I’m not a very outgoing person. I have a hard time going up to people I’ve never met. I have a hard time even talking to people I’ve never met. So, I have a very hard time following the old advice that you have to ask for the real discount. Luckily, not everything has to be done in person, so I can send emails for some things. Which is exactly how I proved that old adage true.
For Christmas, instead of receiving gifts from all of our relatives, we asked them to put in the money that they would normally have spent to a mini-vacation fund for us. We all have set spending limits for our Christmas presents, so it was pretty easy for them to do that. Then, we took a nice little weekend trip the day after Thanksgiving.
We wanted someplace nice that would be within the budget, but would still count as a vacation. In other words, Super 8 just wasn’t going to cut it. We had originally settled on one place, but, being the curious fella that I am, I kept looking for a better deal. And, as luck would have it I found one. In fact, for what it would have cost us for one night at the original place, we stayed for two at the next place. And, if you want my honest opinion, I think the place I found was a lot nicer. How did we get such a deal? I asked for it.
Simple really. I emailed the manager who was listed on the website. He forwarded my email on to the guy in charge of reservations. In my email, I simply told him what days we were planning on staying, and asked if there were any specials that would be active for that weekend. At this point, he could have easily just said no. But, he didn’t. And he earned a customer.
The place was very nice. (Here’s a link and a picture of the living room area if you’re curious: Chase on the Lake, I highly recommend it.) They called the room we stayed in a “condotel”. Basically, it was a two bedroom, two bathroom, suite with a full kitchen and living room. Everything was way above the typical standards that we have for a hotel room. Overall, it was incredible. We spent the whole weekend relaxing (kid-free, thanks to Grandma) and came home refreshed.
We would have gone on the trip in any case. But, because I asked for the special, it became a lot cheaper than we had planned on it being. And, if we plan on doing it again (we will), I think we’ve found our place. Next time you’re making plans for a trip, or just trying to buy something special, make sure you at least ask for a special. You might just surprise yourself and get one!
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JT McGee says
That’s a good one, “Condotel.”
I’ve had good luck with calling hotels/resorts like you did with emailing them and mentioning the price I found on Expedia/travelocity. Since those programs take a percentage of the total price, hotel owners will usually offer you the same deal, or a little bit off the online price, as well.
Always worth a shot!
I use Kayak, Hotwire, TripAdvisor and other websites to as research tools. I just planned a mini vacation during Spring Break to New Orleans. To complicate things there is a Jazz festival at the same time. I think we found a great place, I let you know when we get back.
Like many situations, this goes to show that it doesn’t hurt to ask. I saved $50 for asking about just that – a special – last year. It was for a hotel night, actually an extra night at a hotel.
The first 2 nights were based on a 2-night special rate, then we decided to extend a night. I asked one person what the rate would be, and she quoted me the normal rate for the 3rd night. I came back later after thinking about it, and spoke to another person. With her, I immediately asked if they had a special rate similar to what I had paid for the first two. She said yes, gave me the special rate, and I booked the extra night.
It pays to ask.
I always ask for special rates and if I don’t get them, I ask if we stay more than two nights if we can get a special rate on the third night. Sometimes we get a special rate, sometimes we don’t. Never hurts to ask though.