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8 Hotel booking tips and hacks everyone needs to know

Filled with excitement on the upcoming holiday, but you've not sorted out your hotel bookings. Thankfully, Skyscanner and Milelion have put together a list of hotel hacks and tips you need to know to get your ideal accommodation with the dollar spent.

1. Compare prices of hotel official websites and online travel agents (OTA)

If you want to earn elite status and hotel points, be sure to book directly with the hotel. As OTAs charge hotels up to 20% commission of the nightly rate, so hotel chains try to incentivize customers to book directly with them by not awarding points or status on 3rd party stays.

Online travel agent loyalty programmes. Credit: http://milelion.com/ 

On the other hand, if you’re staying with a hotel that’s not part of a chain or don’t really care about hotel points or status, then be sure to check if OTAs (and coupons) can offer lower rates than the hotel’s official site.

Whichever choice you made, Skyscanner hotel search provides both hotel chain and OTAs rates in an easy search for you to make the best choice.

2. Book hotel via Skyscanner ‘Official website’ 

6 major hotel chain loyalty programmes. Credit: http://milelion.com/ 

Besides comparing the rates, you might want to find out if you have a loyalty programme with any hotel chain. Different hotel chain offers different loyalty programme as shown above. You can use Skyscanner Hotel Search to compare OTAs and hotel chain loyalty programmes to see which tradeoff makes more sense to you.

Hotel chain loyalty programmes focus on rebates and recognition. Of course, the flip side is OTAs have many more properties to choose from around the world compared to hotel chains.

3. Fast track to the hotel elite status

J W Marriott

To fast-track your hotel status, you can take up the Marriott status challenge option. Register and do an 8 nights /16 nights challenge within 3 months to get Gold / Platinum status which normally needs 25 night / 50 night in 1 year.

For Hilton Gold status challenge, you have to be a Visa Signature / Infinite card holder, then register and do 2 stays / 4 nights in 90 days to get Hilton Gold status. AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend card holders will get an instant Hilton Silver status.

If you are keen to buy your way to hotel elite status, you can purchase ibis business card for 90 euros (143 SGD) to get Accor Gold status or purchase an Intercontinental Ambassador status for US$200 (275 SGD) to get IHG Gold plus a free weekend night certificate.

4. Get the ‘Best Rate Guarantee’ reward by using Skyscanner Hotel 

Best rate guarantees by hotels to match OTA rates. Credit: http://milelion.com/ 

The basic premise of Best Rate Guarantee (BGC) is that hotel chains will match any competing rate you are able to find on any 3rd-party (online travel agent) OTAs and give you some extra benefits such as points or a further discount. So, leverage on the huge Skyscanner hotel search coverage to search hundreds of hotel OTAs and compare rates to the official website, then find the lower rate to file BRG claim.

5. Leverage on the Cancellation Policy filter

Different hotels or OTAs offer different cancellation policies. To safeguard yourself in case you need to cancel your booking without a fee and get your refund, filter the search results by ‘Free cancellation’ and have a quick view of the different hotel options with free cancellation.

6. Take a look at the user-generated Instagram posts

Everyone knows that Instagram posting is a big thing for travellers and influencers. Our hotel search cleverly integrates with our user-generated Instagram post, so you can check out the real-time posts from different users who have stayed in the hotel and get a sense check.

7. Check out the places of interest around the hotel

Having a hard time to determine which is the best hotel to stay? Use Skyscanner hotel’s map feature to find the best hotels within distance to the place of interest you would like to visit or in walking distance to any train stations. Also, you get to plan your itinerary by reading the ratings and reviews of the ‘things to do‘ and ‘places to eat‘ around the hotel.

8. Find the ideal place with the ‘Popular’ tag

Use the ‘Most popular with couples/families’ tag to help make a better decision on which hotel will be most suitable for your holiday. Skyscanner hotel fetches and aggregates data from unbiased reviews to create the tag which allows speedy decision-making depending on different needs.

This article is in partnership collaboration with Milelion , Singapore’s best guide to miles-earning credit cards, airline, hotel, and rental car loyalty programmes.

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