This is a series of continuous posts of guides, hacks and tips on the vagabonding lifestyle and nomadic methodology. -view all vagabond guides
On-Site Hotel Booking Hack //
As with any reasonably savvy traveler, I usually research and book a hotel online prior to arriving to my next destination. However, there’s a number of reasons why I’ll have to or want to book it on location.
So if I’m outside a hotel, before I go to reception and book directly, I check online first with my phone. Then knowing what’s available and for how much, I go in.
I’ll ask reception about the same type of accommodation and get their quote, which will almost always be more expensive. If in the rare case that it’s actually cheaper to book directly, I’ll do it.
So with that knowledge in hand, I’ll mention how it’s cheaper online for the same room. The staff will know this, it’s how hotels work, so they won’t be surprised or think I’m lying to them to scam a discount.
Sometimes the receptionist would price-match or depending on the individual and hotel inventory, I’ve even been offered discounts slightly below the online price. But these are things I never ask for.
What I would ask for are upgrades. If the price difference from their live price to their online price from a third party isn’t that wide, I don’t mind paying the extra if the upgrade is worth it.
Before all this however, I figure out what amenities are available and if any already come with the room(s) in question. For example, breakfast. If this isn’t offered in the price, I request this and is usually accepted.
Not only is that a reasonable request, the additional cost to the hotel is negligible. So I usually gun for that upgrade. But if the price difference is significant, you can request a bigger or better room, balcony or whatever else is available – within reason.
Worst-case scenario the receptionist says no and you can just get the cheaper price for the same room online. You just have to feel them out.