Believe me or not, looking for cheap hotel accommodation has always been one of my favourite part of travel planning (along with securing the cheapest flights!). You know the feeling of satisfaction you get when you know you’ve secured a great hotel for your next holiday? Right, maybe I’m the only weirdo to feel this way!
Nonetheless, these many years of practice along with my own previous experience of working in the hospitality industry helped me to understand how this all works. Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel or a well located boutique hotel, it’s now time for me to share my secrets to help you find cheap hotel accommodation.
#1 – Check cheap hotel accommodation prices on meta-search websites
Meta-search websites are ideal to source a wide range of travel accommodation in no time! You can select your chosen destination, time of travel, budget and even select from a range of options (Free WiFi, star ranking, type of accommodation, etc.)
Skyscanner Hotel is a great tool to help you find the best rate for hotels, apartments and hostels. It compiles the searches of the best accommodation suppliers out there including Booking.com, Expedia and Hotels.com. Once you initiate a request, the response time is extremely fast – however it happens that sometimes the price you were quoted is not available anymore as Skyscanner does not have access to real time information so be careful.
Trivago allows you to compare prices for more than 200 booking sites in just a few clicks! With over 1.3 million hotels in over 190 countries, you will be certain to find somewhere to stay by using this website. The only thing I do not necessarily like about Trivago is that it will show you the price per night rather than the price per booking so you always need to remember to multiply the number by the number of night you are staying.
#2 – Free cancellation vs ‘hot deal’
Personally, 90% of the time, I will choose accommodation with free cancellation.
In fact, it is usually not a lot more expensive than what the above websites call ‘hot deal’ and if something happens (i.e you have to cancel your trip) then you don’t have to worry about loosing money.
Free cancellation usually comes up with no need for prepayment which is in some people’s cases can be a valuable argument for not securing the hot deal which has no flexibility whatsoever.
#3 – It sometimes pays to book direct
When you’ve selected your perfect travel accommodation, I would always advise to check the property’s direct website.
Indeed, when using meta search websites, the property has to pay a commission while if you book directly with them, they may give you a better rate and if not, match the price that was given to you on these websites with sometimes benefits on arrival (maybe an upgrade, maybe a free drink, maybe nothing).
Booking direct also allows you to take part in loyalty programs where you can accumulate points for each stay. You will then be able to enjoy all sort of exclusive benefits such as upgrades, free breakfast, early bird access to sales, etc.
#4 – Double check the meta-search websites again couple of days before your departure
One of the main reason why I book my hotel accommodation with free cancellation is that I tend to check the above sites again a couple of days before my arrival to see if I can find an even better deal!
Indeed, when a hotel is not selling its rooms, it will have to offer discounted rates to maximise its occupancy rate hence why you can grab amazing last minute accommodation deals.
So if you can cancel your existing booking and re-book a cheaper / better value property, then why not!
#5 – Make sure to check reviews on TripAdvisor
Sometimes you’re better paying a bit more but stay somewhere decent rather than paying for a very cheap hotel which is not up to standards.
With that in mind, always make sure to check the reviews of the property you’ve booked on TripAdvisor for your peace of mind.
With these tips in mind, you will make sure not to overpay your hotel accommodation during your next holiday! What are your own tips and tricks to find cheap hotel accommodation?