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Hotels are one of the biggest expenses of travelling. Whether you’re planning a holiday or organising a business trip, you’ll likely have a budget to work within. Being able to use as little of this budget as possible on accommodation could allow you money to spend on other things. Here are just several tricks that could help you to get the cheapest room rates.
Time your stay right
Hotel prices can be cheaper at certain times of the year. In most cases, summer is peak season and is the most expensive time to book a hotel room. The period over Christmas can also be pricey because many people are staying in hotels to visit family or may simply be wanting to spend Christmas away. On top of this, prices could go up if there are local festivals or events on. The time of the week can even have an impact – weekends tend to be most expensive. By planning your trip when the demand is lowest, you could save yourself huge amounts of money.
Use comparison booking sites
Comparison booking sites like Trivago.com are worth trying to help secure the cheapest prices in a certain area. Almost all hotels will be listed on these sites. Be wary of the fact that many of these sites get commission if you book through them – whilst it’s worth using these sites to find the cheapest hotels, you may be able to cut the price further by booking directly through the hotel rather than the comparison site.
Search for vouchers online
You can often get discounts on hotel rooms by using vouchers. Sites like NetVoucherCodes.co.uk have a range of vouchers on hotels that can be worth looking through. These are generally only eligible for a certain time and may have conditions that are worth reading up on. Signing up to hotel chain mailing lists can also get you access to vouchers.
Stay off the beaten track
Hotels prices are likely to be more expensive the closer you are to attractions. For instance, if you’re booking a hotel in Paris, you’ll pay a huge amount for an Eiffel Tower view – staying on the outskirts could be a lot cheaper. The same applies to theme parks, beaches and natural wonders – the closer you are to these attractions, the more expensive the room rates will be, especially if you have a great view.
All-inclusive hotel deals can save you a lot of money when going on holiday. As well as including the price of your room, these hotels also include free meals and a certain selection of free drinks. This means not having to worry about extra hotel expenses like restaurant bills and drinks prices. All inclusive hotel deals can often be bought as part of even bigger packages involving flights and transfers – these could save you money on your overall trip, as well as taking out some of the hassle of organising your holiday.
Be wary of hidden extra charges
A lot of hotels can still catch guests out with hidden extra charges (even so-called all inclusive hotels). A few common hidden extras to look out for include wi-fi, parking, late check-out fees, late check-in fees and usage of the hotel mini-bar. When reading information on hotels, make sure to check all this information so that you know exactly what is included in the hotel price.
Try alternative accommodation
Hotels aren’t the only form of accommodation when travelling. There are many other places that you can stay – some of which could be much cheaper.
Hostels are favoured by backpackers and usually involve sharing a room with strangers as well as sharing bathroom facilities. They’re a fraction of the price of hotels, making them great if you’re not fussy.
For big group holidays meanwhile, a holiday rental could work out cheaper than multiple rooms. The cost of rental accommodation could be split amongst several of you. Such accommodation is usually self-catered (which could also save you money by forcing you to cook rather than eating out).
There are then options such as campsites if you’re staying somewhere fairly rural. A pitch for a tent could cost less than ten quid for a night in some campsites. There may also be slightly more luxurious options on campsites such as fixed caravans, yurts and chalets, which may still be cheaper than staying in a hotel.