Sunday, October 16, 2011
Tips On Booking Your Honeymoon Yourself
Now, should you decide to book the honeymoon yourself, the rest of this post is for you. For international locations this should start your search and find and book your hotel 4-5 months before your honeymoon, if it's a domestic location you should first book 3-4 months before your honeymoon. The exception to this rule, if you are looking to book at a place during their local holiday, you may need to book the location more than a year in advance.
When you start your search, the best time to search for accommodations for your honeymoon is beginning on the early afternoon of a Tuesday through early evening on a Thursday. The reason is, the records for the hotel industry gets updated during this time with new records with discounts being offered and many of these offers are shown no more after late in the day on Thursday. Not only is this the best time to search it's also the best time to order and book tickets.
The first place to look for your honeymoon is by searching a website called www.kayak.com , this website was bought out from a company called Sidestep that offered this searching capability. What this website does is it looks first at the location you put in and looks at hundreds of website accommodations companies and shows you the one with the best deal. Whatever honeymoon location that you get back the information on, you then should investigate the location further by looking at the hotel, to see where it's located, is it in a good location and research websites that tell you about the area by using the "Lonely Planet", "Virtual Tourist", and "My Travel Guide. If you see what you like, call the hotel and tell them about the deal you have pending off the website, ask them if they offer any better deals. Please note, it's sometimes better to get the deal directly through the hotel, because the hotel saves the better room locations themselves and may not put the better room locations online. If the hotel can offer you a better deal, go for it, if not then book the deal you saw online at kayak.
Another way you can search for a deal is take a location you are interested in and go down the list of online hotel booking websites and plug every one in. Whichever online hotel website gives you the best deal, then note which website that gave you a quote, and do the same as before, do some further research of that location, and then call the hotel directly, tell them you have a quote online and ask them if they can offer you a better deal and if they can take it and if not go back to the site that had given you the best price quote and book the hotel online.
Top Websites for Booking Hotels Online
A third way you may consider to finding a hotel or resort for your honeymoon is by first identifying a nice area of hotels and then go to Google Earth or Google Maps and look for hotels in the map that displays in an area you are interested in. Often here you will find hotels in an area that don't use hotel online websites. Because they don't pay a fee out for the use of online hotel booking websites, with this savings these hotels are able to offer hotel prices at a cheaper rate. Often these hotels are pretty good because of word of mouth, have a good location and which result in many walk-ins. They must be doing something right if they aren't advertising online. Look up and call these hotels directly to see if they can give you a great deal.
Some items to note when booking online, you sometimes don't get a great room at a particular hotel, the room may have older furniture, be in a busy location, does't have a view, next to vending machines, etc. You can try to get a better room by asking the front-desk manager, but beware sometimes you may not get a cooperative hotel staff when you order a room because you ordered it at bottom dollar and you may or may not get a bit of a refund for a room that looks different online then what you saw and ordered from an online website, you might try, but just be aware and don't let the situation ruin your honeymoon.
Be sure to write everything down about your deal. What room you have reserved, make copious notes about the details of your reservation and place all the notes in your honeymoon folder and keep the information organized neatly and bring it along when you check in. With whom did you talk to, the date and time you talked to this person, the phone number you called, the price you were quoted and paid, and any other details about the reservation such as the ticket and/or order number and have the information with you.
Other things to consider, when you call the hotel, ask whether the hotel is running any promotions or packages. This promotion could be a hotel membership promotion, frequent flyer, weekend promotion or something other. Sometimes a hotel will offer what is called a "fallback" rate for travelers who resist the quote rate, give a lower rate to keep your business. Hotels often offer promotions off of their website, provide discount coupons for restaurants and other services such as spas either in the hotel or nearby locations.
Once you have a room booked, keep checking weekly back regularly with the hotel websites to see if there are any better deals than the one that you have booked. If a deal comes along that is significantly better, cancel the booking you originally had and book the better deal, but be careful, some deals have perks such as free parking and restaurant coupons and others don't, include the perks in the comparisons.
Some other tidbits about hotels, seek out a concierge if the hotel has one. Find out areas to avoid, learn a few important phrases in their native language such as "Help", "Where can we find some food" and "Where can we find a bathroom, "Where is the nearest gas station? Learn a little about local customs. Don't become a target by wearing expensive jewelry or all american clothing. Your goal is to act like a local, give the impression that you are sales person and knows your way around and someone not to mess with, don't look at maps in public. Never carry lots of cash, keep important documents with you, and use a money belt and don't carry a purse. Always know where the fire exit is whatever your location is and don't leave a sign to "make up this room" which may alert thieves about your abscense.
If you want to go more high class for your honeymoon you could join a club. Private sale sites like www.sniqueaway.com , www.jetsetter.com , and www.tablethotels.com/privatesale offer exclusive deals on hotels and resorts, but you must be a member to access them and most of the sales they have don't last very long, these sites give you deep discounts on upscale properties.
As for airline tickets. Some of the hotel online booking systems include airline booking. Research all airlines going to your destination, get a quote from all airlines and then grab the best deal. Some things to look out for, fares are higher during a destinations busy season and lower during the slow season. Fares are higher to the Caribbean in the winter and higher to Europe in the summer season. Book in advance at least 3 months prior, be flexible during the time of day you travel, best rates are in the wee hours such as a red eye flight late at night or the first flight out in the morning. Lunch time and dinner time tend to be lower rate times too. Also you save money by using local airports over International airports because of airport taxes and capacity. Sometimes booking package deals, book hotels, airlines, and auto rental all together can provide substantial savings. Again check www.kayak.com for the best flight out first and also check out the website of your favorite airline and look for promotions offered by that airline.
Top Websites for Booking Airline Flights Online
When booking an airline ticket, order a ticket for one and then try to get your partner or your group the same rate as the one. If tickets are ordered for a group the most expensive ticket is applied to all the tickets ordered, all passengers are charged the same regardless. Ordering tickets individually and then if the next ticket is higher, ask to get the ticket lower. Best times to order airline tickets is after 3 p.m., cheapest day is Wednesday, followed by Tuesday then Saturday. Most expensive days to order airline tickets is Friday and Sunday. Don't order your airline tickets too early, 4-5 months in advance Internationally, and 3-4 month Domestically. It's the same deal as hotels, check each week your online websites and airports to see if they offer better deals than you have booked.
As for car rentals often there are discount codes or coupons. One place that offers discounts for autos for USA domestic cities is called www.dealbuzz.com. Wherever your hotel discount location is put that city's name and the words "rental car discount codes" or "coupons" in Google to see if you can find any discount savings. Check for auto savings discounts at destination hotels.
Other tidbits for rental car savings. The rental rates of cars tend to correlate with airline rates for a destination location. Always book well in advance. A weekly rate tends to be cheaper rate than a daily rate. Book the size of the car you need. Fill up your tank before returning your rental, weekends tend to be cheaper than during the week, return the car the same time of day as your pick up. Compare rates of all your auto rental companies to get the best deal. Always get a booking number and print out your email copy of your booking confirmation and keep that information in your honeymoon folder. Check your local auto insurance company to see what insurance coverage they would recommend.
Websites of National Auto Rental Companies
Be careful, some local companies are excellent while others are not. If you should rent an auto from a local company, check out the company if you can, put the name of the company in Google and check if there are complaints about them and does the better business bureau have information on them. Same with taxis in an area, see what taxi companies your hotel recommends, some sheister rental companies are known to drive you thirty miles when your destination is only a mile away and charge you for a bundle of cash. Also check out if your hotel has shuttle service.
Lastly, if you plan on dining a bit at your honeymoon destination look for coupon savings. Some places offer entertainment books for $25 and a bigger for $50 and provide many coupons on cost savings. Also check out joining dining clubs such as www.opentable.com and www.table-booking.com . Also check out restaurant savings from websites of area hotels where you are staying, also look for restaurant coupons of the city where you are staying and even in some destinations you might stop in the Chamber of Commerce and they might leave you with a package of local coupons. Many upscale restaurants take American Express credit cards to cover meals and the ones that do have a statement by their front door or cash register.
Last things to mention, you can also look for savings on a cruise line by checking out www.cruisecompete.com . There are also clubs where you can exchange staying at each others homes, check out www.homeaway.com and www.homeexchange.com . There is also vacation timeshare where you can rent a home. Also in this day and age, most vacation locations offer ATMs that exchange your currency and you can always check out the currency exchange rate at a website called www.xe.com .
So if you should decide to book your own honeymoon, I hope I have left you with enough information that leaves you with substantial savings and once you have booked keep checking often for better deals. Use these tactics and not only can you save on your honeymoon, you can save lots of money which allows you to go on many more vacations.
See you on the other side!