How many times have you visited a travel booking site and found a hotel room in the perfect location with great amenities, only to experience utter disappointment when you realize it’s over budget and out of your price range? You consider waiting to see if the price drops as your travel dates approach, but the fear of the unknown overwhelms you, so you hit “book now” and accept your credit card’s fate. Later, you get that nagging feeling that a better rate might have been out there.
Just like airfares and car rental prices, hotel room rates fluctuate too. The nightly rate you see today may be more or less next week and then change again the following week, even for the same dates (we actually wrote an entire article explaining why this happens). We know that even armed with the right information, trying to get the best rate may seem like a gamble, but it doesn’t have to be.
What if we told you that one simple tool could ease your booking fears and notify you the minute the price of your hotel room drops so you can book knowing you got a rate you’re comfortable with? We’d like to introduce to you a Roomkey tool called “Price Alert.”
Hello, Price Alerts
When we set out to create this tool, we were confused why many of the popular travel sites don’t have something like this. But, online travel agencies (OTAs)—like Expedia and Booking.com—want you to buy a hotel room as quickly as possible. They’ll bring out all the bells and whistles to get you to book now (like, right now) because they say there’s only “one room left,” and it’s “in high demand.”
At Roomkey, we do what’s best for you, not best for our bottom line. More specifically, we’re about helping you find the right hotel at a price that’s right for you. You don’t need to book today; we don’t want to rush you. Instead, we’ll monitor nightly rates for you while you tend to other things. When the price of your selected hotel room drops, we’ll let you know right away.
We don’t make it hard to set up a Price Alert on Roomkey.com. First, you’ll need to create an account so we know how to email you. Then, just look for the “Set Price Alert” button under the estimated total cost of the hotel listing you’re interested in. When you’re ready to start tracking rates, simply click the button (make sure you’re logged in), and you’re done. Now you can get back to the rest of your trip planning and wait for us to send you an email if the price drops.
Customize Your Alerts
As a default, we set the initial Price Alert to notify you if the nightly rate drops by 5%. For example, if you create a Price Alert for a room that starts at $100 per night, we’ll send you an email the moment the rate drops to $95 per night (or less).
However, you can customize your Price Alerts to set them for more or less than a 5% difference. We made that easy to do, too. Once you’ve clicked “Set Price Alert,” purple text that reads “Manage Price Alerts” will appear. From here, click through to customize your settings.
If you need to book a hotel room in more than one location, or if you’d like to monitor the nightly rates for more than one hotel at the same time, we’ve got you covered. When logged in, simply click your email address in the top right-hand corner of the site and then click on “Manage Alerts.” Here you’ll see all the Price Alerts you’ve set up. You can cancel Price Alerts on this page once you’ve booked.
Maximize Your Savings
There are a few ways to use Roomkey’s Price Alert feature to help save you even more money when you book a hotel room. Here are our top five tips:
1. Start Early. The experts say that booking three to four weeks before you travel will get you the best deal. But, with so many factors that go into setting nightly rates (like projected inventory and seasonality), it’s wise to set Price Alerts as soon as you know your travel dates. This way, you’ll reduce your chances of missing out on a lower price.
2. Consider Several Hotels. Since you can set Price Alerts for more than one hotel, maximize your opportunities to save money on your hotel stay by setting multiple alerts. There’s no need to limit yourself to one property if we can monitor rates day and night for several hotels based on your travel dates.
3. Be Flexible. We know it’s not always possible to be flexible with your travel plans, but if there’s no difference to you whether you travel Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday, then set Price Alerts for both check-in/check-out dates. A slight tweak may lead to lower nightly hotel rates that will help you firm up your exact travel dates.
4. Consider Amenities. If you plan to set Price Alerts for several hotels, be smart about evaluating their amenities before you do. The more expensive hotel with free breakfast, a pool, and a fitness center may be more valuable to you than the cheaper hotel that lacks these amenities.
5. Set a Price Alert for a Room You’ve Already Booked. Yep—you read that right. Booking a flexible rate (as opposed to an advance purchase rate) allows you the flexibility to change your reservation should something come up. Book a flexible rate, and set a Price Alert for the room you just booked. If the price drops as your travel dates approach, simply cancel your booking and re-book your room at the new lower rate. How’s that for a travel hack?
Skip the FOMO
We’re not about tricking you into booking too soon. We’re about helping you find the right room for you, whether you book today or three weeks from now when you receive a Price Alert email from us letting you know the rate has gone down by $30.
We’ll never push you toward a hotel room you don’t want, and we’ll never make you feel like you’re missing out on a better rate. There’s no FOMO when you book through Roomkey. We’ll do our best to help you have the very best hotel experience and save some money while you’re at it.