Online booking sites, which have become essential for booking holidays, offer very competitive rates that tend to increase during the summer season. However, there are some tips on how to pay less for your accommodation by booking online.
Take advantage of loyalty programs
Booking.com, like many other booking sites, offers a loyalty program that offers attractive discounts (from 10% to 15%) and multiple benefits (such as a welcome drink or lunch) when you obtain the status. Obtaining Genius status is not in itself very complicated since it is enough to book once on the platform to obtain a level 1 and five times in 2 years to obtain a level 2, which allows to increase the discount from 10 to 15% and to obtain free breakfasts in some establishments.
If you don’t travel often, consider changing hotels just once during your stay, using the same platform to increase bookings, and keep (or acquire) these valuable benefits.
Book with a VPN
We don’t necessarily think about it, and yet, online booking sites sometimes apply different rates depending on the country from which the booking is made. This is not necessarily the case everywhere, but for poorer countries, it is often possible to obtain better rates by booking from another less privileged country.
Like airlines, hotels and booking platforms change their rates according to the market. Doubtful, however, this practice is based on a very logical calculation: clients from poorer countries do not have the same means as clients from richer countries.
Typically, it is possible to find advantageous deals by changing your location in developing countries such as India, China or Brazil, and Eastern countries. We have thus managed to obtain a discount of nearly 40% on a reservation by locating ourselves in Poland for a hotel reservation in Moscow!
Of course, you will need to become familiar with the use of a VPN and it can be quite tedious, but it is well worth it.
Make a proposal directly to the hotel
On its platform, Booking.com takes a commission of around 15% on all bookings. In theory, it should therefore be possible to find more attractive rates by going directly to the hotel. In practice, however, hotels often charge higher rates for consumers who book directly with them.
For smaller establishments, however, it is possible to offer a small discount. A simple phone call will allow you to get a discount of 5 to 10% on your reservation by bypassing the Booking service. The method is somewhat questionable, it is true, but it works.
Book at the last minute
Some companies have literally made it their core business. Rather than offering bookings several months or weeks in advance, they only offer bookings the day before or the same day, with big discounts.
Hotel Tonight offers, via its app or website, to search for a room near the place where you are through a small catalogue of hotels that offer last minute discounts for their unoccupied rooms.
To rely entirely on this principle can be scary for a very tourist destination in summer. But to troubleshoot, the service can be very useful and allow you to easily save several tens of euros on your room.
If you are looking for a hotel in Los Angeles, you can be sure that there will always be hotels available.
Mention your needs
Finally, it is also possible to obtain small privileges without even asking for them, by playing on the feelings of the receptionists. Are you a young couple travelling to a romantic destination? Let us know that this is your honeymoon and you may be entitled to a little surprise!
The staff of the establishments can be very generous with couples & people who are celebrating a special event. You may get a better room, or a surprise in your room when you arrive!
Needless to say: this tip will not work if you try to book a 3-day stay in Siberia, in a hotel at 15€ per night.