As a man who foresees a lot of travel in his future, I’ve become interested in ways to save on airfare, hotels, and so on. (I’ve also become obsessed with packing light, but that’s another story.) No surprise then that I was keen to receive the June issue of Consumer Reports, which contains eight pages of info on this very subject. Articles include:
- Hotels for any budget, which includes a description of the types of hotels and tips for finding a great hotel rate. Though the conclusions are online, the hotel ratings are not. (Well, they’re there, but you have to be a subscriber to see them.)
- 8 ways to land a great airfare, with tips on the the best ways to reduce fees when flying.
- Tips for staying healthy while traveling.
My favorite section is actually the sidebar that describes how CR saved $100 on a hotel reservation. The other theoretical stuff is fine, but this short piece shows how Tightwad Tod was quoted five different rates for the same hotel room.
From the article:
When reporter Tod Marks, who writes our Tightwad Tod blog, tried different tactics to book a room in Philadelphia for a recent Saturday night, the quotes he received varied widely.
On Hotwire, Marks found a room in a hotel whose description he liked for $109 per night. It turned out to be the Sheraton Society Hill. From there, he backtracked and sought the best possible rate for the same accommodations by calling the hotel and speaking with a clerk, trying the chain’s Web site, and using independent travel sites including Travelocity and Expedia.
Here’s a table that reveals the five different prices Marks was able to find from six different sources:
Image from Consumer Reports, June 2010 issue.
A little digging turned up the Consumer Reports blog post where they did a bit of research for the hotel article. If you’re curious (as I was), you can read through about a dozen comments to find a few tips (such as: travel out of season and negotiate with the manager).
Though I’m a huge advocate of negotiating, I’ve never bargained for a hotel room. I’m eager to give it a shot. Any tips for me when I decide to try?
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