Travel Myth Busted: Lowest Hotel Rate Is Always Found {Here}

The following is from the archives of my previous blog, Travel Skills, from November 2008. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@CharlesMcCool) and subscribe to this blog to be among the first notified when a new entry is posted.

Many believe that hotels.com, Expedia, Priceline, Hotwire, the company (Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, etc.), or some other website offers the lowest hotel rate or will guarantee to match it, if a lower rate is found elsewhere. Just like with Travel Myth #1, there is no single website that will always give the lowest price on a hotel room.

How to Find the Lowest Hotel Rate

First of all, read the price-matching guarantee restrictions. Guarantees only apply to publicly available rates (see below) and exact matches (room type, dates, restrictions). If the rate cannot be cancelled, then the price match guarantee does not work. Guess what? The lowest rates on company websites, like Hilton.com, cannot be cancelled.

Second, the lowest hotel rate may not even be found on the internet.

{wait a few seconds for reality to hit…}
{proceed}

OK, I said it. Often, better deals can be found somewhere other than the web. This does not mean you have wasted your time on the computer (after all, you found this blog!). Lower hotel rates may be found be calling the property directly. Ask the hotel if they have any special rates; I use keywords like visitor, weekend, and promotion.

Even lower rates may be available from a wholesale source, like a city’s visitor center. These rates, from the visitor center, often include free parking and/or meals. Many visitor centers offer their rates online but many only make reservations by telephone.

If you are driving, stop at the state welcome center and pick up a lodging discount booklet. If the welcome center is open, ask about lodging deals.

Do you know of another travel myth that needs to be busted? Let me know!

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