As a travel agent I get a lot of people asking me how to get the best hotel rates and the answer falls back on the traditional way of dealing with the travel industry. The goal of this article is to educate the general public so they can get the best hotel rates and to teach those who read this article about the different types of room rates that exist in the industry. Theses tips I present have the potential to save you several hundreds of dollars on you or your friends, and families’ hotel rooms from now on.
To get the best hotel rate, tip number one should be that you ignore and blacklist using all highly advertised websites like Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity from obtaining your services. Once you do this you are open to more options and better deal that you can get elsewhere. These Internet agencies spend millions of dollars every year on advertising so you will hear about them and when you do, they present themselves in a magazine, commercial, or paid advertisement at the top of the search engines with their written or spoken string of brainwashing keywords they choose to advertise and target the general public with.
What these Internet travel agencies offer is an abusive and exploitative situation they control by brainwashing the uninformed that read, listen, and pay attention to their commercials. Internet agencies are not even considered true travel wholesalers according to certain industry professionals who have been in the game for 20 years or longer. The hotels are approached by the Internet agencies that do not even purchase the rooms from the hotels. Instead they propose that they will sell a certain number of rooms for the hotel with no time constraints and they are to be given rooms by the hotel at the Net Rate, which is a bulk travel wholesale amount in the industry. Travel wholesalers and consolidations have to prepay for the bulk amount of rooms they buy from the hotels so they can resell them, so why shouldn’t these Internet sites have to?
Here is where the exploitative situation on the general public begins, and nobody can seem to do anything about. Once the Internet sites are given their own inventory with rooms to mark up at their control they go ballistic. They mark their prices 60% to 80% from the net rate and in some cases over 100% when you tie in all useless services charges, fees, and taxes the add on top of everything. One would think that the Internet agencies and the prices they sell would remain comparative, competitive, and would be able to back up their hyped-up keywords you read and listen to repetitively in their promotions as they feed them to the general public the through millions of dollars of advertising, but they do not.
All the hotel requires in return is the amount of the net. The hotels are fully aware of this exploitative situation that the majority general public is unaware of. The hotels do not support this, but they are simply forced into doing so because they cannot keep up the advertising dollars the Internet sites spend; otherwise they would sell every single room every day of the year by themselves. The only time you might be getting the best hotel rate when you use one of the Internet sites is when the discount price is 30% to 50% off and then the price begins to be reasonably comparable to what is being sold on the vendors website. Other than that you are being sold a bunch of keywords that are all over inflated.
The second tip is the secret to finding the best hotel rates and saving the most towards your vacation falls back to the traditional method of using a travel agent, and the key is to find one who does not charge booking, service, or transaction fees of any sort. You might wonder where all the travel agents are at these days. The reason why you do not see swinging doors to for agencies anymore is because the airlines cut commissions years ago and over 200,000 agencies who occupied business space were forced to either shut down and shut their doors and moved to the internet where they could work from home. This is a big reason why travel agents make up the largest sector of the home based business industry.
Using an industry professional it is and always will be the best way to save money on hotel rates and just about anything you buy in life. As an industry professional we operate semi-automatically because it is usually requires membership logins and passwords, along with proper industry credentials to gain access to certain databases that are filled with premier discounts. Home based travel agents have the ability to obtain numerous different rate types and specials they can offer to the general public or to their clients at such incredibly low deals on such a consistent basis. Premium deals cannot be posted to any public booking engines. They must be sold privately.
The third tip that shows you how to get the best hotel rates is to understand the different type of rates that exist. The GDS is the Global Distribution System is the standard room rate and traditional hotel inventory. These are found on the hotel website and the ones they sell over the phone at the hotel or in the reservations call center. Sometimes the reservations desk will be selling rates cheaper than the call center but they are still GDS rates in comparison. Agents use the GDS to determine how special the other rates are in their overall inventory of multiple rate types they are able to access.
There are different segments of the GDS that include traditional Standard, Rack, Promotion, Government, Military, Corporate, Senior Citizen, and my client’s favorite of all, Premium rates. Premium rates are negotiated rates that hotel provides to travel agencies that reward them for their superior booking history with them. Typically the premium type will save clients 25% to 30% off from the standard GDS Rate. Promotion rates are like having to have the promotional code to receive a discount if the hotel is offering one to the general public. The rest of the GDS are self explanatory if you have the proper credentials to buy them.
The next type of rate is the most rewarding for clients. As I mentioned earlier in the first tip on how to get the best hotel rates, I defined the meaning behind a Net rate as a wholesale rate. Wholesalers and consolidators will purchase a bulk number of room’s usually in large amounts from the hotel vendors and receive a low wholesale price for doing so. The same concept applies a company who sells their products to wholesale suppliers in bulk. The more purchased from the hotel, the better the chances of the consolidators receiving a lower Net rate from the hotel.
Wholesalers then will throw a small markup on top of the Net rates so they can make a little profit and then they we resell the Net rate and distribute them back in to various hotel supplier databases so travel agents can sell them to their clients and to the general public. Net rates are special travel agent rates that are usually prepaid and nonrefundable. They must be booked at least 3 days prior to the clients’ arrival date. Booking a hotel reservation using a premier and Net rate through a home based travel agent who does not charge for fees for their services is how to get the best hotel rates in the world.
Tip four explains how to make a travel agents job easier so they can find you the best hotel rates. Spend some time preparing your itinerary for your agent. They need to know the desired check in and checkout dates as well as the city you wish to stay in. Providing the zip code you want to stay in is even better so they can focus on a certain area so you can be as close to where you want to be. Include the number of rooms and number of beds you need and how many people you are traveling with.
By all means be sure to include a small list of choices you are interested in staying at. If the do not charge a fee for their services, try to be prepared them to work more efficiently for you by giving them all the correct information the first time. If you are traveling with children you will need to tell how many there are and their ages. As stated in the beginning of this article my goal is to educate the reader on how to get the best hotel rates that exist, and if you allow the industry professional to do the work for you, your results will increase tenfold with the success you receive on saving money each and every time you, or your family and friends want to go somewhere.