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I thought we already have closed our travel book this year but looks like I am wrong. I don’t think I still require a vacation because I'm perpetually in a vacation after quitting my job but just the same I welcome any chance of being able to stay in a new place, a new environment, a new surrounding any chance I could get. It would be fun to spend quality time with my family away from our daily routine at home.

A couple of months ago, I won in a blogging contest and I chose a hotel accommodation prize conversion. I requested to be booked in one of our favorite hotels in Makati for a staycation. A couple of weeks after the organizers booked my stay, I chanced upon a promotion for a weekend stay in the same hotel and rates were slashed up to 50%. I booked another night so we can stay a bit longer. What a great deal yeah? I will be writing about our staycation in another article soon - hopefully before the year ends. What I can tell you right now is that I keep on coming back to this hotel and even got myself a Premier membership last year for staying more than 10 times in one year. The premier card entitled me to a free suite upgrade after booking the gold room on my birthday. Such a sweet suite deal!

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So, why book for a staycation? One, you don’t have to book for airfare ticket and two, you don’t have to travel far. You just need to travel a short distance from your house to any hotel in the metro and step right in to a different atmosphere away from your usual abode. Of course, you can make your stay romantic or fun or even just a day away from all your gadgets and just recharge yourself and wake up renewed.

I would like to share my six tips for booking great deals when you travel to Metro Manila in this blog post and I hope you can learn a thing or two:

1. CREATE A NEW EMAIL ADDRESS - Create a new email address that would be solely dedicated to your booking needs (accommodation and airfare and other travel-related information). This way, you will never miss a single email ever again.

2. SIGN-UP FOR NEWSLETTERS - Use your new email address to sign up for newsletters for all your favorite hotels, airlines, and even travel agencies. I bet you will be able to discover great deals when you pay attention to these type of emails.

3. SUBSCRIBE TO SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS - Like or follow Facebook pages, follow Twitter accounts, follow Instagram feeds, and even Pinterest accounts of your preferred hotels and airlines. I have observed that aside from newsletters, promotions are most often communicated on the social media platforms of brands. Come to think of it, a 10% discount is still savings on your end. You may also opt to participate in contests - I won an overnight stay in a posh hotel just by retweeting something from their Twitter timeline.

4. ANSWER CONSUMER SURVEYS - Brands, at this day and age, already knows the value of its consumers and has learned to engage with their target market through consumer surveys and focus group gatherings. When brands do this, almost often, they give out discounts or even free stays so you can write about their services thus they gain additional mileage.

5. CREDIT CARD LOYALTY - My current credit card offers good deals that’s why I decided to ditch all the other credit cards that I own. I now use only one credit card and I’ve actually been pretty good at getting the best hotel deals in the Metro using it. If your credit card is not rewarding your loyalty with excellent offers then you might as well switch to a better card that appreciates your loyalty.

6. EARLY BIRD DEALS - Book months in advance or at least a month in advance to take advantage of the early bird deals. Early bird discount rates usually range from 10% to as high as 50%. I once booked a three-bedroom suite for my baby shower in a high-rise hotel in Makati CBD at 45% less than the usual price. Pretty amazing right?

I’m not going to include this in the list because this does not work all the time but hey the operative word is it could work sometimes too. It might just be your lucky day and your only capital is your confidence and your gift of gab. On the day that you check-in for your stay, try to ask the receptionist if they can offer you a free upgrade and I bet you if the hotel isn’t fully-booked and it’s low season then you might just be able to get that free upgrade that you asked for. All it takes is to ask really!

When you're about ready to book your next staycation, don't forget to read about staycation ideas  to make your time-off affordable and relaxing as well.

Enjoy your next staycation! 

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