Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Get the Best Hotel Rates

$883 or $580 - which price would you rather pay?
These are the two different rates that I was quoted for the same Chicago hotel, on the same nights, for the same type of room.  So what made the big difference?  On the first reservation request, I did not use a promotional code and the price I was quoted was $883.  When I made the same request using the promotion code “NAVY”, the quote fell to $580.

I am planning a short stay near Navy Pier in August, so I checked to see if Navy Pier offers any special deals, such as hotel & dinner or hotel & theater packages.  While there were no specific packages offered, the promotional code for the nearby hotel was posted on the pier website.  Using it will save me about $330.  I believe that nice little savings more than justifies the five extra minutes I spent looking for a bargain.
There are several ways to find codes.  You can simple Google it.  Let’s say you want to stay at the Chicago Hilton.  In the Google search field, just type in “Chicago Hilton + promotional code”.  If that fails, look at websites for attractions located near your destination to see if they sponsor package deals or promo codes.

Oftentimes, hotels offer special rates to corporate or government employees.  Check with your employer’s H.R. department to see if any such travel benefits are available to you.  AARP and AAA offer travel discounts, as well.   Travel websites such as Orbitz or Expedia can also help you find great deals on great rooms at the last minute. 
Just be sure to check out all of your options before you book.  Taking a few minutes to do a little research can, and often will, result in big savings.  Why pay $883 when you can pay $580? 

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