There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a hotel for your dream vacation only to discover that it’s sold out. Whether this is the tropical getaway that you’ve been planning for months and you saved the hotel for last, or you were able to snag tickets to one of the year’s hottest festivals out of state, it’s far from ideal. But that doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck. There are a few things you can do to get a room at a sold out hotel–and Hoken is telling you how (and helping) to do just that!
How to Get a Room at a Sold Out Hotel
Give Them a Call
We know that you most likely don’t want to have to pick up the phone and call the hotel, but it can go a lot farther than you’d think. In many instances, hotels leave some rooms open with minor issues (such as a broken microwave or busted safe), which they consider “out-of-order.” Calling them up–and we mean the property, not some 1-800 number–and explain your situation and why you want to stay there, they may be able to pull some strings to make it happen for you.
If they cannot offer you a room, they can add you to their waitlist. Ask to leave your name, phone number, and email in case they have any openings that show up last minute. There are cancellations all the time, and if you’re lucky, you may just be able to grab a room. Just be mindful to book another hotel with a day-of or 24-hour cancellation policy so you’re not stuck losing money. It’s also important to note that you’re more likely to get a room at a popular hotel chain rather than a one-of-a-kind destination resort (though it’s always worth trying).
Check Third Party Sites
Sites like Hotels.com, HotelTonight, Trivago, and Travelocity are known for their last-minute listings. In fact, they often have listed availability that even the hotel doesn’t see. So while a hotel’s site may show you that they’re 100% full, you may be able to find a room available on another site.
On top of that, there’s also a site called Open Hotel Alert, run by Booking.com, that allows you to input the sold out hotel you’re interested in and your travel dates. From there, you can select the hotel, enter your contact method, and they will reach out if a room becomes available. This means you don’t have to spend all your time on the phone with the hotel or constantly checking online.
Don’t Be Afraid to Flaunt Your Status
If you’re a rewards member with a specific hotel chain, flaunt it. Hotels never want to turn down their loyal customers, which is just another reason it pays to find a chain that you absolutely love and stick with it. For example, if you are a Hilton Honors diamond member, you are guaranteed a room so long as you reach out 48 hours before your stay. Of course, some restrictions do apply, but the chances are high.
Want to be a reward member but don’t feel like you travel enough to make it worth it? There are a few chains–such as Mariott (which is also combined with Starwood and Ritz Carlton) and Hyatt–that partner with credit cards, so you can rack up points just by using your card.
Contact a Travel Agent
A travel agent may have access to hotel rooms that are not available to the general public, or they may have insider knowledge on how to get a room at a sold-out hotel. Travel agents work directly with suppliers such as airlines, hotels, and tour operators on a regular basis, and can negotiate special rates and promotions on behalf of their clients. Buyer beware, if the travel agent is able to help you secure a sold-out hotel room, they will likely handle the booking process for you. Be prepared to pay a fee for their services, which can vary depending on the agent and the level of assistance you require.
Of course, we saved the best for last–Hoken. Here you can buy and sell hotel rooms on the marketplace for trading the rarest rooms for the most sought-after events. Not only does this guarantee that you’ll get a room in some of the most popular cities for the most popular events, but you’ll also save money while doing so. And the best part? If you end up having to cancel at the last minute, you can put the hotel room back up for listing to make your money back. It really is that simple.
Ready to book that hotel that you’ve been dreaming about? Get started today!