Points and miles can make travel close to free, but there are still times we need to fork over real money. Even though my husband and I pay for the bulk of our travel expenses with airline miles, travel credit, and hotel points, we still budget around $10,000 annually for our adventures.
With that in mind, there are situation where it makes to negotiate for a better deal. Because when you’re spending real money, you should try to less whenever you can!
Here are some instances where we try to negotiate for a cheaper price:
When you book a condo directly with the owner – When I suggested people negotiate for a lower rental rate on condos in this piece, some readers got really got upset. But I still believe it’s crazy not to negotiate the price for a rental when you can. When a beach house or city condo costs a few thousand dollars, it’s weird to imagine not negotiating for the best price. If you would negotiate the price on a car that costs several thousand dollars, shouldn’t you do the same for a condo rental? I think so. And, of course, condo owners have the right to say “no.”
When you’re bringing a group – If you’re booking several rooms at a hotel or resort, you can sometimes negotiate for a lower nightly rate. It never hurts to call or email a property to ask! When I booked two condos from the same owner in St. Thomas last year, the owner gave me a discount on both.
When you use a price drop app – Some apps can help you negotiate prices, and they might even do it for you. The car rental app AutoSlash.com lets you rebook your auto rental at a lower price if they find one. Best of all, it’s free to use.
When you’re traveling at the last minute – It’s often possible to score a last-minute deal on a hotel or rental condo when you’re flying by the seat of your pants. Just call or email and ask. Most properties would rather have you stay at a discounted rate than have empty rooms.
When you bid on hotels – Priceline.com offers one of the best ways to negotiate the price on a hotel room. In certain situations, you can “bid” on a hotel based on an approximate location and the number of stars the property has. The downside with this strategy is that you aren’t guaranteed a specific hotel until you’ve already paid. While you might be pleasantly surprised, you might end up in a property you’re not thrilled with.
When should you negotiate the price of your travel? In my opinion, you should negotiate any time you can. The more we save on hotels, rental cars, and other big components of our trips, the more money leftover to spend on the “fun” stuff. And if you’re not trying to negotiate, you’re leaving money on the table.
When do you negotiate the price of your travel? What would you add to this list?
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