TOTALLY OFF TOPIC AND A MILLION MILES AWAY – THIS POST IS FOR YOU
July 16, 2011
It’s my passion
Having been to over 30 foreign countries, as well as living in two, has given me opportunities to compare parts of the world that many people never see. I realize that I’ve been privileged to have had these experiences. But I want to make it perfectly clear that, when it comes to travel, I rarely pay full price. To get around the way I did, you absolutely must find or negotiate drop dead deals.
And my hobby
Let’s just say that “cheap travel” has been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember. Now that I am a business owner, I can’t go “gallivanting around” like I used to. However, I use many of the same strategies I learned earlier to save big money on travel.
Maybe even my addiction!
The following are just a few of the easy and simple ways anyone can pinch a penny without feeling like a pauper. After all, if you’re saving a bundle but feeling like you’re sacrificing everything to do so, it ruins the trip. We need to feel that we’re splurging, even just a little bit, or it defeats the purpose of going away.
I’ve learned to ask
In fact, it’s best to start long before arrival. When making the reservation you have the prime opportunity to negotiate. Make a list of what would make this a perfect stay and start off asking. I begin by inquiring about the best possible rate. I NEVER stop at the “first” best rate. Always press a bit more by saying “is that the BEST you can do?”
Next ask about any rewards or membership deals. Don’t forget those association discounts or group rates. This usually gets you additional reductions, free Internet, free local phone use, free breakfast, complimentary transportation, gym or spa entrances, and sometimes even a free drink.
And ask some more
Then ask about any special offers that hotels sometimes have with local restaurants, theaters or other attractions. I comb the Internet to see if I can snag any extras including area discounts. Frequently you can find half price meals, services or entrances to attractions.
To get what I want…
And you can too!
Even though I want deep discounts, I still want a fabulous hotel experience. I ask about upgrades like premium rooms, balconies, extras like a luscious view, high floors, and more functional layouts.
Enjoy it fully
Because I enjoy the calm serenity of a peaceful space, I adamantly avoid rooms near the stair well, ice machine, elevator or any other high traffic or noisy area. When you have a nice room, that’s quiet, spacious with a nice view, the experience offers a higher value.
But be sensible
Remember to figure in transportation costs. If the hotel is cheap but it costs you $30 cab fare to go anywhere, you’re not saving money.
The key to this is to determine exactly what you want from the experience and then cut the best possible deal before you arrive. If you wait till you’re there, chances are it might be too late to negotiate.
And speak up if you need to.
It’s also imperative to speak up if you’re not happy with the accommodations. You’ll almost always get what you want with some firm but respectful insistence.
To really save…
I always bring some snacks for the room. If there’s no tea pot, I bring my own. If I really want to save money, I bring much of my own food and drinks. I have a fold up cooler that works like a charm with hotel ice, which is always free.
And give them what they want!
Hotels are hot on the trail of business travelers. They want you and are willing to cut some mighty attractive deals to get your attention AND your money. Cut a deal that you can brag about while sharpening your negotiating skills. You never know when you’re going to need them to cut a mulitmillion dollar deal.
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