This post is sponsored by Sears Vacations
We love learning about free resources to save money on travel, specifically when it comes to hotels and accommodation. I mean, who doesn’t want to get the cheapest price possible when booking their hotels?
Most people think that if they head to sites like Expedia, they’ll automatically get the cheapest rate possible. However, that’s not always the case. If you know where to look, you can get insider deals and discounts far lower than any advertised price.
So when Sears Vacations approached us to take a look at their free hotel search engine—promising prices lower than any other third party booking site—we were immediately intrigued. And after a bit of time tinkering around in the booking engine (and using it to make hotel reservations for our own upcoming trip), we can say from experience that they have the best prices around. Some of the hotels we found with Sears Vacations were discounted by 39% when compared to other booking sites. That’s worth taking a look at!
If you’re interested in a free and easy way to rack up savings on your upcoming travels, we recommend checking out Sears Vacations free member pricing. Here’s everything you’ll need to know:
How To Save Money On Hotel Reservations Through Insider Pricing
The key to accessing discounted rates with Sears Vacations is to sign up for a free membership. If you just head to their website and search through their hotels as a ‘guest,’ you’ll see the same prices you would find on any third party booking site.
However, sign up for a free membership, and you’ll immediately get access to Insider Pricing. You’ll also automatically get $100 in savings credit added to your account.
This savings credit is what you use to redeem Insider Pricing rates. There’s a whole slew of ways you can accumulate the savings credits. As mentioned above, you’ll receive $100 in credit just for signing up for an account. Sears Vacations will also send out regular emails with opportunities to rack up additional savings credits.
While a lot of other membership sites tend to limit deals to certain locations, many of Sears Vacations offers are credits that can be redeemed anywhere in the world. For example, you might receive an email that says: “Here’s $200 Travel Savings Credits Towards Your Next Trip, book in the next 72 hours.” So while you don’t have as long to take advantage of the offer, it’s an easy way to save money on any trip you’re currently planning!
How We Used Sears Vacations
Photo via GothPhil on Flickr
We had a last-minute trip that required us to stay a night in San Jose, Costa Rica. This was the perfect opportunity for us to try out the booking engine for ourselves. Overall, it was a very user-friendly experience, and we were excited to ultimately book a hotel that was $17 cheaper per night than what was advertised anywhere else. And we could have chosen other hotels in San Jose with savings of $50+ a night.
Once you log in, you can search for your hotel just as you would on any booking engine. We weren’t expecting there to be much availability in San Jose, but we were pleased to see a few pages of results for a last-minute booking. With 300,000+ resorts and hotels around the world, it’s likely you’ll find something where you’re headed.
Here is a look at one of the best results that showed up when we searched for hotels in San Jose:
We wanted to make sure we were getting the best deals, so we went to a few other sites to compare. As you can see, compared to prices on the Crowne Plaza website as well as booking.com, our Insider Pricing with Sears Vacations was easily the cheapest option, coming in exactly $42 less than other third party booking sites:
The savings at Crowne Plaza were the best, but we spent some time going through all the results to find a boutique property that better fit our needs. Specifically, we’ve been wanting to try out Hotel Parque del Lago for a while, so we decided to look more into this hotel even if it meant it wasn’t as great of a deal.
Here’s the Hotel Parque del Lago on Sears Vacations:
And here’s what it looks like on the Parque del Lago website and booking.com:
While the savings aren’t as dramatic as at the Crowne Plaza, there’s still no competition for which one is the best deal!
Things To Know About Using The Sears Vacations Booking Platform
There’s a nice amount of information about the hotels, including a few TripAdviser reviews, photos, etc. However, we still took the time to go to TripAdvisor and check out the reviews in depth, as well as head to the hotel’s actual websites and social media accounts. (As many of you know, we also have a tourism marketing company, so we tend to do more research than the average person, in part because we’re always curious to see if hotels are taking advantage of online marketing.)
You don’t necessarily need to do that much research, but we would suggest at least taking the time to open up another tab and look at online reviews in depth. Sears Vacations only pulls three TripAdvisor reviews, which isn’t really enough to get a comprehensive picture of the property.
Sears Vacations will also pull all the information you need to know about the hotel amenities, property details and location.
Once you find the deal that you want, all you do is head to checkout, put your billing info in, and you’re ready for your discounted adventure!
Since you have an account, you can log into Sears Vacations at any time to view your reservation and booking info, as well as check in on how many savings credits you have and when they expire.
If you have questions while you’re going through the process, Sears Vacations actually has great customer service on Twitter, as well as a customer support line.
You can also use Sears Vacations to find and book a variety of cruises at Insider Prices. Should you happen to find a lower price elsewhere, Sears Vacations boasts a “best price match guarantee.”
Ultimately we are really excited to continue using our Savings Credits for anytime that we are looking for boutique hotels or resorts on our travels. If you have a trip coming up (or even if you don’t), we recommend signing up for the free membership and redeeming your initial $100 in savings credits on a hotel that might normally be a bit out of budget. Then, stop back by and let us know in the comments what deals you found!
Do you have any other resources for finding free insider pricing? Share your tips in the comments below!