Hawaii Hotels: buying luxury on sale

grandWailea

Never pay full price for fabulous. Money saving tips when booking an accommodation in Hawaii:
1. Travel during non-peak seasons, which are Fall and Spring (after Spring break).
2. Book 6 to 8 months in advance—or book at the last minute. Resorts don’t want to see rooms go vacant.
3. Get a room with a kitchenette and eat fewer meals in restaurants. Apply the money you save to your room.
4. Get a room with a garden or mountain view, rather than ocean (for extreme skimpers only).
5. If you have friends or relatives you can stand, book a place together. Half the cost of a larger unit will be far cheaper than all the cost of a smaller.
6. The longer you stay, the less you pay. For this to work, you need to stay three weeks or longer.
7. Once you make a booking, don’t confirm for a day or so, long enough to see if changing the dates a day or two either way will save money on airline reservations.
8. Without being rude, ask if you are getting the lowest rate (“is this the best you can do?”), or if there are any lower rates available – hotel/corporate club rewards points, bankcard/AmEx/airline rewards, etc. Compare rates offered on Hotels.com and let them know you found a lower rate. Can they beat or match it?

This isn’t really a money-saving tip, but it is always a good idea to call the resort that you plan to visit beforehand to check out the “aloha factor” over the phone. If you get a harried customer service rep on the Mainland or India, you may not be in for the best experience in Hawaii. On the other hand, talking to a person in Hawaii will let you know much about the warm welcome you will receive as a guest. Normally, desk people in Hawaii are very friendly and are happy to answer questions. If you get a room in Hawaii that is dissappointing to you, feel free to politely inform the desk. They will take care of you in almost all cases. For more island insider info, read the No Worries Hawaii planning guide.

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