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Here are some brilliant tips to help you save money and have the best vacation ever.


Do you prefer staying in hotels, hostels, or private apartments while traveling?

Hotel managers all around the world keep quiet about a lot of things.
For instance, do you know how to cancel your reservation at the very last minute for free? This one is the best trick ever! Everyone should learn it.


#1 Book a room 1 or 2 days before check-in

Prices for hotels can change every day, and it all depends on the season and upcoming events. We used to think that the earlier we booked a room, the better. However, it isn’t always so. Sometimes the price might be $100 when you check it 20 days before arrival and two days before arrival - it’s only $50.

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That happens because hotel managers reduce the price to fill all the rooms at the last minute. Therefore, if you book a room closer to your arrival, you potentially can save up to 50%.


#2 If you don’t like your room, you can change it for free

For example, you booked the room with a view of the sea and instead you got a view of a building site. You have the right to demand the room you originally chose. Go and simply ask the hotel manager to fix the situation.

If you don’t like the room for subjective reasons (located on the upper or lower floor), you can also ask for a room change. In this case, you should ask politely - don’t demand. If there are vacant rooms, the hotel staff will show them to you. And lastly, no worries, you won’t pay any additional fees for changing rooms.


#3 Choose a hotel by its ratings, not by the number of stars

Sometimes the number of stars actually means nothing. A 3-star hotel could be much better and even cozier than a 5-star hotel. So, read the reviews before you book a room. Keep in mind that people usually write negative comments much more willingly… Therefore, pay attention to those nuances mentioned by the majority. Give in some time and read as many reviews as possible, don’t be naive to trust only one or two opinions.


#4 You can take the shampoo and other cosmetic products with you

Do you like those tiny bottles of shampoo and shower gel in a hotel bathroom? Then, take them with you. Let’s admit almost everyone loves them as they are handy while traveling. And don’t think you’re doing something wrong. After all, that’s the reason why the hotel staff puts these disposal things in your room. However, it only applies to cosmetic products, and it’s better to leave the towel and a bathrobe in the room.


#5 Concierges with the “GOLDEN KEYS” pin can answer any questions

Yes, they know everything about the hotel and even much more. For example, they can get you a ticket for a concert or help organize a guided tour. Concierges with such pins are members of a particular public organization called Les Clefs D’or. Don’t be shy to ask them for whatever you need. They will gladly help you.


#6 Book discounted rooms directly with the hotel

Every hotel wants to sell as many rooms per day as possible. Therefore, they pay a fee to different sites and offer certain rooms. But you don’t get the best rooms at a discount. So instead, call the hotel directly and say that you found their discounted room on another website and want to book it. The hotel staff will most likely offer you a better room because, in this case, they won’t have to pay fees to the search site.

Talking about third parties, we all know major online travel agencies (OTAs) that we usually book through. And we assume you “know” that if you book through your favorite OTA is always going to be cheaper. But let us break it down for you. The reality is that the room price depends on the agreement between the hotel and the OTA, which is selling the rooms. Not to mention, OTAs add on their commission which can range between 5-25%. Therefore, the price might vary significantly on different websites. It means that one hotel room might be selling for a great price on a particular booking site yet be enormously overpriced on another. It’s all only because of the contract made between the hotel and the booking site. It sounds a bit unfair, doesn’t it?

Here’s a way to fix it: browser extension RatePunk is ready to compare all the prices on the leading accommodation websites and find the most affordable one. RatePunk isn’t a competitor of any online travel agency. It’s only a simple technology for people searching for accommodation to have a chance to save time knowing they are getting the best price. Give it a go.


#7 Photos of a hotel can differ from reality

Let us say you book a room in advance and go on vacation with no worries. Of course, you expect to get some luxurious room with soft lights, but you see a tiny room with a half-ruined bedside table and the smallest bed you’ve ever seen when you arrive.

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To avoid this annoying situation, search for the hotel photos on the internet. Guests often post real pictures of their rooms and the hotel itself. Don’t always trust the photos hotels post on their website - they show only the best angle and hide the disadvantages.


#8 Check the minibar

Always check a minibar in your room after check-in. A minibar is a magic chest containing different delicacies at crazy prices. Let’s be honest, sometimes the prices are incredibly high! To avoid wasting money for someone else’s pleasure, ensure all the bottles are closed. After all, the previous guests could easily have had a drink and poured tap water into the bottle instead. It happens, believe us.


#9 Read the contract before leaving your car on-site

The agreement usually states that the hotel is not responsible for cars parked on site. You need to know about it in case any accidents happen with your car in the hotel’s parking lot. So, don’t forget to turn on the car alarm and remove all valuable items from your vehicle before leaving it.


#10 How to cancel a reservation and not pay a fine for it

Have you ever canceled the reservation at the last moment before check-in, like an hour or a day before? Then, you know that canceling the reservation at the last minute might cost some fee. Usually, it’s equal to the price for one night. So, instead of canceling the reservation, immediately ask the hotel staff to move it to a week ahead and call your hotel the next day, and cancel it. Tricky right? But that will help you save money and change your plans without extra cost.

Jun 27, 2022

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