Its September and all the kids have gone back to school or university and for many people over 50 now is the time to enjoy a late summer or early autumn break. Many resort hotels in the Mediterranean and tourist areas of Europe like the Alps will now have falling occupancy rates and their prices will usually reflect this. So how do you obtain the best bargain possible?
Over the past ten years most major airlines have completely changed their pricing strategy so that in the majority of cases the best deals will be found on their own websites. This is certainly true of the “Budget Carriers” like easyJet and Ryanair and also the case with airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. However this is not the case with hotels and so its definitely worth spending a bit of time exploring how to obtain the best deal.
There are a number of steps worth taking which is very easy using the Internet!
1. Search for your Hotel
Start by searching for your preferred hotel where you want to go. So if you would like to go to Faro to a four star hotel put this search into Google and have a look at results. Go on Tripadvisor www.tripadvisor.co.uk to look at feedback from former hotel guests; if the hotel has a lot of feedback you can usually obtain a good overview of the product and services.
2. Check the Hotels website
Once you have selected a hotel of your choice go on the website and try making a booking to see what their best price is.
3. Contact the Hotel directly
4. Hotel Comparison Engines
These evaluate all the leading hotel sites in one go and hotel search engines like those detailed in 5 & 6 below. Its still worth double checking on the individual Hotel Search engines but these comparrison engines normally have rates fed through to them immediatly so will be up to date with deals. The main ones are:
Travelzoo www.travelzoo.co.uk Its a good idea to register for Travelzoos emails as they also have some incredible bargains from hotels, airlines and tour operators that they email to members
5. Hotel Search engines
Often have very good deals as hotels tend to use them because of their huge distribution. Some of the best ones are:
Booking.com www.booking.com is part of the Priceline Group of the USA and have 241,000 hotels on its site
Hotels.com www.hotels.com is part of the same group as Expedia and TripAdvisor and claims to have over 140,000 hotels on its website
Trivago www.trivago.co.uk claims to be the worlds largest hotel search engine with 599,000 hotels on their website.
6. Last minute deals
If you want a last minute break still go through the steps 1-3 above but in addition seach a couple of the sites that specialise in last minute offers
Lastminute.com www.lastminute.com is the best known and grew by specialising in this area
Laterooms.com www.laterooms.com is owned by the TUI Travel group which is the worlds largest tour operator and also owns hotels in many resort areas in the Mediterranean and other beach destinations worldwide.
By using all the above tools you should be assured to find the best deal for your holiday. If you do know of any excellent hotels that provide special deals for the over 50s please let us know and we will tell all our Silverhairs members.
About the author: Martin Lock worked for Hilton International and British Airways and has managed some of the largest global travel websites