If you are like one of us who doesn’t like opting for hostels, then chances are that you may end up spending quite a few bucks on hotel rooms.
Travelling to a new destination always involves spending money on accommodation / lodging which could take your budget mark higher. For us, traveling with Baby J is not always about finding the cheapest deals, but getting the BEST VALUE for our money!
Of course, Luxury experiences come with luxury hotels and resorts as they come with their own set of comforts, but those are often heavy on pockets to experience these luxuries. The good or better the hotel, the higher the cost. But you don’t always have to spend a bomb on hotel bookings.
These are our tried and tested hacks can help you cut this cost next time you book a stay.
Always Compare Sites and Deals:
In today’s internet world, there are so many ways than ever to compare hotel prices on the go using different websites. While you could check with each hotel’s website and compare them, you could also make use of sites such as Booking.com, Agoda, Kayak, TripAdvisor, or any of the innumerable other websites that will do that work for you in minutes. Our recent favorite hotel comparison site is Trivago.
We always prefer Searching for promotion codes and perks such as free parking, free breakfast or WiFi, specially when we travel international. Also, after comparing prices on the above listed websites, don’t forget to check prices on the hotels website. There are chances that direct booking with your choice of hotel can save you some money for sure.
We usually do not book hotel stay through travel agents as they tend to charge you more ( as they get some commission) when you are able to get the same thing for by booking directly with the hotel for a much cheaper price. But from time to time they can have deals that are too good to pass up.
Book rooms that offer free cancellation:
We always prefer booking hotel rooms which offers free cancellation up to certain hours and then keep an eye on prices to see if we can get a better deal at another property, or even at the same hotel. But always be sure of the cancellation policy and check how long that is valid for (e.g. sometimes it’s only free cancellation until 48 hours before the booking date).
For example, Booking.com offer free cancellation on most rooms. And their book now, pay later at check-in system allows you to lock in that rate with some flexibility. Just check the booking conditions per room type and you’ll have peace of mind when booking through them.
While sometimes it a great idea to book “pay later” property to get an exceptionally good rate, many booking sites like Expedia and Hotels.com will offer an even greater discount if you book a non-refundable rate. It pays to plan ahead !
Use loyalty reward programs:
The best way to stay for cheap is to stay for free. Collect points with the big chains by using their branded credit cards, shopping portals, and other travel hacking methods.
If the hotel you are trying to book has a loyalty program consider joining it as it can provide you with many benefits such as the Hilton “honors” program, where you earn points when you stay with them. As a member you can also get benefits such as late checkout, free upgrades and free nights (depending on what membership level you have).
Some popular hotel loyalty programs are:
Be flexible about travel dates:
Sometimes you can get through a breaking deal if you are flexible on the your travel dates. Checking in a day earlier or checking out a day later can save some money. You will get the best bargains this way.
Google Hotel Finder will tell you the best time to stay at a destination. Or you can input parameters including your budget, desired travel dates, and geographic limits using various filters, and it will give you a list of destinations to consider.
Travel in the shoulder-season:
Besides where you go another huge factor in price is when you go. Off season travel doesn’t mean you have to go when the weather is not supportive. We went to Shimla in winters and enjoyed it thoroughly.
It is a business sense that Hotels are going to charge more when everyone wants to visit them; Save yourself some money by traveling during the off-season.
Accommodation costs will be lower, the weather will still be favorable, and in popular destinations you’ll avoid the large crowds which make sightseeing easier. This is also the best way to save money on flights and car rental. Win-win!
Consider alternate stay options:
This is one of our best travel tips on how we save money – especially for families or small groups. Apartments and rental homes like on Airbnb are a great way to cut costs.
They are usually cheaper and more practical than a hotel. If you’re traveling with other family members or another couple why not get an apartment big enough and share the cost?
Keep an eye on Last Minute Deals:
Last minute deals happen when rates are reduced to sell a room. Such prices can be found on normal booking sites or via HotelTonight, which specializes in last minute deals .
Expedia has a last-minute deals page as well. That being said, We do not really recommend to delay booking in hopes of finding last minute deals – so at least make a Plan A and “hold” a room with free cancellation first .
It may seem like a bother but planning your trip carefully in advance can really pay off in the long run. Be elastic about when and where you travel to save money on housing.
Do your research to discover the amenities, fees, and location of the hotels you are considering helping you stay within your budget, and pursue out coupons and discounts, as this may net you some unexpected and highly rewarding savings.
Have any expert tips we missed? Share them in the comments!
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