So your flights are sorted (hopefully using some of RouteSalad’s suggestions) – great! But there’s still the issue of where you’re going to be staying.
I want to share with you my top tips on how I find holiday accommodation at the lowest prices.
1. Either book early or leave it to the very last minute
They say ‘The early bird catches the worm’ and all that, and this definitely applies to booking hotels! The earlier you can book the better, as prices tend to go up closer to the time of your stay. Keep this in mind when looking for hotels around public holidays such as Christmas or New Year’s as they will get snapped up quickly!
On the other hand, no hotel wants to have empty rooms so sometimes you might find they slash their prices if you are booking last minute (especially in off-peak season) but it’s up to you if you want to take that risk.
2. Use hotel comparison websites
This may be obvious, but hotel price comparison sites are often a lot cheaper than booking through the hotels own website.
Codes are also usually available for these sites such as Hotels.com where you can often get 10%-20% off all bookings. ALWAYS make sure you look for a code whenever you make a booking for accommodation. A simple google search will give you a code that you can easily copy and paste into the ‘Promotional Code’ box on the hotel booking site.
3. Book midweek
If you’re flexible with dates, try booking accommodation for midweek. Prices tend to be more expensive over the weekend as this is when most people are likely to go away.
4. Use Deal websites
Dan’s tip: Try HRS Deals for daily hotel deals, especially if you’re looking for European accommodation.
5. Try renting an apartment/flat as an alternative to a hotel
If you fancy trying something a bit different, use sites such as AirBnb and Wimdu to find great apartments/homes to rent. This can tend to work out a lot cheaper if you are travelling in a big group. These sites offer amazing flats and homes in excellent locations that are sometimes half the price of expensive hotels.
6. Use Quidco
Quidco is a cash-back website and you simply have to book your hotel* through Quidco at no extra cost and you receive the money straight into your bank account! If you don’t have an account already – SIGN UP NOW.
I got around £20 cashback for my recent hotel booking with Ebookers in London. Ebookers are currently giving 15% cashback for all hotel bookings (plus if you find a code as well, it’s an even bigger saving).
The only drawback with Quidco is that you often have to wait for the cash back – but it’s better than nothing right?
*You can use Quidco for booking flights and transport too!
7. Take advantage of Top Secret Hotels
Lastminute.com are offering top secret hotels at low prices. This is because some hotels don’t want the public knowing they have a spare rooms available. The trick is you don’t know what/where the hotel is exactly until the day of your stay. The hotels are usually 4/5 star so if you want a bit of luxury and surprise, definitely take advantage of this amazing scheme.
*Sometimes, you can work out what the hotel is by looking at the description and how many reviews it has on TripAdvisor by doing a simple Google search.
8. Look out for worldwide sales
Look out for worldwide sales on your favourite chain hotels. The Hilton often has major savings across the world.
Hilton’s current promotion is up to 33% off weekend hotel stays until the end of January 2014. See Dan’s blog post here
9. Looking for a little luxury?
If it’s a special occasion and you’re looking for luxury but want to pay less, visit sites such as VoyagePrive and SecretEscapes who claim they can save you up to 70% off luxury stays. Bear in mind the prices are still not super cheap!
10. Always use Tripadvisor
Look at the reviews on TripAdvisor to make sure the hotel is exactly what you expect it to be. There is nothing worse than paying a price you think is reasonable but getting there and being sorely disappointed.
I just want to point out that if you have already booked your hotel and decide to check Tripadvisor afterwards, don’t be disheartened by a few bad reviews – some people just like complaining.
Thanks to @Lotushead for the use of their image on sxc.hu