Over time, I have learned methods, which allow me to get discounts and pay less for accommodation I find via Booking or Airbnb. They are simple, effective and do not rely on discount codes.
I usually only stay in hostels or cheap accommodation when travelling. I don't really like hotels. I think they are soulless places. It's a lot of money spent on a place where you only spend a short time and then sleep. But sometimes I want to have a nice comfortable room to rest. In this case I use my techniques to get discounts on hotel rooms with Booking.
For Airbnbit's different, I use it when I travel with friends. It allows us to have a whole house, comfortable and well located where we can meet with friends. But in this case too I don't book without using my technique.
What technique should I use with Booking?
My job requires me to travel regularly. That's how I started using Booking. As my employer reimburses me for my expenses, at first I didn't pay much attention to the rates or the rules of this platform. I didn't pay much attention to the rates or the rules of this platform.
The website and the application are very practical. They allow you to geo-locate and then search for a hotel that matches your criteria and budget. Once you have found a hotel, all you have to do is check the comments and see if other travellers have left positive or negative reviews. In short, it's quick and easy.
In talking to hotel receptionists and managers, I realised that while Booking is convenient, it also increases room prices and impacts on the turnover of our hotel friends.It also has an impact on the turnover of our friends in the hotel industry.
At first I couldn't believe it. The site takes a 15% to 25% commission on each sale.
On top of that, the commission is calculated on the total amount of the booking, VAT INCLUDED.
At one point, Booking wanted to forbid hoteliers to have cheaper prices on their own site than on the platform, but the Senate did not accept this practice. This means that hoteliers only get a small part of the room price. As this article explains very well.
It was after these various discussions that they all gave me this advice:
"Contact the hotels directly, negotiate a rate and don't go through booking anymore."
How can I pay less for my hotel room?
There is only oneone technique that you can use in 2 different situations.
To put it simply:
Search for your ideal hotel on Booking.
Once you have found it, search for it on Google and contact them directly by phone or email.
Explain that you have seen that they have such and such a rate on booking but that you would prefer to avoid going through an intermediary and have a preferential rate.
Taking into account the commission and the fact that he pays VAT on it, you can easily get a discount of at least 10%.
You can use this technique in two very different situations:
- Or to book a hotel in advance, as in the case explained above.
- Or for a last minute booking:
This situation is a bit different and I used it very recently in Paris.
Coming back from a party, the friend I was supposed to sleep at didn't hear me ringing and I had the choice between sleeping on the street or taking a hotel room. As I was cold and wanted to check if this technique still worked before finishing this article, I quickly opted for the second option.
In the middle of the night, hotels offer "last minute rates" on booking.
I found a hotel at 50% off. I went directly to this hotel, which did not display this discount at its counter. It had an old notice board with fixed prices.
I asked the hotelier for the price of the room and he offered me a full price room.
The hotelier is nice, but he is still a businessman who applies the law of supply and demand. On Booking he offers discounts to stand out from the competition, but if he sees you arriving in the middle of the night in his establishment with no other way to sleep, however nice he may be, he is still a businessman.
So I was able to test my technique. I took out my phone, showed him his offer on booking and said: "On booking that you offer rooms at 50% off, I offer you to make me 60% off or else I book it on booking."
There's no need to tell him about the commission, he knows it better than you do. As I made this proposal to him politely and courteously (it doesn't necessarily show in writing, but our exchange was very nice), and as he still earned more money than if I had booked on booking, he accepted.
The important thing is that you and the hotelier win. If he says yes, it's to his advantage.
You can use this technique when you arrive very late in a city. You can treat yourself by going to an expensive hotel, which you could not have afforded without the discount.
This technique will allow you to save at least 10% on your hotel nights, so don't hesitate to try it.
This technique is valid in countries where haggling is not a custom. In countries like Sri Lanka, where I travelled this summer, it's best not to look at prices on Booking. They are disproportionate and mislead you. I frequently negotiated rooms at 50% off the advertised price. Once I was settled, I looked at the price on Booking. It was often even more expensive than what the hotelier had originally quoted me.
What technique should I use with Airbnb?
Airbnb is a platform for bringing people together. It brings together people who want to rent out their homes and travellers who want to stay in private accommodation.
The advantage of Airbnb, apart from being cheaper than a hotel, is that the offer is huge and you can easily find accommodation in the area you want.
Finally, as you are staying in a whole flat, you have a kitchen at your disposal, so you can choose not to eat out.
How can I pay less for my accommodation?
I would like to tell you that this idea came to me during one of my trips, in a distant country, after I met an experienced traveller who taught me the art of haggling. But as for Booking, I learned it in France. A friend showed me how to do it, I had naively never thought of it.
As I was about to book a flat in Lisbon, he stopped me and passed on his technique using this phrase that changed my life, at least my use of Airbnb: "wait Georges-Michel, before you book, we'll ask the owner to give us a price, it doesn't cost anything".
With these simple words, he changed forever my way of using this site.
Don't book the accommodation you like immediately. Send a message to the owner first to ask for a discount.
In most Airbnb listings, there is a "contact host" button. Use it to get a discount.
It is best not to book your accommodation more than one month in advance. The owner will prefer to rent it to you, rather than leave it empty.
The later you book, the bigger the discount.
Send a polite message to the owner introducing yourself and offering guarantees that will encourage them to give you the discount:
You can tell him/her that you are looking for a quiet place to rest and that you do not want to party (you can party in the city and use the apartment to rest).
Also tell her that you have no problem with cleaning.
If you are an extremist, you can also tell him that you don't want to use the air conditioning (it will save him electricity).
The idea is to reassure them that you are an ideal tenant who deserves a discount.
In any case, don't lie to himIt's not honest. In addition, the landlord will rate you badly and you won't be able to use this technique again.
In your first message, ask for a 25% discount.
Either the host accepts, or he will offer you a smaller discount. In all cases I have always had a positive response and obtained at least a 10% discount.
You will receive an email "special offer sent by Airbnb when the host changes the rate, which will validate the price change made by the owner.
As with hotels, the technique is based on daring to ask the person you are talking to what you want. The message you send creates a relationship of trust. If you are honest and courteous it will work. I have always received positive responses.
If you are interested in this article and want to save even more money, I can sponsor you on Air Bnb and make you earn 25€.
You just have to leave me your email (air bnb forbids me to leave my sponsorship email on the blog, I can only give it to my friends. Send me an email and let's become friends).
Have you already tried these techniques? Do you have any others to share to get discounts?
Don't hesitate to share this article with your friends.