You can easily save hundreds of euros on hotel bookings - according to research done by the ANWB.
Being an organizer necessitates regularly booking hotel rooms for your guests, your organization team and more. Cost savings on that expense can thus be a welcome bonus. Here are some smart booking tricks and tips from the Dutch Tourist Association:
Early or last-minute bookings
The ANBW examined the rates of 18 hotels in New York, London and Zandvoort at two months before the departure date as well as two days before departure. The rates of the hotel websites themselves were also compared with those of hotel booking websites. This showed that last minute bookings are often much cheaper. In almost all hotels that still had rooms available, the price proved to be cheaper two days before rather than two months earlier. Obviously the choice of rooms is far more limited, so perhaps it may not always a prudent risk to take...
Same room, different price
The same room in the same hotel on the exact same date can go for significantly different rates. This allows you to easily save hundreds of dollars on a multi-day stay. Would you like to do an exercise in comparing hotel rates? Then check if the room is offered under consistent conditions. The price difference between a cancellation or not can be significant, as well as eating breakfast, paying for parking fees, and various taxes.
Always compare the weekend room rates with those for weekdays. Tourist cities (like Prague or Rome) are expensive on weekends, whereas those in 'business cities’ such as Brussels are often the other way round. This also varies by type of hotel: business hotels often offer cheap weekend rates, and nice boutique hotels can be favorably priced during the week.
When making hotel bookings, it’s also advisable to check whether there are any (major) events, fairs, or sports tournaments taking place at the time (especially when visiting big cities). These are all factors that can drive hotel prices up significantly. If you take this into account when choosing a date for your event, it can also save you a great deal on costs.
Hotels are demanding increasingly extortionate prices for breakfast. Twenty euros per person for a croissant, coffee and orange juice is not out of the ordinary. Breakfast too expensive? Then make your hotel bookings without breakfast and organize breakfast for your guests yourself. This is usually much cheaper than in the hotel itself, and often much nicer.
Read the fine print
Things to look out for: shared bathrooms, sky-high parking fees, tourist tax, surcharges for rooms with ocean/ mountain/forest views, exorbitantly expensive breakfasts, or an additional charge for the sauna. As well as reservation fees, booking fees and handling fees. When unsure, email or call regarding accommodation or the hotel site. Always make it a point to find out about the hidden costs.
Book a bed & breakfast
One of the easiest ways to save on hotel costs: don’t book a hotel but rather go for a bed & breakfast. Nowadays, an increasing amount of so-called boutique hostels can be found where you can stay in comfortable, even luxurious rooms with private bathrooms. Here, you can also enjoy a typical relaxed bed and breakfast atmosphere.