With summer creeping up on us rather quickly, you may have begun planning an exciting vacation. Next to flights, hotel rooms are probably your second biggest cost. Learn how to squeeze the most value out of your money by following the tips below. Booking a cheap hotel room can be easier than you think.
Do Your Research
A good first step is to search on a standard booking website for the types of hotels you would like to stay in, taking into account important factors such as location, cost and amenities. After browsing through reviews and prices, write down your top choices. For better results, try a couple of booking websites to compare prices. You can also run the hotels through an aggregator site such as Kayak, which will allow you to compare the prices offered across the Internet. You can sometimes find surprising differences in price that make the extra time well worth it.
Search Out Unpublished Rates
Though standard websites give you the published rates, hotels also offer hidden prices only available to those in the know or those who are willing to go the extra mile in research. Some websites such as http://www.getaroom.com/ offer flash deals, which expire quickly but can offer substantial discounts. Calling the hotel can also land you lower fares, often just by asking.
Search for Package Deals
If you’re looking for a flight in addition to a hotel room, package deals can be a good option, particularly if you’re going to a well-traveled destination (remote towns in Alaska are probably not going to offer an extensive selection of tourist packages). But if you’re going from New York to Los Angeles, or Chicago to Paris, you should check out the package deals offered by most travel companies. Sometimes you can book a flight and then add a hotel room for just a few dollars a night. Contact a travel agency in Greensboro to find out the latest package deals.
Take a Chance on a Hidden Hotel
If you’re a little adventurous or value a deal above concerns such as location, opaque websites such as Priceline or Hotwire can be a great way to find deals. With these bookings, you know the price and the general location of the hotel. However, if you need to be in a certain place—say right next to the Brooklyn Bridge—choosing ‘hotel in Brooklyn’ can place you miles away from your preferred destination. Note that this option works best the closer you are to your trip date, since these low-fare bookings are typically nonrefundable.
Consider Alternatives to Hotels
Alternatives to traditional hotels abound online. Couchsurfing sites allow you to crash on others’ couches, typically for free. Websites such as airbnb allow you to rent out others’ bedrooms and even homes, often for a lower price than hotels. Though these options can sometimes save you money, potential downsides include safety concerns, uneven quality and issues with service.
Affordable Hotels Are All Around
If you’re looking for a cheap hotel, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice quality for price. Get a bargain using the clever strategies above and you’ll be sure to enjoy your trip to the fullest.