Accommodation is usually the largest expense when it comes to traveling, especially if you’re staying in hotels. There are ways though to make it more affordable. Here’s a list of 8 tips thanks to which you’ll be able to look for awesome hotel deals and save tons of money.
Ask about the lowest rates
Before booking a room, you can call the hotel and ask about available discounts. Perhaps the hotel’s currently running some promotions, and there’s no better way of finding out than asking directly. You can also directly negotiate the price. Don’t hesitate, it’s normal and might work in many cases. If the hotel’s not fully booked, the managers are willing to fill the rooms even if they won’t earn as much as they normally would. After all, it’s better to get a bit less than leave the rooms empty and make nothing. Instead of a price discount, you can also ask for a free breakfast or other amenities. Worst case scenario: they will refuse, and you check another property. One more tip: if you’re going to negotiate in person, don’t take the luggage with you. That will show the hotel staff you’re ready to stay anyway. Leave your suitcase in the car.
Thanks to the Internet, there are lots of tools allowing you to compare offers from different hotels. Use websites like Expedia.com, Kayak.com or Travelocity.com and check what the prices in a given location are. You should call the hotel anyway before you book because these websites don’t always show additional fees, but it’s worth checking out – you’ll know where to call and have a general idea about the competitors’ offers.
Consider smaller and cheaper hotels
The atmosphere in smaller hotels is usually more homely and friendly. Paradoxically, they also tend to offer more free amenities than the well-known, expensive chains. Not all of them are listed on the most popular websites, so you might need to use some “unconventional” ways to look for them. Check travel forums, review sites and type things like “small hotels Paris” or “boutique hotels Vienna” in search engines. Consider guest-houses, farm stays, vacation rentals or hostels. The probably won’t be as luxurious and fancy as five-star hotels, but they might be cozy and comfortable. Many hotels nowadays take a good care of guests’ privacy. You can stay in one of the so-called poshtels, oscillating somewhere between boutique hotels and hostels. Most of them feature single and double rooms. They’re lovely, comfy and affordable. Take a look at websites such as Airnb.com to search for holiday rentals and stay in a beautiful villa by the seaside for a price lower than any hotel can offer.
Get a package deal
That’s a good solution especially if you need both the accommodation and flights. You might have to sacrifice a bit of flexibility, but getting full packages can turn out to be awesome hotel deals and save you quite some money. Even if you’re not interested in everything that’s included in the package, it can still be reasonable. Perhaps you won’t use the free parking or Jacuzzi, but you will use diving lessons and golf course, so it still makes more sense than paying for these things separately.
Make sure you know the full cost
Before you get excited about spotting an excellent hotel deal, make sure it’s a real one. It’s not only to avoid scams, but also to find out about the standard fees that sometimes aren’t included in the basic price. Ask about taxes, parking costs, resort fees and other surcharges. Only after summing them up you’ll know the actual cost. It might turn out a hotel that seemed cheap at first glance is more expensive than others, so keep it in mind.
Skip additional amenities
Once you already know what the extra fees are, try to avoid them. Let’s say you find a very cheap room, but the breakfast is expensive – just don’t get it and eat in restaurants outside of the hotel. Even things like using the parking or Internet access can make your bill much higher. Remember that many amenities that used to be standard are now charged extra. Be aware of it and then just don’t use the things that are too costly. You might visit a cheaper gym in the city or organize a trip to a nearby water park instead of using the pool in the hotel.
Be flexible about the dates
What is a good time to travel depends on the destination, but whenever it is, the off-season is always cheaper. You’ll not only pay less for accommodation but also flights and attractions. Europe’s more affordable during the winter, spring, and August, while in the summer prices become sky-high. The best time to visit the Caribbean is winter – weather’s still perfect, and rates get lower. Find out when is the peak season in the place you’re about to visit and, if you can, don’t go there then. Sometimes the time of the week matters too. In business cities, weekends are cheaper, while in places popular with holiday-makers, prices during weekdays are way lower.
Use special offers
Reward points offered by credit cards may come in handy. If you collect the points, you can get awesome hotel deals or even a free stay in a hotel. If you’re flexible, check out last minute awesome hotel deals, you can save up to half of the usual price. There are lots of discount and voucher companies thanks to which you can save some money too. The easiest way to find them is simply googling for “coupons” and your destination. Some hotels offer discounts to guests who have previously stayed in their hotel, so when you make a reservation, let the staff know you’re a regular visitor. It applies to certain professions too. Military personnel, people employed in NGOs, educators, and others are sometimes offered exceptional deals, so check if the hotel you’re interested in has them too.
Your vacation doesn’t have to cost a lot! Share these tips for getting awesome hotel deals with your friends, so they too could avoid over-paying and enjoy traveling without breaking the bank.