Traveling can get expensive and when it’s your job, it’s important to cut these expenses when-ever and where-ever you can. One of our Network group members has some ‘insider’ tips and tricks for getting discounts on Hotel, Flight and Car Rentals.
Hotels want to make money . . .
Provided by: Thelma Okere, BSN RN
It cost way more to have an unoccupied room than an occupied one. When you are negotiating a long term stay at a hotel, this is the mentality you need to have when going in for *kill*. States such as California, Texas, Arizona are notorious for travel nurses so guess what? Hotels in these States are automatically going to try to empty your account and give you a ridiculous rate. Let that all marinate in your minds for just for a second.
Tip #1 Expand your search area to 10 Miles
With States like CA, TX and AZ, do not try to negotiate decent rates close by the hospital. 9 times out of 10 they already know how to get a higher rate (to use all of your housing stipend). If you want a super deep discount, negotiate hotels at least 10 miles away from any major medical facility.
Tip #2 Go UPSCALE
In order to negotiate rates at UPSCALE extended stays such as Staybridge, Candlewood, Residence Inn, Holiday Inn, Marriott and etc, you contact that hotel and say “Hi, I need to speak with your sales or marketing director.” Do not negotiate rates with the front desk person. Only the sales and marketing person can give you *HUGE discounts* Be certain to let them know that you are staying for 90 days (or more). Be upfront about the fact that you are a travel nurse.
Tip #3 Be mindful of the city and cost of living
If the original room rate is $100 or more per night at any of these Upscale extended stays be prepared to negotiate at least $1300 or more monthly. If the rate is below $100 per night, you can pretty much name your price. As a matter of fact, many times they will ask you how much you want to spend. This is no lie.
Tip #4 Pay Attention to the Clues
If it seems like the sales or marketing person is in between yes or no, you can sense it. This is when you might say “Hey, I will even recommend other travelers here.” Bingo!!!. Don’t use this until you know they are about to give in.
Tip #5 Extended Stay of America Only!!!
Extended Stay of America is the only hotel chain that has a separate number not corporate, to use for negotiations. This is the number for what is called their “Plus Program” 1-800-398-7829. When you call, make sure you tell them that you are calling to get a rate for the Plus Program and that you are staying 90 days. This rate is pretty much half of half. You have to commit to at least 60 days and have to pay 1 month up front. They don’t charge your credit card until you check in.
The best time to look at and book your flight is Wednesday between 1am and 2am. Do not book online. Call the airline directly and you will be blown away!!!
*First class flights* Always leave out on a Tuesday and upgrade at the gate for $25 to $50 bucks.
*CAR RENTAL* Rent a car for less than $9 A Day ~ THIS IS NOT A MISPRINT ~Go to priceline.com under “express deals”, book a really cheap hotel for whatever city you want a car in and it will pop up car rental deals. Oh and by the way, they send these car rental deals to your email daily once you book through express deals on every city you put in your search engine because due to this fabulous technology called the Internet, it has a way of tracking everything you search….
*Vacations* always book at exactly 45 days to go
*Vegas luxury suite* or any nice room in Vegas. When you get to hotel registration look for the youngest “guy” you can find standing at the counter. Place between your credit card and drivers license a folded up tip between $20 and $50 bucks and slide it to them all at once. When they see the money say “yes, do you have any nice rooms for me?”
Additional TIPS for finding Travel Nurse Housing: 5 Tips to Save Money on Hotels & Housing. If you have any ADDITIONAL tips, discount codes or helpful advice, please post to the comments!