With temperatures soaring in various parts of the country, it’s time to start planning for the much-needed summer break this season. But planning a holiday could prove to be tedious as it involves a range of things starting from choosing the right destination to booking flights and hotel rooms.
Travel experts have predicted that airfares and hotel tariffs are likely to remain high in the coming months. Ajay Awtaney, founder, LiveFromALounge.com (LFAL), an aviation and travel-focussed website told the publication Mint that airfares and hotel tariffs may remain higher citing events such as the ongoing G20 summit and the Women’s IPL. The report quoted him saying a lot of good inventory (hotel rooms) in certain cities is already out of bounds for most people.
But there are always chances that you can grab a good deal and discounts on hotel bookings.
Here’s what you can do
If you are looking for deals at leading hotel chains such as the Taj, Marriott and Hilton etc., then it is best to book directly on the hotel website. Some of these hotels offer deals during the festive season and also run round-the-year offers on direct bookings. However, such offers may also be limited to select properties.
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Several large hotel chains with properties spread across the country may offer a wide range of room tariffs. If there is any scope for flexibility in terms of dates and destination, you could get rooms at lower tariffs than what one would normally expect for a five-star service experience.
Make use of membership & loyalty programmes
If you have signed up for a membership or any loyalty programmes from different chains of hotels, then you can use accumulated loyalty or reward points with every booking. These points can also be used to pay for future bookings. Make sure that you read the terms and conditions for such loyalty programmes. For example, certain properties (or brands) of a hotel chain may not offer any loyalty points, and in such a scenario, bookings at such properties will not give you any points. Moreover, take note of blackout dates such as festivals and peak season on which no offers and promotions apply as these are high-demand days for hotels.
Check online travel portals for deals
You can also check offers by online travel agencies (OTAs). Such offers also span over a period, for instance in the course of three years, if you book 10 nights of stay at different hotels through an online agency, you may get to avail one night of free stay on your next booking.
Avail credit card discounts
At the time of booking one can use a credit card to avail discounts on hotel bookings. Most online travel portals such as MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Booking.com, Goibibo, etc., offer discounts on bookings made using certain bank credit cards on specific days.
If you use Axis Bank credit and debit card, you can avail a flat 15 per cent (up to Rs5,000) off on hotel bookings made via Goibibo on Wednesdays. An ICICI Bank credit card holder can avail a flat 14 per cent discount (up to Rs5,000) on hotel bookings made via MakeMyTrip every week from Monday to Wednesday. Goibibo and MakeMyTrip have offers until 29 March, according to their website.