Cut costs on accommodation bookings with these strategies

Stretching your accommodation budget allows for more spending on other travel experiences and activities. Finding budget-friendly hotels has become more challenging, but our insider tips will help you save money on your next vacation!

How to get the best deals on hotels:

Booking Early First of all, try to make the reservation as soon as you can. You’re likely to get a better deal if you give yourself more time to search for hotels. In fact, hotel rates are as low as they’ve ever been during the holiday season. You do not have to wait around for the best deal.
Compare different dates available in hotels for the best price. Sometimes, certain events are held in the city and the hotels become fully booked. It may be different a week later. If you have some flexibility in your schedule, compare prices for different dates.
Travel is done for many different reasons. Hotels also have many target audiences. Hotels that cater to business travelers are more expensive on the weekends than during the week, while those hotels which attract more tourists can be cheaper. Since most bookings are refundable until just a few days prior to check-in date, it is worth booking early.

Hotel meta-search comparison sites usually offer the lowest price.Check out the most popular sites for the best prices. The same room may be offered at a variety of different rates. Our top 3 picks:

  • They find great hotel offers.
  • You can also compare hotel prices on Momondo.
  • You can read and compare reviews on the popular review site TripAdvisor.

Beware hidden charges and taxes –Some agents hide the real cost of the stay on the last booking page. Some brokers hide the real cost of a stay until the final booking page.

Hotel Loyalty Programs– The best way to lower room rates may be to use the programs many hotels implemented in response to the economic crisis, where gaining loyalty became a necessity for survival. You can get room upgrades and free breakfasts, drinks and spa credits by joining hotels’ loyalty programs.

Travel in off-season Summer is the perfect time for Europe and the Caribbean. But I prefer to go in shoulder seasons, just before or after the peak season. The weather is great, prices are lower, restaurants and shops are happy to welcome you and few people are around. The weather may not be as warm or sunny, but prices will still be lower.

Decide what you need. – Do not pay extra for room service and a fancy reception if all you really want is a hotel room. If you only need 3 stars, don’t pay for a 5 star hotel.

Be flexible in your planning– If you wish to visit a particular place, then be flexible regarding the time. Be flexible with the time and place of your travel. “Choose one, not both.”

Stay Over Sunday Many hotels get bookings for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from tourists and bookings Monday to Friday from business travelers. This can leave Sunday nights void and lower rates.

Avoid the weekend in big cities like Las Vegas and Australia.

Go online– Use social media, reviews sites and forums to find recommendations and the best offers. You can also learn about actual experiences. You can find online discount coupons that you can use to save money on your online bookings.

Book your hotel with your flight– Booking both your flight and your hotel at the same time can lead to significant savings. Websites such as Expedia or ebookers offer discounted rates when booking hotel and flight packages. This is a very useful tip that we often use, since it allows us to save money on hotels as well as flights.

Rebooking hotel trick: If you cancel your booking with no penalty, the cost will drop. Whether you booked through a travel agency or directly with the hotels, it’s common to be able to do so for free, usually up until a specific time, such as 24 to 48 hours prior to the start of the stay. If you do not have free cancellation you can still take advantage of the price guarantees made by sites. You can cancel your booking if you find the cost has dropped after you booked. You can cancel your original reservation and rebook the room at a lower price. This can often be done with the website you used to book. Booking sites such as, and hotel websites offer both a no-refund and free cancellation for every room type. You’ll find that non-refundable rooms are usually cheaper. So, you will need to decide if it is worth paying extra for a free cancellation.

Avoid chain hotels We recommend that you avoid staying at expensive, large brand hotels. There are better options available in non-chain hotels. They provide very little value. You can also often negotiate. They are also more flexible.

Be prepared– Most bargains can be found if you plan ahead.

Contact the hotel – An airline representative might laugh at you for trying to negotiate a cheaper fare. However, a manager of a hotel will be more receptive to your request if they expect to have unfilled rooms. If you’re a regular guest, or if booking multiple rooms is in your best interest, then it will be easier to negotiate a better rate. You could also ask to upgrade your room at the regular rate.

Find Coupon Codes Hotels do not offer many coupons. However, if you look around, you may find coupon codes that can help you get a better deal on a room. Big hotel booking sites (like, ebookers, etc.) Discount codes are offered frequently.

It’s time for an upgrade– The best time to ask for an upgrade is when you arrive at the hotel around 6 pm. This allows the clerk to know what rooms will be vacant that night.

Be on the lookout for deals and special promotions – Talking of deals …. This is holiday season, so now’s a good time to search for special hotel offers. These offers can help you find a great deal on a hotel, or upgrade to something pricier than what you originally planned. 

Compare rates You may need to call or book directly through the hotel’s website if booking corporate discounts. Compare rates at travel agents and online sites to ensure that the corporate rate you are offered is the most affordable. 

Location is everything. Ask yourself what importance your location has. It’s great to snooze on the front steps of one of history’s greatest landmarks, or in the middle of an old city. But this is expensive. You may need it if you are on a Weekender trip and don’t want to waste time figuring out public transportation. Accommodation is cheaper in nearby areas.

Extend Your Stay If you’ve ever looked at a grid with hotel prices for the day, then you will know that they change daily and room by room. You can save money by doing some research in advance to find out how much your hotel room will cost for that night.

Contact receptions — If the hotel chain is involved, call directly the front desk because the workers have the authority to negotiate on-the-spot. Call the hotel’s free toll-free reservations line instead, as its employees are less likely to be willing to negotiate.

Best Price Many major booking websites offer “best prices” on flights, hotels, rental cars, and other services. This can reduce the stress and hassle of having to search for rates, check the hotel website, and then compare the discounts sites. If you find a great deal, book the room immediately. You will have other options in case you discover a cheaper price later. If you book your room on Expedia and find it cheaper within 24 hours you will receive a $50 coupon. You can also check out other sites to see if the price is better.

Stay More Than One Night Many accommodations offer the best rates when you stay longer than a night. Often we’ve had deals like stay 4 nights, pay for 3. Particularly in off-season.

Choose a town near your destination, or stay outside the center of the city. This will save you money in hotels and apartment rentals. You can save money if you are willing to make the short trip. Location is important when selecting accommodation. Make sure that you can access local restaurants and cafes.

What are the hotel facilities? Does your accommodation offer free wifi, free airport shuttles, free breakfasts, free cable television, laundry facilities and BBQ areas? Do you have a 24-hour reception, tour desks or a pool with private bathrooms, as well as a free airport shuttle service, free cable television, laundry services, a pool area, a barbecue, private bedrooms, etc. Does the accommodation have a coffee maker or fridge? You can save money by using a fridge to store and reheat leftovers. These features can add up when trying to cut costs on your accommodation.

Take advantage of accommodation rewards programs If you are a frequent visitor to the same booking websites or hotel chains, consider joining their loyalty or reward program. It depends on how often you travel and your preferences.

Prepare your own breakfastIf you don’t get a free breakfast at your hotel, bring or buy a few packets of instant oatmeal. If your hotel offers a microwave, you can use it to cook the oatmeal. Otherwise, heat up some water in the tea or coffee kettle.

Reward points from credit cards– You may be able use the rewards for hotel costs if you check your card’s program.

Sign up to receive e-newsletters Subscribe by email at your favourite booking sites. Many of these sites only offer special deals to email subscribers.

Subscribe to price drop alerts – If you do not have time to monitor prices closely, then sign up for email alerts from websites such as Tripadvisor ebookers, and Kayak. You can let them do the hard work by signing up for alerts on price drops.

Remove your history/cookies– If you are looking for the best accommodation prices, try a new browser or use incognito mode before checking out rates a second. Sites save your searches and know that you will return.

Appartment Rentals– This is the best option for traveling with family or friends and not needing a maid, concierge service and other amenities. In recent years, furnished apartment rentals are very popular because it’s easy to book them online and that they cost about half as much per person as hotels. You also get a fully equipped kitchen to reduce your food expenses.
Request fee waivers – Hotels are keen to keep their business and will do anything they can to ensure that their guests return. These business travelers are often paid for their stay by their employers or clients. They have no incentive, therefore, to request a reduction in charges such as parking, internet or breakfast fees. Price sensitive travelers may have surprising success in removing these fees, particularly if they feel the hotel disappointed them.

Deals– Request that your hotel keep you informed of any new deals or discounts. Paying cash is preferable to hotels, as they don’t have to pay commissions to credit card companies. You can ask for discounts for extended stays. If you are staying more than four nights, it is perfectly acceptable to negotiate a better price. If you get to know your staff, they are more willing to give discounts and freebies.

Purchase someone else’s hotel reservations – Sites like and Cancelator allow you to buy other travelers’ unwanted reservations for a discount. This site allows you to connect with people who have a hotel reservation that they cannot cancel but would like to transfer or sell at a discounted rate.

Breakfast– If it is optional, don’t eat breakfast. Hotel breakfasts are rarely worth the money.
You should check the cancellation policies of each hotel. You will be charged if you cancel without the specified notice.

What is the ideal time to make a reservation for a hotel room? It depends. As mentioned earlier, hotels cater to different clients. You can often find very cheap and good last-minute deals in business hotels. Booking holiday hotels and resorts 3 to 6 month in advance will get you a lot of early bird savings. It is because people who travel for business often book hotels at short notice, due to sudden meetings and business trips. Vacationers plan far in advance. Even large holiday houses can be a bargain at the last minute. Always keep an eye out for bargains.