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Superlative Hotel Deals for Superior Online Shoppers

Aug 17, 2007
If you aren't someone who owns a fleet of cars and a few dozen mansions, when you are ready to make reservations for a vacation, reducing expenses is going to be one of your biggest concerns. Finding that safe haven you can call home should neither be a struggle, nor a way to empty your pockets. There are a variety of techniques you can take to find inexpensive lodging without compromising quality in your vacation destination. The most prominent of them entail online shopping. The travel industry today is one that involves a great deal of competition, and there is information available to you in magazines, online, even through text messages, where business will compete for your vacation dollars if they know you have an interest. Follow these few simple suggestions, and you could be counting your sheep on some of the most comfortable beds in the world at a much lower amount.

Right at the start, you need to decide on the kind of accommodation you are looking for. Questions you will be asked at booking include what kind of bed, how many people will be in the room, and do you want a meal package with your reservation. Know all of these things ahead of time, or you will be upsold before you can say continental breakfast. There are several online shopping web pages that will help you pick out deals based on these parameters.

You also need to know what you are looking for as an overall vacation need. Are the kids with you? Are you going to want a swimming pool? Spa? Gym? The more you want, the more you are going to spend. Learn about the rating system. The more stars a hotel has next to its name in the AAA guide, the more money you are going to spend. More stars (or in some cases, diamonds) means the hotel offers more amenities. You will see things like a free continental breakfast, swimming pools either indoor or out, restaurant on site, concierge service, night maids, day maids -- there is no end to the list. In fact, one wonders how it was that in the pre-online shopping days such deals could even be structured.

The more of these services your hotel offers, the more your cost is going to be. These items are known as amenities, and even though they are offered as "free services" the cost of the service will be built into the cost of your room rate. If you don't need concierge service, but want a swimming pool, look for a mid-level hotel that has just a pool. Again, the number of stars the property is rated does not signify its "niceness"; it represents how many amenities can be used by you. You can get a beautiful hotel room with no amenities at good rates if you look in the right places.

Don't be afraid to ask for an upgrade when you check in. If a hotel is not fully booked, they should be more than happy to accommodate you and see to it that you become a repeat customer. In the services industry, word of mouth is fundamental to a hotel's success. Bad news travels fast in the hotel industry. Your friends will know what complaints you had about your vacation far before they hear about how soft the pillows were. Hotels know this and want to make your stay as comfortable as possible because it will bring you back. Ask for a complimentary upgrade, the worst that can happen is you won't have access to it. The best thing that can happen is a premium room.

Lastly, if you can, travel in the off season. This will greatly reduce your costs. All hotels drop their rates in the off-season to fill up their rooms and get you in the door. Once they do, they treat you well and hope to see you again during peak season. And who knows, if they do their job right, they just might.

Note that online shopping is fantastic but only for the smart online shopper who knows what he should be shopping for.
About the Author
Online shopping and travel are Ajeet Khurana's passions. Visit his recommended sites: Cheap San Francisco Hotel Rates, Online Shopping, and World of Travel .
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