Whatever your stance on hotels might be, you will probably end up staying at one at some point during your life. The hotel business is evolving quickly: brands go under, merge and new ones are created, with many new technologically up-to-date sub-brands emerging to cater to different generational and lifestyle needs.
Despite all these changes, however, most tricks in the hotel book are as old as the hospitality industry itself. Here are 10 things you need to know about how the lodging business work before your next trip or holiday.
1. Skip The Discount Sites
Sometimes discount sites can save you money, however, this is an exception rather than the rule. Most times you will pay the same, if not more than the advertised rates. This is due to the hotel having to pay a commission to those websites, so any discount is usually offset by an up-charge to make up for the commission. So, just call the hotel directly – if you mention that you saw a better price somewhere else, most hotels will match or even better it.
2. Don’t Book Right Away Or Early In The Day
While it can be stressful to wait to book a hotel room for a trip you’re excited about, try to wait a little while! If you can wait until late afternoon or early evening – around 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – because at that point in the day, the hotel will have fielded most of their calls for cancellations, transfers and re-bookings. They will be eager to reach capacity, so it is likely you will be given a better rate.
3. Be Nice To The Front Desk Employees
In addition to being unethical, being rude to the people at reception is also quite irrational. After all, we all want to get nicer rooms, special features, or even unexpected discounts, so it would be counterproductive to insult the person who can make those things happen. Sometimes, a friendly smile – or a nice tip! – is all that is needed to get a better room, a free drink and a more special stay in general.
4. Look For The Golden Keys.
The concierge is the go-to person for any of your travel questions, but do you know how to find the best of the best? Look for the “Golden Keys”! This emblem designates a member of the Order of Concierge, and they can find or help you with just about anything legal. If you don’t see an employee at the hotel wearing them, just ask; the staff should be able to help find a member to take care of any need you might have.
5. Challenge The Minibar
Of course, consuming stuff from the minibar is not the best use of your money, but if you find yourself in a more rural area and you are starving late at night when there is nothing open, or simply don’t feel like leaving the room, those snacks can be hard to resist. If you find yourself in that situation, consider trying to challenge the charges anyway at checkout. Many times, the employee will waive them anyway.
These are the positive tips. However, there is also a downside to hotel stays you should know about, too. Watch the video to find out more.