When it comes to going away, finances are a big part of the planning process. They can be one of the main reasons people can’t afford holidays - especially the cost of accommodation. Hotels can be notoriously expensive and you end up compromising on quality for the sake of budget. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
So whether you’re planning a trip away months in advance or looking for a last minute adventure, we’ve got some pointers on how to get the cheapest hotel rooms, every time.
Comparison Sites Are Your Best Friend
As a general rule of thumb, comparison sites will give you the best price. They take out a lot of the leg work which is particularly handy if you’re running short on time or can be a little more flexible with cost. That said, consider haggling with the hotel in question - you could beat even the lowest price with a quick phone call. Remember, hotels would always rather give you a deal than have empty rooms. So get researching and then get haggling. Trivago and TripAdvisor is a good place to start.
Use Cashback Sites
There are countless cashback sites out there, and they whilst the saving may not be direct, the possible payback can really make a difference. Plenty of chains - and even booking and comparison sites - use cashback sites like Quidco to lure potential customers and hotels take advantage of this too. That said, don’t book a room you might otherwise be unhappy with just because there’s promise of some payback, but if you’re already looking to book the same room with a partner of a cashback site, it makes sense to take advantage of that incentive.
Take A Risk On ‘Secret Rooms’
Fancy a little bit of excitement with your trip away? The concept of secret bookings are becoming more and more commonplace and are a great way to save a lot of money, particularly on luxury hotels. The concept is simple enough - you choose your dates and location and you’re given a price, a rough location and a brief description (including their star rating). Once you’ve taken a leap and made a booking, the name of the hotel is revealed. Top tip: for those who really want to play detective, the wording used in the given descriptions are often lifted directly from the hotels website or from review sites. A quick internet search might reveal the top secret hotel if you really aren’t good with surprises, but where’s the fun in that?
Timing Is Everything
It’s no secret that timing can have a huge impact on the cost of hotel rooms. School holidays are (controversially) more expensive than any other time of the year, but remember to take into account other times of the year. If your trip coincides with a particular event, think about how busy the area will be. The higher in demand, the higher the cost. If you’ve got a set date in mind, plan as far ahead as you can to get a bargain. On the flip side, if you can be a little more flexible, there’s a host of benefits for leaving things to the last minute. Before you start your search, take the time to decide what’s going to suit your plans - and budget - best.
Take Advantage of Memberships and Reward Programs
There’s a lot to be said for signing up for loyalty schemes. Whether it’s with hotel chains themselves, newsletters, websites like Groupon and Livingsocial, or even a supermarket reward schemes, there are plenty of ways to rack up huge savings on stays. A quick internet search of the area you’re looking to travel to will come up with local deals, but also considering signing up to reward programs on a regular basis. They offer customers huge discounts, offers and exclusive opportunities that can not only save you money, but make your stay just that extra bit special.
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