Room for negotiation

Honeymoons & Destination Weddings

Edwin Fotheringham

The economic downturn has given travelers some advantages recently, including cheap hotel rooms in Las Vegas and low rates on cruises. One of the advantages you might not be aware of is the ability to haggle over the price of your destination wedding and amenities for your honeymoon. Tammy Levent, CEO of Elite Travel, gives you some inside tips on how to bargain effectively.

Most people aren't aware of just how much room there is for negotiation. In this economy, resorts are willing to engage in some heavy haggling to win your business. One way to gain the upper hand is by having buying power—and that's where having a good travel agent comes in. If your travel agency brings a lot of business to a resort, your agent will have more buying power than you could have individually and the resort will want to keep the travel agency's business and yours.

If you are looking to negotiate on your own, research the rates of comparable hotels in the area for your travel dates. Then, ask your hotel what deals are available on rooms, activities, or wedding details. If their bid is above what you've found elsewhere, let them know—politely. Also, try asking if the hotel can waive the wedding site fee, but don't stop at getting a monetary discount. Ask about room upgrades, massage credits, a welcome cocktail reception, or coupons for meals and activities. If the wedding or honeymoon takes place in the off-season, or on a weeknight or Sunday, the resort will be even more inclined to give you a special deal. —Tammy Levent

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