When traveling in the U.S., you can always find hotels and motels, inns and bed and breakfasts using the big dogs of online booking to find the best deals. I don’t have to go through the names, if you live in the U.S. you already know them. They buy Super Bowl commercial time, and get celebrity endorsements from former planet hopping Star Trek captains. Some of them use conscious (but strangely immobile) garden gnomes.
These are the monsters of online booking, and they are good for most U.S. based vacations because every lodging, from the big corporate chains to the average ma and pa B n B, are listed there. When trying to find a quality accommodation
outside the U.S., or outside a major international city, you have to be a bit more creative.
Guidebooks are always a good place to start. But they are just going to tell you the name of a few places, and certainly aren’t going to help you find a better rate at a place you already know about. Finding local online accommodation search engines are the best. Take some time with google, check out a couple sites, see what the prices are. Try and stay as local as possible.
Then once you find a good rate, try and make it better. You can do this a couple ways, but the main thing is to just be kind of whiny and annoying, because after all, the squeeky wheel gets the grease. Call the hotel, tell them the rate you found and ask them if they can do better. If they are going to be booked up for that period, they usually won’t budge. But if you wait till the last minute, and they aren’t full, they can usually go down a bit. Because if the room is empty, it’s a loss for them.
And if your in a city already, you can quote hotels prices from competitors and force them to match each other. Take some time, talk to some different front desk people, and see what you can get. It is a bit of a time commitment, but you never know what you might find.