The process for finding the best deal for our family summer vacation entailed all the usual steps: Surfing the websites of hotels at our destination, comparing prices, amenities, and packages as well as calling them directly to inquire about any specials they may be having.
We finally booked two hotel rooms (my brother and his family are joining us) at a popular tourist location known for vast water park fun with the following package:
- Indoor water park passes for the duration of our stay
- Outdoor water park passes for the duration of our stay
- Indoor amusement park passes for the duration of our stay
- Tickets to a nearby variety show
- Tickets to a nearby wildlife park
- $100 credit at a restaurant within the hotel
- Free Pizza Package
- $40 credit at the hotel Spa
We got a pretty good deal, but that didnâ€™t stop us from continuing to try to do better. Every couple of days weâ€™d check the hotel website to check if any additional packages or specials were offered.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I came home from work one day to find my wife on the phone. She looked up at me, put her hand over the microphone and whispered, â€œIâ€™m about to save us a crap ton of money!â€ When the phone call ended, she checked our email and double checked the information in the newly received reservation confirmation.
The package looked very similar, except some of the items had been removed. It actually worked out perfectly because the items missing from the new package were things we didnâ€™t care about:
- $100 credit at a restaurant within the hotel: The restaurant is new, and our experience is that it takes a restaurant a little time to really figure out what they are doing. Plus, we wanted the flexibility to eat wherever we wanted.
- Free Pizza Package: The pizza at the hotel is mediocre at best.
- $40 credit at the hotel Spa: Thereâ€™s not much you could get at the Spa for $40. So, weâ€™d likely have to spend more money to even use the credit.
The new package is a spectacular deal. I value the items removed at less than $200, but the new package is $500 cheaper. Now thatâ€™s a great deal!
Shopping around for the best deal doesnâ€™t end once you make your reservations. Keep checking those websites, and keep calling and asking questions. You just may find that you can save yourself some extra cash!
Have you ever continued shopping around after you made your travel plans and reservations? Were you able to change them, and how much did you save?
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