Bargaining for hotels in Eastern Europe

This week’s Traveling Light column revolves around a question from Mark in Elk Rapids, who asks:

I am about to embark on a trip to Eastern Europe. Should I be bartering over the cost of hotel stays?

I tell Mark that it’s worth the effort to bargain over your hotel prices anywhere in the world you travel, including the United States. Naturally, the effectiveness of your haggling will vary according to season. Haggling over rooms is rather pointless during festivals, public events, or tourist high season, for example, since rooms are often full and difficult to find. On the other hand, bargaining for the price of your room is worth a try most any other time of year — especially during tourist low season (this means non-Christmas winter-time in Eastern Europe).

For my full reply, click over to my Yahoo! News travel column here.

Check prices on hotels in Eastern Europe.

Posted by | Comments (3)  | November 17, 2006
Category: Travel News

3 Responses to “Bargaining for hotels in Eastern Europe”

  1. Mark Hodson Says:

    My experience has been that the more expensive and apparently intimidating the hotel, the easier it is to barter the price down. A confident manner is essential, and it’s best done on the phone, rather than at the desk, when your bargaining power is clearly compromised. At backpackers’ places you can often strike a deal if you agree to stay for a certain number of nights (they don’t change the bedsheets every day!).

  2. Karen Bryan Says:

    I am not sure if bartering is always the way to get the best price. I find the hotel rooms can often be much cheaper when booking through a hotel booking website such as If you contact the hotel directly the price that they quote is much higher to start with, so even if you do get a discount, the price you achieve may not be less than the price quoted on the hotel booking website.

    I think the best idea is to do an online search and find the best price and then try phoning the hotel to see if they can beat that price.

  3. Deryck Says:

    I’ve had varied levels of success haggling on room stays. Once, while in Boston, we managed to arrive late to a YMCA and asked about prices. $30/person per night for a room with two bunk beds. That was out of our budget for the trip, and we told the man so. He offered to let us stay for $30 total if we would be awake and gone when his shift was over at 6:00 the next morning. This was no problem for us, and that man likely made a quick 30 dollars.

    But there have also been a fair number of times I’ve been turned down and looked down upon. You just move on or take what they have to offer. All they can say is no.