Cheap Travel

Female Abroad

I want the best price.

I want the lowest price.

I want a deal.

The top things that most customers want I've found but what do they mean? Sometimes things are not as obvious as they seem and you need to dig a little further. Even if you are traveling with friends they might see things differently than you.

Due to this, lets take a step back and just break down these three simple statements that we all say to ourselves when hunting for a "bargain".

I want the best price.

Okay so does that mean you want the lowest available or do you want the one with breakfast included for only $5 more? What does "best" mean to you?

I want the lowest price.

Well that's easy but do you want the lowest price for the room or the suite? for breakfast? for the local rate?

I want a deal.

So you get the current room at a lower price? Breakfast is included for free? The room is upgraded for free?

There are a lot of times that we want "quality" when really we are just buying "quantity".

Think of it this way when you go on third party booking site (expedia,, travelocity, etc - now known as 3PL to make it easier) and compare it to a hotel's website, the 3PL's will probably be cheaper for the same room. Why is this? They buy in bulk and sell it to a bunch of people ("quantity") which allows them to get a better price for that time frame. But, if you book directly with the hotel the price not be much more but you have flexibility with your reservation ("quality").

What is flexibility I'm sure you are asking yourself by now.

If you book directly with the hotel they are more interested in your business. You book with them and that means they don't have to pay the 3PL's because they brought you to them. Right there, that's a win for the hotel.

Next, are you celebrating something special? Let the hotel know. They are more likely to give you an upgrade, a welcome amenity, or give you a better room if these things are available. With this day and age of social media anything that doesn't cost the hotel a lot of money makes you happy and you'll tell people who in turn will want to stay. If you do that with one of the big booking sites, the hotels usually will only honor / do something like that if they are near empty occupancy. They know you booked them on price only so they are not interested in bending over backwards for you as you unlikely to stay with them again. (I've worked at a hotel and I've seen hand books for a lot of large chains so this is an accurate statement).

Stuck with a reservation that is non-refundable but need to change it? If you booked with the hotel, just have them change the date. You aren't cancelling you are amending and most will be more than happy to do that for you. You could also change the reservation to a later date and (depending on your booking terms) call back to cancel without penalty. Wouldn't be able to do this with a 3 PL.

Want to make yourself look even better? Sign up for the hotel's rewards program before you book you stay. This could help add things from free Wi-Fi, points towards free stays, discounted rates, and more when you go to book.

Above all else, when going to book make sure that it's legit, the photos match the description, they aren't out of business, and that it's the right "deal" or "savings" for you. There is no one size fits all in the market so make sure that you are happy and secure in your decision as that is the foundation to a great trip.