In a world where you can buy everything from a cheeseburger to a house on an app without ever speaking to another breathing human being, it may sound downright animal to pick up the phone and call a hotel to inquire for vacancies. But I’m about to convince you that not only is it a brilliant idea that will save you big time travel money, it will also not be the anxiety-laden act you may expect.
Start with a little hotel shopping online so you can get a basic idea of what areas will work best for your plans, the types of hotels you’ll find there, and your preferred amenities. After you make a list of contenders, dig into the internet and find the hotels’ direct phone numbers. That’s the number that will be answered by someone who works at the hotel, likely at the front desk.
Then make a soothing cup of tea, put on some soft jazz, light a lavender candle, and start calling.
You’ll be connected to a friendly person who has a vested interest in getting you to book their hotel. They will be delighted to answer all your questions. They have been trained in customer service for heaven’s sakes. If someone is actually rude to you, tell them you have a bee in your room and you’ll have to call back. Then move on to another hotel.
There are a couple of reasons you want to do this before booking a hotel online.
First, you may be quoted a better rate by the person who answers the phone. If the rate is not better or even as low as you’d like, then say so politely. Write down some conversation starters you can use that will probably get you the rate you want.
Secondly, you can verify important details before you arrive. For instance…
- Ask if they still serve a hot breakfast or have a pool.
- Find out how much parking costs or if there is a charge for the airport shuttle.
- Maybe there are upgrades available.
You won’t know if you don’t ask.
Finally, confirm everything you talked about. And then you can enjoy your vacation at the hotel of your dreams with money left over, you wonderful charmer, you!