7 Tips for Booking a Cheaper Hotel Room

7 Tips for Booking a Cheaper Hotel Room

When you’re traveling, one of the largest chunks of your budget will go toward accommodations. In many of the world’s top destinations, you’ll pay a pretty penny for a room—especially if you’re vacationing during peak tourist season or during a popular event. Hoteliers are wise to the ways of travelers and they usually increase rates when they know they can demand it. So what’s a budget traveler to do? There are many options: couchsurfing has been facilitated by the Internet and there are always hostels or, if you’re lucky enough, family and friends who might open their doors to you in far-flung places.
While all of those can be great options, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and book a hotel room, whether it’s for amenities and comfort, or just for proximity to a location. What you don’t have to do is pay top-dollar for your bunk; there are many ways to find a place to put up for the night without blowing your budget. Here are 7 great tips for booking a hotel room —at a more affordable rate.

7. Take a Geography Lesson

What do you like to do while on vacation? If you’re hoping to catch a play or a concert, then you’re probably going to look for an entertainment district in your holiday city. If you’d rather hit the beach or maybe play a round of golf, you’re going to want to look for hotels that are nearer to the activities you enjoy. Food is also an important consideration; do you really want to drive or take transit just to grab lunch? Checking out where you want to go, what you want to do and which hotels are closest to where you want to be is always an excellent move.

You’ll like also want to look at the hotel “landscape.” What kind of properties does your holiday destination have on offer? If there are several different types, such as budget hotel options, luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts, look for where different property types tend to cluster. If you’re traveling on a budget, you probably don’t want to book where all the swankiest hotels are located, since the businesses around them are likely to be high-end and pricey too.

Paris Map

6. Do Your Homework

One mistake that novice travelers often make is booking a room on the first site they visit or without checking back on later dates. That almost guarantees that you’re going to book at a higher price than you could. Don’t jump the gun; deal-hunting requires patience.

Once you have an idea of where you want to stay, narrow your hotel choices to about 10 properties. Your best bet is to visit price aggregators such as Hipmunk, Trivago and Kayak.com. These sites search multiple booking sites and list the best deals based on your filter preferences, which saves you time in searching and comparing each and every individual booking site. With Hipmunk, their site features vacation rentals along with hotels (the only American website to do so) and their “ecstasy” filter works wonders for getting you a balance between luxury and pricing. The site also has a mapping feature, which can show you where the best food and nightlife are in the city, and how close various properties are to those hotspots. Trivago has the largest database, searching over 200 booking sites, and Kayak.com allows you to check multiple hotels at once.

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