you $10, now you’re our guest, not Expedia’s guest,” he said.
Another secret? Check the parking lot! If there aren’t many cars, odds are good there”s more than one room available and they want your money.
“It’s a negotiation. It really is a negotiation. There is a rate we tell our desk clerks that we’d like you to get but then we’ll go down,” Falco added.
One last thing is to ask for a breakdown of the fees you may be paying for. That safe that comes in some rooms, may also come with a price! Whether you use it or not.
“If you have a safe in your room when you go into the hotel. Make sure you call the front desk and let them know you do not want to be charged a safe fee,” Falco said.
Another tip, if you’re planning to ask for an upgrade, wait until around 6pm when the clerk has a better idea which rooms will be empty for the night.
It also helps to speak in hotel lingo. Instead of asking for the cheapest room, ask for the cheapest, non-refundable room. Many hotels have a different price for those that they’re not advertising.