No matter where you go on holiday or what you plan to do once you get there, the hotel you choose could make or break your vacation. So from hotel bookings to packing ideas, we’ve put together our top 10 tips and tricks that could save you a little hassle and dough for your next holiday getaway. Make the most out of your vacation and start packing for a stress-free holiday with these hacks:
1. Try checking-in late
As the day goes in, front desk agents will have a better sense of occupancy for the night or the next few days. By checking-in later in the day, there may be more room for you to negotiate an upgrade. Alternatively, try making booking during the off-peak periods or even weekdays as there’s typically more open rooms during those times.
2. Go long
For hotels, it’s less work for them to keep one customer than constantly turn over a room. So if you’re staying at a hotel for over a week, reach out to the hotel directly to share the length of your stay. That way, you may be able to negotiate a better deal with them.
3. Book Directly Through the Hotel
By calling an individual hotel directly, you may receive “off the books” discounts or upgrades. One phone call can translate into savings that really add up. This is especially true if you book during the off-season when many hotels have rooms standing empty.
(Read more: 10 Travel Hacks To Know For A Stress-Free Holiday)
4. Offer To Write A Review
If you’re active on Trip Advisor or Yelp, mention this to the hotel manager, and offer to write a review of your stay. If you’re a travel blogger, offer to write a blog entry. Don’t bribe the hotel by promising a positive review; that’s dishonest and a reputable establishment will turn you down. Likewise, if you blog about the experience, making a full disclosure that you received a discount is expected.
5. Roll, don't fold
Roll your clothes when packing. Instead of creating a folded pile in your suitcase, rolling allows you to fit more things in. Plus, you can even roll underwear and socks within your clothes for optimal space-saving.
6. Skimp on Amenities, Not Location
When your budget is tight, recognise that you have to give up something to stay within your hotel budget. But if you have to choose, skimp on amenities rather than location. A plain (but clean) room within steps of the beach or that provides easy access to downtown is a much better bargain than an upgraded room located an expensive cab ride away from everything you want to see and do.
(Read more: 10 Ways To Stop Falling Sick While On Holiday)
7. Share your special occasion in advance
If you’re making a booking for a special occasion, like a honeymoon, birthday or anniversary, don’t be afraid to let the hotel staff know. Part of hospitality is to make your stay the best possible and many hotels tend to give complementary upgrades to celebrate your special occasion. If you’re lucky enough you might find yourself in a surprise deluxe suite with champagne and chocolates awaiting your arrival.
8. Stream media to your hotel TV
You’re in the mood for a blockbuster movie, but you don’t want to pay for the hotel’s crazy pay-per-view fees. So what should you do? Ensure that you pack yourself a HDMI cord that allows you to plug one end into your mobile device and the other into the TV. Stream movies through your device, and switch the TV to HDMI mode, and voila! You’ve just saved yourself a little extra cash.
9. Check out the new kids on the block
Brand loyalty might be pretty beneficial if you’re a frequent traveller. But if you aren’t, try checking out newly opened hotels instead. These new spots typically have lots of empty rooms, and they’d be more than willing to offer free upgrades or throw in a few freebies to build their customer base. Being new, they’d naturally want to encourage returning customer or get guests to talk about their fabulous service.
(Read more: 8 Ways To Save Money When Booking Holidays Online)
10. Book your flight and room together
These days you can get incredible discounts when you book your flight and hotel room together. However, do bear in mind that cancellations are typically not permitted. While this may hamper your travel flexibility, it will save you quite a bit if your dates are firmed up. To check out such packages, log on to online travel agents such as ZUJI.