'If you ring the hotel, they get more money, as they don't have to pay a fee to a third party booking site'
Published 16/06/2016 | 02:30
Sligo teacher Luke Saunders travels regularly in Ireland and abroad and has found ways of ensuring that he gets the best deal booking hotel rooms.
Luke, who runs an online exam tuition site Studyclix, says: "I would check out hotels on sites such as Tripadvisor and Hotels.com first, but then I would make a point of ringing the hotel directly.
"If you ring the hotel, they get more money because they don't have to give the money to a third party booking site.
"I was staying in a hotel in Killarney and when I rang up I asked for a room facing the mountains. If I booked online I couldn't always do that, and I might have been thrown in a back room."
The father of two young children says sometimes when you are looking online, you can be bombarded with too much choice.
"Sometimes I go back to what I did in my twenties. When I am going to a new city I go to a Lonely Planet guide and find a recommended mid-range hotel, and then look it up online."
He recently booked a hotel in Galway where the website said it cost an extra €20 for a sea view.
But when he rang the hotel and said he was booking directly, but wanted a sea view, they did not charge him the extra €20.
Luke says he often gets reductions on rooms if he asks for a corporate rate.
"A typical room in a hotel midweek in Ireland might be €89. If I ring up the reception and say I am a single traveller going to a conference, I could get it for €65."