Traveling is fun, but the planning can be a real pain. Here are my tips to getting the best deals.
Tip 1: Google it!
First things first, when I’m looking for a hotel I start with a good old fashioned Google search. It can be as simple as, “Seattle Hotel”. Google’s hotel booking tool is very powerful. I am able to search for hotels by the amenities or even free WiFi availability. One of my favorite features is the ‘Deals’ filter option. This lets me view hotels that are offering promotional rates on my travel dates and for example may say, “25% less than usual”. Once I have a hotel selected, I can look at Google’s price comparisons among different websites for the selected hotel. It will also show me the website with the cheapest total price with estimated taxes and fees.
Tip 2: Sign in on booking sites
Certain booking websites offer deals if you have an account with them. So I always sign up/login when booking a hotel to get the lowest rate on their site.
The below sites I know have member only pricing:
Tip 3: Add the Ebates and Wikibuy plugin to your Google Chrome Browser
Ebates is a cash back and shopping rewards program that you need to add to your Google Chrome browser. They have cashback with hundreds of companies including travel sites like Hotels.com, Booking.com, and Expedia. With Ebates directly in your browser, it’s easy to save money and get rebates without even really thinking about it. Every time a site you are on offers cash back a little message will pop up to tell you. Since joining Ebates last year I’ve gotten over $130 in cash back. Check out the list of stores that Ebates will give you cash back on. I know sometimes the percentages may not seem like a lot, but every penny counts!
Wikibuy is a comparison service that lets you compare prices all over the Internet and gives you coupon codes to try on your orders. When I’m on a site looking at a specific hotel, Wikibuy will pop up saying, “Get this exact hotel room for $10 less/night on a different site” or “Found 5 coupon codes”. Side note: Wikibuy isn’t just limited to hotels. It works for literally everything from electric toothbrushes to a giant narwhal pool float. Yes, I was actually comparing prices on a narwhal pool float. No regrets!
Bottom line, there is no simple one or two step way to get the best hotel rate or we’d all be living our best life in Miami. You just have to mess with all of the above tools to see how low you can get it. Sometimes I’ll save $20 in total and sometimes I save $100 total. The key is to research, compare, research, and then compare some more. I will literally have 20+ tabs open when I’m hotel hunting. In my opinion, finding a hotel is a more daunting task than finding a cheap flight (that’s a blog post for another day). It’s one of the greatest feelings though when I’m in my gorgeous 4 or 5-star hotel and have paid 25% less than the average price AND I’m getting cash back. You can’t beat that!
My favorite booking sites
Most of my hotels are booked from one of the following sites:
Let me know if you have other tips and tricks you use to get great hotel rates. Also, let me know if you have any other questions regarding travel. Thanks for reading!