Paying less for your hotel room

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© Dan Sperrin

If you decide on a last minute break for half-term –or at any other time, how do you book? Directly or through an-online booking agency like booking.com, last-minute.com or hotels.com?
There are dozens of sites that you can look it to compare prices but does it matter if you aren’t getting the best price? Which is going to give you the best deal? Which is going to give you the best option? To either of those questions I can’t give you an answer because they change their prices depending on the number of bookings going through – the prices they negotiate and their own profit targets.
But I can suggest that you ring the hotel, guesthouse, B&B and talk directly to them because you have a better chance of getting the best deal with the least amount of effort on your behalf.
Any accommodation provider that is involved with a booking agency has to pay commission and sometimes that can be as hefty as 21% of the price you pay. It certainly won’t be less than 6%. So on a room costing £80 that you see on a booking website, the owner of the accommodation could only be getting £63.20 and you could be wasting £16.80. With smaller accommodation providers you can generally get through to the owner when you ring. They know how much they are paying to the agency so – nine times out of ten – they will give a discount because they will split the commission with you that they have to pay. They will still make more than if they had to pay an agency. And sometimes they have to pay more than one agency commission which is why it could go as high as 21%
This way you both win

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