Strategies for even better rates
Get social: The biggest buzz in travel booking are sites like LivingSocial.com and Groupon.com, which sell discount vouchers. LivingSocial comes out with new deals on Wednesdays–touting discounts of up to 50 percent
that are bookable up to a year ahead. For Groupon Getaways, Groupon teamed with Expedia to reach 135,000 hotels. Both require
Be flexible: Many hotels are more transparent about rates now, posting price calendars that allow you to time your stay based on when you can get the best deal. Plus, hotels often tweet bargains to savvy followers days before deals go public.
Sign up for flash sales: On private sale sites like SniqueAway.com, TabletHotels.com, and Jetsetter.com, luxe hotel packages run at 20 to 60 percent discounts, and sales generally last a week. But before you pull the trigger, call the hotel directly and ask for a better deal. Flash sites (and deal sites in general) rarely offer the cancellation flexibility that a hotel does, and most require full payment up-front.