New ZealandBooking a hotel for a vacation or just one night is never an easy task in my house. I like to save, and don’t like to pay full price. I scour websites for the best prices and dates to travel (if my dates are flexible). Sometimes, you just can’t find a deal especially if it’s a vacation hot spot. Before you give up, pick up the phone and ask for the discount you need.

In this day and age, picking up the phone and calling a hotel seems so ten years ago. For years, my bargain strategies began and ended online. Priceline was my best money saving tool for years. I always bid $25-40 in a big city, and typically get well known hotels. I once told a hotel employee this, and she gasped. I usually just gasp in excitement. Why pay $150 for a room when I can get it for $40?

Lately, Priceline hasn’t been cutting it for me. I think the hotels are catching on to cheapskates like me. They haven’t been as willing to sell me that $40 hotel room. I’ve had to look for other options.

My other option is the phone. We were booking our first anniversary getaway and noticed some hotels in Florida offer discounts for Florida residents. I called up the hotel we really wanted, and told them we were down to two hotels and that the other one offers a Florida residency discount. I then said, “This trip is for our first anniversary. Do you offer any of these discounts?” Within minutes, I saved $60 off the lowest advertised price for the resort.

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This brings up another tip for newlyweds on their honeymoon. Tell everyone it’s your honeymoon. You will get all kinds of perks and freebies. The travel industry wants you to enjoy your trip, and they want you to make honeymoon memories so you’ll come back again.

IMG_7090Unbeknownst to us, our New Zealand travel agent told the hotels it was our honeymoon even though we really got married seven months prior. We told our travel agent we were newlyweds, never imagining it would get us upgrades in New Zealand so long after our wedding. It was a great surprise hearing “Congratulations on your wedding” from the reception desk throughout our trip. We got room upgrade and free commemorative gifts. It’s something we’ll always remember. 

We got an even bigger kick out of it because of the couple they congratulated. I booked the trip, and used my maiden name. So, “Mr. and Mrs. Strathman” were congratulated for their wedding. It made us chuckle.

There are unadvertised deals out there. You just have to know what to ask for. Don’t forget to ask for a “life” discount.