Book a hotel at the last minute to get the best deals and a lot more than what you bargained for . Here’s how to do it wisely:
For international travel, scope out hotels and deals on your favorite travel site well before your trip. My fave is hotels.com. I love them because I always find the cheapest prices; their site is easy to navigate; you can cancel your reservation and get a full refund on most stays up until the day of or day before your stay; and you can collect rewards points towards a free one-night stay at any hotel of your choosing.
Book the first 2 nights of your trip whenever you want. I typically book about 2 weeks in advance of my trip and keep an eye on sales and reduced rates up until one or two days before I leave. If I see a better deal on my hotel or any others, I jump on it and cancel my previous booking—like I said, it’s totally doable and you’ll get a full refund on hotels.com.
Once I’m in said country, I can decide if I’d like to stay at the hotel I booked or try a different one beyond the first 2 days. When you’re traveling to more remote beaches/towns, you’ll find that some of their cooler, boutique hotels are either really difficult to find online or don’t have a web site at all.
Explore the area. Oftentimes, you’ll realize that the location of your hotel online doesn’t exactly match what you were expecting when you actually get there. The “downtown” area on a hotels.com map may include a 10-mile radius when, in fact, the true “downtown”—where all the action is—is only a 2-mile radius. Check out hotels you’d like to stay at—walk in, talk to the front desk and ask if they have availability. If they do, you’re likely to get a really good deal if you’re A. flexible, nice and friendly and B. can pay in cash.
For domestic travel, scope out hotels and deals on your favorite travel sites. Take notes on the top 3 to 5 hotels you like, and on the day of travel, book it!
Consider downloading the apps of travel-booking sites like hotels.com, orbitz or Travelocity before your trip. HotelTonight is also a cool app that lets you book fab hotels at extremely reduced, last-minute rates. Try it sometime. You’ll find that it adds just a little more excitement and intrigue to your fabulous trip!
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