Travel Tip If Stuck Overnight and Few, If Any, Hotel Rooms Are Available

Travel Tip If Stuck Overnight and Few, If Any, Hotel Rooms Are Available

You landed unexpectedly at an airport and now have to spend the night. You’ve gone to Travelers Aid and Airport Accommodations but they know of no rooms available or only have rooms starting at $200. You’ve gone to the hotel board (along with dozens of others) and soon find out there are no rooms at the hotels listed, much less at the cheap hotels and motels. Does it look like a night will be spent at the airport sitting on a chair for 12 hours or more?

It doesn’t have to be. Here’s a couple of simple tips that only insiders seem to know about but they just may land you a room and at a decent rate to boot.

Forget the obvious choices. EVERYBODY is going to the hotel board or standing in line at the airline counter asking the agents to find them a room. Others are warming up their laptops trying to access Expedia or Orbitz but if there are no rooms to be found directly, they likely won’t find any using an over-priced internet site. Here’s what the smart people do.

Find a phone book and look up motels for your area and call them direct. Hotels and motels that do not have an ‘airport phone’ are oftentimes overlooked by travelers at an airport and yet they have rooms available, even if at a high cost. Keep in mind one fact though; most local motels DO NOT have an ad in the yellow pages! Why? Because very little business comes from local residents! And it costs big bucks to place an ad, so it simply isn’t cost effective for motels to place an ad in a local directory. But motels CAN have a free listing with only their name so look for the section on lodging and scan the alphabetical listings.

Tip two: If you have a laptop, go ahead and look at Tripadvisor or Third Party sites and find hotels near your airport. (I like Tripadvisor because unlike Third Party internet sites, they will provide you with hotel phone numbers) Look for hotels more than 4 miles from the airport. These hotels will probably NOT be on the hotel board at the airport because they won’t have a free shuttle but are only $20 away by cab. One call might find you a room at $69 – $89 and even if a cab costs $40 r/t, you are still saving $70 or more versus what might be available through Airport Accommodations or the airport hotel board.

There are other options available but these two are by far the easiest and quickest. If you find the whole AREA is sold out (due to a convention or special event) you may have to resort to the more complicated options in order to find a room. Or you may simply decide it is better to save $100 – $200 and sleep on the ground or stay up all night reading. At least you will have tried the less obvious and will learn a valuable tip for the next time because as one who has slept on the ground before, I know it is not a pleasant option.