Most of us presume that it is cheaper to book your holiday online with sites such as Booking.com, but that may not be true. If you are planning a holiday or vacation, you should certainly check out the rates online, but don't presume that it is cheaper to book your holiday online. Some of the so called discount booking sites are very tempting, but do they always give the best deal? I am not sure about that at all.
I have just booked my annual vacation, and going to be traveling in a couple of months time. Needless to say, I checked out all of the online sites, but I ended up booking directly with the hotel by phone instead. To my surprise I saved just under 200 Euros and got a better room as well. So, what is the secret to saving money on your holiday.
Booking to be Clever
Hotels may put some of their offers online, but far from all of the offers go online. Today, when I booked my holiday, I got a 10% early booking discount for booking with the hotel directly. The young lady who took my booking, also asked me if I had stayed at the hotel previously. No, I said and that entitled me to a special rate. None of these offers were available online or at sites such as Booking.com.
On top of that, I was upgraded to a better room. I simply asked the girl if they had any better room available and she said yes they did. As it was my first time with the hotel, and I was staying for two weeks, she would make sure that I got one of those room. When the booking confirmation came through, I found that I had been upgraded and a free bottle of Cava would be waiting for me as well.
How to Save Money on Your Holiday
Don't be frighten to pick up the phone. It is not the first time I have saved a serious amount of my money by booking by phone. Last year, I managed to get a drinks package included in our MSC cruise. That was not mentioned on the website, but was a special offer for phone bookings. In other words, pick up the phone and give them a call.
Ask questions. There is not harm in asking questions at all. Tell the company it is your first time booking with them, and ask if they have any better deals or rooms for first time bookers. Most of them will tell you if they do. Sometimes you do pay a little bit extra but it could be worth it.
It is not only rooms and booking deals that you want to check out. Don't forget to check out things like meal plans and excursion packages as well. Meal deals are great when it comes to hotels, and they are often more than happy to include breakfast if you book on the day.
Excursion packages can save you a lot of money. Cruise lines tend to offer a lot of excursion packages and two years ago, I got three free excursions when I booked a cruise around the Mediterranean. It sounded like they were anxious to book the last couple of cabins, and I asked what I would get if I booked today. The answer was an excursion package which included Rome.
How to Manage Your Holiday Money
If you are concerned about foreign exchange rates when you travel, you may just want to get yourself a prepaid debit card. There are many different companies which offer prepaid debit cards for overseas travel. Not only do many offer really good exchange rates, but it makes it easier for you to budget when you are on holiday. I have been using them for a few years now, and I think that they are great.
Check out them out online, and you will be surprised how convenient it is to use prepaid debit cards to save money on exchange rates.
So, by all means check out Booking.com,the site does have some good deals, but remember to give the hotel a call as well. Be friendly and nice, and you may be pleasantly surprised. There is after all no harm in comparing prices. I normally check out Booking.com first of all, then I give the hotel a call.