How to find last minute hotel deals

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Last minute hotel deals are not hard to find if you know exactly where to look.
Last minute hotel deals are not hard to find if you know exactly where to look. (Image: hotel image by muro from Fotolia.com)

A hotel serves as both temporary lodging and the opportunity to get to know a surrounding neighborhood well. Some travelers plan their trips months in advance and know exactly where they’ll stay. Others, because of personal whim or emergency, must travel last minute. Hasty travel planning can be expensive. Fortunately even if you are planning to leave as soon as you can get your luggage packed you can still find last minute hotel deals.

Research online consolidators. An online consolidator is a website that allows you to book hotels, airline seats, car rentals and even meals via the web. Consolidators typically offer you multiple options when you input data into the site. Using a consolidator can be an excellent means of finding last minute lodgings. A consolidator such as Kayak lets you put in the dates when you expect to arrive and depart. After you’ve put data in the right fields, a list of available hotels will pop up on your screen for your intended destination as well as a list of prices.

Contact hotels directly. Find out which hotels are in the area where you intend to stay. Call or email each one. Ask about which rooms are available at the present time. A hotel manager may be able to offer you a deal if you agree to take the room quickly.

Be flexible with the type of accommodations you want. If the only room is available is a single and you have two people ask if hotel officials can make up a pallet on the floor for one of you to sleep on. Last minute visitors may find the hotel manager wants the room filled and will work with you and even offer you the room at a discount. Consider staying farther away from your intended destination. If you are traveling to an area with plentiful public transit you can save lots of money each night simply by taking the bus or train for a short ride each day.

Travel in the off season. Visiting in the off season can help you save money on lodgings. Traveling during a popular season such as Rome during Christmas and you find yourself pressed to book any accommodations let alone a room at a discount. By contrast a traveler who shows up or calls when tourists are scarce is likely to be greeted with open arms and granted lower room rates simply for showing up.

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