Finding the best deal on a hotel room is really like playing a game of chess.
It’s all about strategy and knowing when to pull the trigger on a place to stay.
Do you buy it too early and risk paying more, even though the hotel says it’s offering a deal?
Do you wait to see if a better deal comes along on the same hotel and risk all of the available rooms being booked up before you decide to jump in?
There’s no easy answer. It’s really a matter of trusting your gut and being willing to accept the result of your decision.
I’ve had great luck with hotels, including scoring a stay at a sweet, posh marina on Charleston Bay next to the U.S.S. Yorktown for $65 per night about five years ago. That room was booked the morning I left for Charleston.
However, I’ve lost out on some rooms with great locations and decent deals because I waited too long to see if the price would go down any further.
Hence why I stayed in a San Francisco hotel where a homeless person somehow got into my room and stole a change of clothes from my closet back in 2011. And did I mention prostitutes worked the corner next to that hotel?
You can see how this is like walking a tightrope.
There are several travel websites out there that people can use to book rooms while getting deals they normally wouldn’t get by going directly through the hotel’s website.
Whether they use Expedia, Hotels.com, Trip Advisor, Travelocity, Kayak or any of the plethora of other sites, they have a good shot at getting a deal.
Which website is the best to use is a topic of a conversation I had this week with colleagues.
Personally, my preference is Hotels.com because of their rewards program where you can get a free night’s stay for every 10 nights you stay in a place booked through that website.
But, hey, what do I know?
It’s all a matter of personal preference.
Some people prefer to coordinate their flights, hotel stays and even car rentals through one website. In that regard, something like Expedia, Travelocity, Trip Advisor or Kayak might be a better option than Hotels.com.
The key is to just check around all of the sites and just pick the one that works best for you.
Curt Yeomans is the senior reporter for the Clayton News Daily and an avid traveler. He can be reached at 770-478-5753, ext. 247, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @CYeomansCND.