People love a good bargain. That’s why traveling has become so popular in recent times. With the emergence of low-cost airline companies and their exciting cheap flight ticket, people have begun to realize that you don’t have to spend a fortune to travel and see new places and different cultures. Traveling is now much more accessible and, therefore, more appealing.
This decrease in flight prices has made accommodation the most expensive part of a holiday. Often by a good margin. This has led to people being much more attentive to hotel booking sites.
With the popularity of online booking, our process of evaluating, choosing, booking, and reviewing our accommodation abroad has changed dramatically. We have also learned to actively search form cheap hotel rooms or wait for an attractive promotion.
Here are eight hotel booking tips that will get you a cheap hotel room anywhere!
1. Compare, compare, compare
Never book a hotel room without comparing its price with another booking platform. Ideally, you should check at least three major booking platforms (Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Trivago, for example) and the hotel’s website. Many people forget about this last method, but some hotel chains offer the best rates on reservations made through their website.
As you will be able to see, prices often vary slightly according to the platform you use to book the room. Sometimes that variation is very significant – which means that you can save your precious dollars.
Remember, the best hotel booking site is the one that allows you to search in detail for what you are looking for within the budget you intend to spend. These websites should be used more as a search engine tool – as soon as you have a shortlist of 5-10 hotels that fit your criteria, check which platform offers you the best deal.
There is no such thing as the best time to book a hotel room – it depends on the circumstances and other things that are out of your control. But in some cases, waiting might pay off.
Many hotel booking apps and websites offer you price drop alerts. This tool allows you to keep track of the price for any specific hotel (or hotels around a chosen location) on specific dates.
If there is a price drop, you will immediately receive a notification. However, this technique should only be used when you already know the there is no danger of hotels within your price range, getting overbooked on the dates you are traveling.
If you are a traveler who likes to take some risks even before you leave your home, you can try to wait for last-minute deals. You can find cheap last-minute hotel rooms on some booking platforms such as Priceline.com – every day, there are exclusive deals that offer unoccupied rooms for cheap.
3. Buy another person’s reservation
Once a hotel room is booked and paid for, canceling it usually means losing a large part of the money or even the entire sum. Hotels charge an extra fee to allow their costumers to cancel their reservation at any time (as long as it is not on the same day) without any problem. Travelers already know it.
Recently, some online platforms have been created to offer travelers a valid alternative. This is the case of RoomerTraveler, a website that allows you to buy another person’s reservation at a generous discount – sometimes more than 74% de original booking price.
Select a few hotels that interest you, grab your phone, and start dialing the numbers. Ask the hotel staff if they can beat the price you found on another website for a room on their hotel, or if they can match it and add some extra amenities.
If you have exceptional social and negotiation skills, this is a strategy that we strongly recommend. It is also a very effective one: according to a survey by Consumer Reports, people who have negotiated directly with the hotel obtained a better deal in 80% of the cases.
5. Be smart about the hotel’s location
It isn’t easy to find a great deal on a hotel located close to the city center and most tourist attractions. These hotels are extremely popular and can afford to charge an extra for their prime location.
If you are looking for a bargain, you should restrict your search to hotels located outside the city center but with great accesses and near a central subway station. This way you can pay less and still have reasonably easy commute within the city.
6. Inclusive deals
Be aware of what is included and what is not included in the price before you book a room! This can make all the difference in your final budget.
Avoid hotels that make you pay an extra for Wi-Fi, parking, or resort fees. These fees are often charged daily and can add up pretty quickly if you plan on staying at the same hotel for two weeks. Instead, opt for hotels that offer most amenities for free – and especially for breakfast included deals!
7. Alternative accommodation
Staying at a hotel is great and extremely comfortable, but if you are on a tight budget, you should consider other options. Staying at a local guesthouse or renting an apartment or house through Airbnb or HomeAway can be much cheaper and offer you a different and fun experience.
8. Visit a travel agency
It may sound old fashioned, but travel agencies can give you some pretty amazing deals. Especially on all-inclusive vacations to tropical destinations.
If you are the kind of traveler who doesn’t like to waste time online looking for promotion but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a hotel room either, travel agencies are the way to go.
They usually have partnerships with hotel chains and airline companies and can offer excellent deals for the low season. If you have some flexibility to take advantage of travel agencies’ promotional offers for specific dates, go for it!