TODAY

TODAY   |  May 01, 2013

Hotel secrets: Score free perks, big savings

Nilou Motamed of Travel + Leisure magazine shares secrets to help you make the most of your vacation, including how to get the best deals, and when to book to save the most money.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we're back at 8:44 with "today's" travel. we're revealing hotel secrets from perks to deep discounts. "travel & leisure" feature director is joining us. good morning.

>> good morning, matt.

>> you're giving people less. you're starting out by telling them, look to package deals as opposed to booking flights and hotel stays individually.

>> absolutely. if you are going to book your hotel and your flight, why not bundle it on sites like orbitz, expedia, travelocity. we found we saved 40% on bookings. orbitz found people were getting an average of $400 a year from doing that bundling.

>> it seems more people are doing that because it means dollars and cent. there are so many websites out there that deal with travel and travel discounts. you've got three that you want to talk about you really like.

>> yes, our special report in the june issue we wanted to focus on things to help people get great deals. deal angel is one of these. not only does gate deals but it shows you historic prices what they were to show if you're getting a great deal. and then a great website --

>> kingo.com.

>> you book your hotel stay through kingo, the hotel price goes down, you automatically get a discount. you don't have to worry about following the prices.

>> in terms of finding great rates at a lot of different hotels , room77.com.

>> room77.com does all of the work for you. they basically go to a lot of different websites, get you the prices, show you the different prices and get in touch with the hotel on your behalf and tell them before your preferences.

>> those are three great websites. your next tip is for people as they're thinking of traveling to get social, and you're not talking about going to the bar in the hotel lobby. you're talking about social media .

>> that's a nice way to meet people, if that's what you're into, but social media is very hot right now. whether you go on twitter, facebook, instagram, a great way to connect with hotels and make yourself someone known to them. you introduce yourself . perhaps you'll get an upgrade when you get there. another way to get great rates is by following your favorite hotels on twitter. for example, starwood has a program -- their twitter handle is called starwoodbuzz and have tuesday they offer a deal up to 40% to 50% off your travel stay.

>> next one is loyalty. if you can stay at the same -- at hotels within the same chain, you're going to benefit.

>> that's exactly true. we've seen that in airlines. it's absolutely the case with hotels . if you have a hotel chain you like, especially a hotel group that has lots of different types of hotels for different types of trips, whether it's a business trip or family trip, it's a great thing to do. not only does a loyalty program not cost you anything. definitely gets you money back.

>> this is a pet peeve for a lot of people. you pay your rate for your hotel and then you walk in the room and everybody needs wi-fi and then they sock you for an additional fee for wi-fi. your tip is you should look to economy hotels as opposed to luxury hotels .

>> this is an incredible statistic, matt. 84% of high-end hotels charge you for wi-fi, $20 to $25 a day. economy hotels , that number drops to 8%. for value for money, not only do you get less expensive hotel room , you also are not getting socked with these charges.

>> because that money really does add up. timing is everything. you look for the best months of the year to book hotels in the city you want to go to.

>> people love to come to new york city , come in july and august, our hotel rates are lower. when you check into a hotel , it's important to remember, if you want to maybe get an upgrade, think about checking in later in the afternoon.

>> why? their inventory, they know what their inventory is?

>> have you been reading my notes?

>> yes.

>> that's exactly it.

>> that's my job.

>> you're well prepared. yes, by the end of the day , they know where they stand with inventories so they're more likely to give you an upgrade. by the way, when you check in, be nice to that person checking you in. they have a lot of power.

>> that makes sense. thank you.