Mahalo, “the world’s first human-powered search engine,” has a great entry on how to book a cheap hotel room. The tutorial has a step-by-step process on locating cheap rooms, as well as various methods on making sure you’re paying the absolute lowest price once you’ve decided on a hotel. Step 3, for instance, is quite simple, yet so many people fail to do it: Just ask!
“Always ask for a discount when you speak to the hotel. If they don’t offer you a discount, ask them if they will upgrade you to a better class of room at that rate.” Here’s their step by step process for the best way to ask for a discount:
- While speaking to the hotel, ask, “Is it possible for me to get a discount?” or “I was hoping to pay a little less.” Don’t say, “I found a better rate on the Web”; they’ll just tell you to book it on the Web.
- Some specific rates you can ask for: rate for a death or major illness in family, church rate, government rate, weekend rate (if the hotel is not full, you can get this on weekdays as well), reunion rate. Don’t ask for a student rate or AARP rate; students have a bad reputation, and AARP rates are not much lower than full price. Corporate rates can be good, but it depends on the corporation and the hotel.
- Be nice. The nicer you are, the more likely you are to get a better rate or an upgrade.
- Call after the reservation office has closed for the evening; the front desk clerk, if he or she is not busy, is more likely to give you a lower rate than the reservation office or the hotel manager is.
- If the clerk is busy, offer to call back; being considerate of the clerk’s situation may also help you get a discount.
Visit Mahalo’s How To Book a Cheap Hotel Room for the entry in full.