How To Get the Best Rates on Hotel Prices

Traveling is fun, but the planning can be a real pain. Here are my tips to getting the best deals.

Tip 1: Google it!

Google Seattle Search
Google search for Seattle hotels with my desired filters of 3 stars or greater guest rating, free WiFi, deals, and 3-5 star hotels.

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:

  • Hotels.com
  • Booking.com
  • Agoda
  • Expedia

Tip 3: Add the Ebates and Wikibuy plugin to your Google Chrome Browser

Ebates

Hotels.com Seattle

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

Wikibuy

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!

Hotels.com
Hotels.com example with Seattle Renaissance Hotel Grand Total was $557.37
HotelStorm
HotelStorm example with Renaissance Seattle Hotel. Directed here from Wikibuy. Grand Total was $534.37
In this example for Seattle, the savings ended up only being 4%, but depending on the location and travel dates the savings can vary greatly.

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:

  • HotelStorm
  • Expedia
  • Travelocity
  • Booking.com

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!

Weekend in Chicago

Greetings From Chicago Mural

A few weeks ago I ventured to the cold and windy city of Chicago for a friend’s birthday. OK, yes I know I’m from Michigan where the weather is not much different, but that lake effect in Chi-town is no joke! Rain or shine- and apparently freezing temperatures and snow, I’m still going to do some shopping.
For this weekend trip, I visited three different boutiques in the Chicago area and even bought some awesome pieces to add to my wardrobe. Read on about my experience of each and check out my YouTube for the video of my shopping experience with a look at what I bought. Vlog of the weekend will be out soon!

Shopping

Bliss and Belle ($$)
Bliss and Belle is a gorgeously decorated boutique with trendy pieces and interesting accessories you can’t pass up. The fitting room area was adorable and definitely Instagram worthy with their neon sign “insert here the outfit quote”. I’d definitely recommend Bliss and Belle for the trendy shopper.

Moon Voyage ($$$)
Moon Voyage came up repeatedly when looking into Chicago shops. Although on the pricier side, it did not disappoint. With gorgeous indie pieces and a well-curated vintage section, Moon Voyage is a must stop if you’re willing to spend a little more.  

Kokorokoko ($$)
Kokorokoko is honestly my favorite. I owned nothing vintage before this trip and now have 4 vintage pieces. Including a gorgeous vintage Gucci bag! It’s a colorful shop with tons of the ’80s, ’90s, and even ’70s pieces. Their items aren’t limited to just clothes and accessories either. They even have vintage knick-knacks (baseball cards, scrunchies, magazines, coffee mugs, and cassette tapes). Go check it out!

A Girl’s Gotta Eat

So although I’m more focused on shops, a girl’s gotta eat! These are a couple of the food places I visited and would recommend.

Pequod’s Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza

Pequod’s Pizza
Pequod’s deep dish is unmatched. The crust is perfectly caramelized with the cheese and the sauce well spiced. This place is packed on the weekends. The line was literally out the door (in January). I’d say plan ahead for a bit of a wait or even call ahead and just pick it up. I went with a classic pepperoni deep dish. Sidenote: This pizza will be the reason I return to Chicago.


Yolk
Go here for a great breakfast! Yolk has 8 locations in Chicago so no matter where you’re staying one is probably not far. They do twists on traditional breakfast favorites. My go to is the Red Velvet or Very Berry French toast.  They also are BYOB with no corkage fee, so bring something to enjoy for the full bubbly brunch experience!

Chicago Boutique Review Video

Chicago Boutiques Review and What I Bought

Thanks for reading!