Today’s blog post was inspired by a question I get asked almost as often as “Can you give me a price quote for flights to _______“?
(And just as a reminder – Price quotes require a middleman paid on commission which defeats the purpose of this site. Commissions would significantly drive up the cost of the trips I help my subscribers find themselves.)
Unfortunately, it’s too late for Joe, but all the more reason to write this blog post for you.
Want to know the best secret to substantial hotel savings when traveling?
It’s so simple – you won’t believe it.
Sometimes (as in the example below) it can even mean FREE lodging with no groupons, gimmicks or tricks.
Use Kayak to book on a major site like Travelocity or Expedia, and book your hotel at the same time you book your flight.
Because they know you’ve already got your wallet out to book the flight.
(They also know you’re a savvy shopper, and before you book with them, you’ll probably go straight to the airlines and they won’t get a dime in business.)
If they don’t get your business for the lodging right then and there – they probably won’t get it at all either (for the flights OR lodging.)
The best way they can close the deal right then and there? Massive discounts. Discounts so good, in fact, it will be nearly impossible to find as good a rate by booking your air and lodging separately – even if booking straight through the airlines, and straight through the hotel.
Here’s how you can test this theory yourself:
- Pick a destination. ANY destination and look up the price of a flight there (and multiply that price by the number of passengers)
- Now, pick a couple nice hotels in that location during those dates and note the total cost of that hotel. (Make sure it’s at least 3 nights because that’s what it takes for the bundle-discounts to kick in.)
- Make note of the total cost of flight(s) plus hotel if you booked them separately.
- Look up the “Package” price of booking the flight and hotel together, and subtract the TOTAL cost of the flight.
- Odds are, you’ll save 30% to 50% on the hotel by bundling with your flight vs. booking them separately.
Here’s a random example:
Flight to Greece: $1019 round-trip (And let’s assume 2 passengers)
(Note that I’m NOT saying that flight price is a good deal. Far from it in fact. This is just an example to demonstrate the power of bundling your flight and hotel.)
2 passengers = $2038 (For the flight alone. That’s robbery! But I digress.)
Now, let’s look up hotel prices during those same dates.
$938 for the week. Not bad!
We’re now at a total of $2976 by booking flights at one time, and booking lodging separately.
Here is where the magic happens. See that little link called “Packages”?
Below is an example of why you should ALWAYS click it (even if you weren’t planning on booking a hotel yet.)
Let’s not forget that the package prices are per-person, and my example is for two people.
$918 X 2 = $2036
By itself, that’s about a 30% savings vs booking them separately.
But when you look at the price for two flights alone ($2038) vs the price for two flights plus 7 nights ($2036), your 4-star hotel is FREE.
Granted, the numbers don’t normally work out this well, but you can expect to regularly spend 30% to 50% less on your lodging by booking it with your flight vs hunting down a flight deal, and then trying to find a deal on your hotel separately.
PS – On a tight budget?
Remember how flights alone were $1018 per person?
Check out this per-person price for flight plus 7 nights at a budget hotel.
(In other words – whether you stay at the budget hotel or not, you just knocked nearly $300 off of the cost of your trip (PER PERSON) by simply bundling a cheap hotel with your flight.)
The moral of the story?
Always, always, ALWAYS check for flight plus hotel prices. Sometimes (like in the example above), you’ll find loopholes that mean the equivalent of getting paid to book a hotel along with your flight (even if you don’t use the hotel.)
The above strategy works for any trip you find yourself “the old fashioned way.”
Imagine the savings if you used this strategy after finding a 50% to 90% off flight via your JGOOT premium trip-alert service. (That’s also why we include a “Flight plus hotel” link with every trip we share with our subscribers. 😉