If you think there’s no such thing as magic words, think again: certain phrases can score you big savings when traveling. When the following phrases don’t work as planned, use a website like Hipmunk to save on your travel accommodations.
Phrase: Has the price gone down?
Between the time you book your reservations and the time of your actual trip, airline and hotel rates can fluctuate. As your trip draws near, regularly check in with your airline and hotel to find out if the price has dropped. If it has, ask for a refund for the different or cancel your reservation and then book it again.
Phrase: I’m flying alone.
Airlines try their best to seat families together. If they know you’re willing to move your seat, there’s a chance that they’ll put you in a business class or first class seat. It’s more common to have empty seats in these areas than in coach.
Phrase: I’m in the military.
Some travel vendors, like cruise lines, offer discounts for military members. Other times, you may find that a kind passenger will happily give up their first class seat for you as a “thank you” for serving in the military.
Phrase: I’m traveling with children.
Often, hotels will upgrade you to a larger room or suite at no additional charge. You’ll probably be able to get late checkout, too.
Phrase: We’re on our honeymoon!
According to Budget Travel, readers have had good luck with getting an upgrade when they tell the airline or hotel personnel that they’re newlyweds and are traveling for their honeymoon. Keep in mind that hotels tend to be more accommodating to newlyweds than airlines, but it’s worth a shot at both places. Only use this phrase if it’s actually true, though! Otherwise, you won’t be able to answer any questions if you’re questioned about your wedding.
Phrase: Will you give me an upgrade?
The beauty of this phrase is that it’s straight and to the point. Plus, it works a lot of the time! You can’t get what you don’t ask for, and sometimes simply coming right out with your request is enough to make a travel vendor scramble to accommodate you. Ask politely and, if the vendor doesn’t answer at first, wait quietly. There’s no need to fill the silence. You may get a free upgrade or you may be offered one at a discounted price. When it comes to hotels, the best way to get an upgrade is if you’re a business traveler checking in on a weekend.
Phrase: Would you like a bar of chocolate?
Admittedly, this is a strange question to ask a stranger. However, John E. DiScala, the Founder of a travel advice website, claims that this tactic works about 50% of the time. He simply brings large chocolate bars along with him, offers them to the gate and flight crews, and enjoys upgraded seating.
Phrase: You can bump me!
Most of the time, it’s not fun for the passenger nor the airline to bump a customer. However, if you offer to be bumped, the airline will be relieved and will also reward you for your willingness. Often, you’ll get a first class seat on your scheduled flight and won’t have to take the bump at all. However, be prepared to actually get bumped if you’re going to offer.
Don’t come home from your vacation wishing you’d spoken up. Use these phrases to make booking travel accommodations easier, cheaper, and more enjoyable.
This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, a travel website that offers customers a fast and easy way to find the best travel deals.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.