HOW TO BOOK ACCOMMODATION AND SAVE
If you are like me, you will agree how hard it is to find a great hotel, in the right location for the right price. I sometimes find I waste too much time searching for the right accommodation that ticks all my requirements.
These are some of my go-to tricks of the trade, hope you find it useful, and it helps you find accommodation with ease.
(1) Cheapest Rate or Best Savings is when you travel offseason (avoid going in high season). Each Country/ City/ town has its busy tourist season, and if you avoid that, you are bound to get reasonable rates. Free upgrade, early check-in, late check out, etc. The other valuable insight in picking a hotel is to research for a hotel which is not part of a big chain or big company like Hilton.
Seach all different sights in one place to get the best deal.
(2) Location, Location, Location – this is critical. I would rather pay a little more and stay in the center of the city, town or where all the action is than spend extra money to cab or risk-taking public transport late at night. As a solo traveler been in the middle of all the action makes your stay more enjoyable and accessible.
(3) If you are visiting a big city like London, Paris, New York, etc. or busy town avoid staying on Friday and Saturday nights. These days are usually more expensive. My go-to is Sunday and Monday nights for big cities and try for an early check-in on Sunday so you can enjoy the whole day in the city.
(4) Stay longer in one place. One night usually costs too much. Two nights or more gets you a better deal. I recommend, apartment style accommodation for a more extended stay. Having cooking and laundry facilities helps with savings.
(5) When choosing to stay in a hotel, make sure you check out the dining and laundry options. Sometimes cafes and restaurants are too far to walk, or they are not open extended hours. When your body clock is on a different timetable, finding somewhere to eat when you are hungry can be very expensive.
Book with Booking com, they offer the biggest selection of properties that offer free cancellation, option to pay at check-in and accommodate other requirements you might need for your accommodation
(6) Check the details of hotel facilities and cancellation. Alway pick hotels which offer free cancellation, and if you haven’t then make sure your travel insurance includes hotel cancellation fees. Cheap accommodation can have expensive internet, car parking and in some cases extra cost for linen hire, etc. Also, Cheap accommodation can also mean lowering your standards to 3 or 2 stars in some case. Just keep that in mind. So you do not get disappointed.
(7) I always pick accommodation that offers 24-hour reception. Flights get delayed, unseen and the unknown happens all the time. There is nothing worse than traveling for hours, getting to your accommodation and the Reception is closed for the day. My first trip to Barcelona. My flight got delayed, the airport shuttle that was supposed to pick me left without me. I made my way from the airport to the hotel in a country using my broken Spanish. After been on a flight for 26 hours and spending two hours to get to the hotel, I was not happy to find the reception closed.
(8) The inside track for searching for accommodation online, turn off your cookies and delete your history. Websites store your search information, which means when you search the cookie starts giving information to all the accommodation providers.
(9) After you have booked your hotel, always email or call the hotel to confirm your dates, your arrival time and your contact details. Ask for any other information you need to know example, the reception hours, free upgrade or early check-in or late check out. etc
(10) When is the best time to book your accommodation? There is a lot of debate on this topic. In my experience, if you are using hotels who’s market is business customers, then last minute. If you are using hotels who’s market is holidaymakers or family, then I suggest as early as possible. If you are visiting a big city, then I recommend use hotels, you are a member of rewards like Accor Hotels rewards programmes.
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These are all great tips but the one that stood out to me the most because I never thought about it was the difference between ideal times when you’re booking business hotels as opposed to those that cater more to tourists. Such a good point!
This is a very helpful post and one I will use the next booking. Never knew aboht the Monday/Sunday night, but will be more aware in the future!
Your accommodation tips are just the best. As a budget-friendly traveler, I always try my best to get the best shot with accommodation. I so much dig in the idea of a 24 hour hotel services, I’ve been stranded severally and learnt my lessons the hard way. Thanks for the tips.
Great tips. We also prefer to pay a bit more and stay closer in larger cities. And I can’t remember the number of times we have checked in late for unforeseen circumstances so having 24 hour reception is so important.
Great tips there. I always pick hotels that offer free cancellation in case we have a change of plans.
Brilliant tips there, I also spend a considerable time choosing my hotels. It really can make or mar the trip, the stay experience!
Awesome tips.. have bookmarked it for future reference. Hotels that offer free cancellation are always our top choice..
Nice tips. One of the things I have noticed is that hotels are beginning to offer extras if you book directly with them. When I find a place on one of the travel sites, I’ll always check to see if there is actually a deal being offered. Depending on where you travel – stuff like free transfers, laundry service, etc. can all be included in the stay.
You make some good points and tips about hotel booking, thank you!
Great tips here. We have also found that staying longer usually comes with discounts – and I love finding deals that include breakfast and/or evening reception so we can also save on food costs!
Booking hotels through websites can be tricky, specially if one does not notice the fine print. Sometimes in the excitement of finding a lower rate, we end up missing what is not included and that makes all the difference. Great tips here.
Such helpful tips.. I definitely agree on staying off season.. The best deals are usually found here.. 🙂
Booking the perfect hotel for a trip is so important. And finding the right one online can also be tricky. You have given some great tips here. I agree with all of these points.
Great tips especially to those starting out in traveling and hasn’t done online booking yet. Thanks for sharing