Educational Consumer Tips

Hotel/Motel Rates-Getting the Best Deal

Author: Better Business Bureau

The following comments provide general information for consumers, and do not necessarily reflect the practices or record of any particular company.

To find the best rate look for group discounts, such as, corporate and senior discounts and discounts for other groups. Hotel/motel reservationists at the toll free number may be allotted only a fraction of the rooms to sell and may know only one price. Staff at the local facilities have more discretion in setting rates and may know of a promotion the reservationist doesn't.

Inquire about week-end discounts, promotional rates and off-season discounts. What will the rate be if you came a day early or stayed an extra day? If you're headed for a resort area, ask about "packages" that might add show tickets and meals.

Consult a travel agent or travel service. Full-service travel agencies can negotiate preferred rates with certain hotel/motel chains. Booking through the internet is another possibility. Many hotel/motel chains and travel services have web sites; some give discounts if you make reservations online.

Check out half-price coupon book and travel clubs. To take advantage of these offers, you may have to pay a fee or purchase a coupon book. The company usually negotiates discounts for rooms.

Consult a broker, who might be able to offer last-minute bookings at low rates. You may want to also investigate frequent-stay programs which award a free night for every 10 or so paid nights. Some use a point system, where you earn credit from your stay and other tie-ins. Be aware that rates can vary even within the same facility.