I always believed that the earlier you book your hotel or flights, the bigger the savings are. Oh well, I’m not that sure about this anymore. So this is how I saved money on my trip to Thailand.
I booked my trip to Hong Kong and Thailand far in advance… to be exact 11 months in advance. I used British Airways Avios points to pay for the intercontinental part of the trip on Cathay Pacific(New York-Hong Kong in business class, Bangkok-Hong Kong in business and Hong Kong-New York in first class) and the rest of the flights (Hong Kong-Phuket and Phuket-Bangkok) I booked directly with Thai Airways and believe me, that was a sweet deal too – fully flexible business class ticket for two of us set us down with less than 1400 USD.
For the Phuket part of the trip we booked a beach front villa with a private pool at the Andaman White Beach Resort (28/8 Moo 4, Sa Khu, Phuket, 83110 Thailand). The total cost for five nights came to 2536.10 USD and this price includes free internet, breakfast and no cancellation fees (if cancelled up to two weeks before the stay).
Sadly, there was a bomb attack in Bangkok yesterday and people are starting to make hotel cancellations throughout the region. I checked the prices for Andaman White Beach Resort this morning and WOW – the same five nights, the same beachfront villa, and the same flexibility as my original booking but the price went down to 1745.95 USD. A whooping 790.15 USD below the price I paid in March. Good thing I always choose the options with free cancellations, so I was able to book the villa with the new lower price and cancel my previous booking. Now, I am definitely putting on my list the next generation GoPro Hero (what is the rumor now – GoPro Hero 5?).
Few tips when planning and booking your hotel stay:
Don’t be lazy!
Keep shopping around. Check the meta-search sites (Tripadvisor for example shows the prices from the majority of booking sites).
Book the flexible options!
Sometimes plans change. Don’t limit your options. It is better to pay a little bit more but have your freedom to change your mind or plans.
Get familiar with your credit cards!
Some of them include travel insurance, no cancellation fees on hotels (when booked directly with the property), price rewind, etc. Read the booklet that comes with the credit card and if you cannot find the answer of your question – call your bank and ask them about what they cover and what the refund claim process is. If you do so, be prepared – make a list with the questions you want to ask.
Ask! Check the Internet for other travelers’ experience or send us an email and we can research it together.