Where to Book

There are many places to receive a cheaper rate when booking your hotel.  I will list them out here in order of effectiveness, but remember a little effort searching can help you save a lot of money.  Even if you are an expert you may want to take a quick look at our hotel booking advice quickly to make sure you are saving the most amount of money.




1. Southwest Vacation Packages


This might seem surprising to people, but if Southwest services your nearest airport you may be in for a load of easy savings.  When you book your hotel and flight at the same time both the hotel and the airline are subsidizing their prices, which means more savings for you.  I would not have believed it either because I feel like other travel site vacation packages don’t save you much, but I’ve booked many vacations from southwest.com after searching unsuccessfully for better deal.

Pro Tip

  1. If you are looking to stay in Vegas for the weekend but have flexible flight times it is often cheaper to leave Monday rather than Sunday.  You get an extra night in the hotel for less money!  The main reason for this is because flights on Monday are usually cheaper than Sunday flights so you can extend your stay and save money.

Warning


  1. Southwest Vacation packages are not fully refundable if you cancel.  Southwest Vacation Packages have made great strides in the past and if you read the fine print carefully you will find that the hotel portion of the package will be refunded per policy of the hotel. Most Vegas hotels allow 100% refunds as long as you cancel at least 48 hours in advance but it is good to check at the hotel’s website to make sure. The flight portion will be given to you as a credit to use on future Southwest flights. I have never cancelled one before so I am not sure how it works, but please keep that in mind when booking.


Example Deal

Hotel: The Wynn
Room Type: Resort King
# of Nights: 5 (Thursday through Tuesday)
# of People: 2
Flight: San Jose, CA to Las Vegas (Direct)             
Cost: $800 total ($400 per person)
Dates: June 17, 2010 through June 22, 2010
Vegas hotels are most expensive Thursday through Saturday and June is a very popular time for people to go to Vegas.  During this weekend many events were going on including the World Series of Poker, a North American Poker Tour event, and a MMA fight to name a few.  Weekend rates at the Wynn can easily be over $200 a night and flights from San Jose to Vegas are about $150 each so I received the rooms at less than 50% of their normal rates.


 

2. Kayak.com


Searching through third party websites is a great way to get great hotel deals.  I prefer Kayak because it searches many of the other websites such as Orbitz and hotels.com but usually Orbitz has the cheapest prices.  To find the cheapest hotel you are willing to stay at just enter the dates of your trip and sort by price.   If you want a particular hotel Kayak is still a good place to look for low rates.

BookingBuddy

Warnings

  1. The hotel prices on Kayak include estimated taxes.  The reason for this is because of taxes and fees associated with the third party website.  Orbitz is straightforward with their fees but oftentimes the other sites Kayak searches are not so please do not assume you will get the price listed.  Make sure you double check the end price on the site you chose to purchase from.
  2. When you book through these third party sites you are not always guaranteed how many beds your room will have.  If you need two beds check your hotel’s website to make sure they offer two beds for your room type and a few days after booking call the hotel and request a room with two beds.  The worker will usually be more than happy to help you out and it is very likely you will receive two beds when checking in.

Pro Tips

  1. Orbitz almost always has promotion codes you can enter during booking to save $25 to $75 depending on your length of stay.  See the Deals page for more information.
  2. Hotel fees are usually based on how many people are staying in the room.  If you say you have 2 people staying in the room instead of 3 or 4 you can save a lot of money in fees (around $10 to $20 a night). 

Example Deal
Hotel: Excalibur
Room Type: Tower Room
# of Nights: 5 (Friday through Wednesday)
# of People: 2                   
Cost: $225
Dates: May 23, 2008 through May 28, 2008 (Memorial Day Weekend)
This deal is pretty good considering it was Memorial Day weekend and City Center was not complete yet.  I found it on Kayak, and booked through Orbitz.  I had a $75 promotion code for a 5 night hotel stay.  Orbitz promotional codes have not been as generous since, but hotel rates have gotten cheaper so a similar deal can probably be found.

 

3. Sign Up for Each Hotel’s Email List


Some of the best deals can be sent directly to your email address.  If you don’t mind the spam; MGM Resorts, Palazzo, and the Venetian send a lot of deals through email.  Oftentimes these emails will have special links where you can book the hotel at a cheaper rate then if you just went to the hotel’s main website.  These deals may also include free extras such as slot play, discount show tickets, club passes, and anything else the hotels can give away.

Example Deal
Hotel: The Venetian
Room Type: Venetian Luxury
# of Nights: 4 (Sunday through Thursday)
# of People: 2
Dates: July 11, 2010 through July 15, 2010
Cost: $476
$119 a night is pretty good for a suite at the Venetian.  Not only that but it included extras such as $40 off Phantom tickets, $10 off your bill at Lagasse Stadium, line passes to LAVO Nightclub, and $25 in slot credits.

Now that you have seen all of the hotel tips, the next step is to check out ourAdvice page.