TT&S Booking Hotels: Money Saving Tips and Suggestions for Booking the Perfect Hotel Room…
Booking Your Dream Vacation can sometimes feel overwhelming and stressful but planning your trip should be half the fun! Trust me. Don’t settle for a package deal you do not want, simply because you do not know where to start. Or moreover, put off booking a trip because you do not think you can afford it! Yes, planning an affordable yet perfect vacation can take a bit of time and effort but the reward is worth it in the end. And remember… Your Dream Vacation should not have to break the bank if you remember these tips…
- Compare and Save
- Timing is Everything
- Location, Location, Location
- Know Your Surroundings
- Break It Up
- Size Matters
- Be Rewarded
After you have booked your airfare (Click HERE for $ Saving Airfare Advice) it is time to book your hotel but not be fore you have done your research!
Compare and Save
Do not search only one site! Deals are out there if you put in the time and effort. Start with a well know travel site (priceline, orbitz) and see what they have to offer. Once you see the average price, search another site but be aware that one site may give the total price while another may give you a price without any applicable fees and taxes. If it looks too good to be true, it may! Once you get an idea for a few hotels, check the hotel’s personal website and see what price they have to offer. Sometimes, no always, the hotel’s price can be cheaper…. not usually but always check. And clear your cookies! Some site increase prices if you repeatedly search!
Timing is Everything
While there is no perfect time to book one’s hotel, it is best not to wait to the last-minute especially if it to a popular destination during peak travel time. It is, however, also not a good idea to book too far in advance (unless there is a festival or event where rooms will sell out early! In that case, do it!). Strike a happy medium. Don’t feel the need to book your hotel at the same time as you book your airfare, tempting as it may be for some, you have time to stalk the hotel travel sites. Sign-up to get notifications on when they run special price events and check once a week to see if the price may have dipped. Take your time. Prices fluctuate so avoid a knee-jerk reaction to book if a price suddenly goes up… but keep an eye on prices for a few weeks and book accordingly. If pushed for a time frame- 8-10 weeks before a trip is plenty of time.
Location, Location, Location
When visiting a large city or popular destination location can be key but it can also come with a price tag. To save money you might have to be willing to stay just out of the middle of everything but make sure it is not too far. Map how far the hotel is from your ‘Must See’ stops, it should be within walking distance or else you will spend the money you saved on cab fare and transit costs, not to mention precious time each day. Check into public transportation– buses, trams and train.
Know Your Surroundings
Also be aware of the area, reading online reviews is one thing but take the time to ‘google street view’ the hotel and note the surroundings. Are their any shops and restaurants nearby? Too many night clubs might be great for some but too loud for others. If you are a night owl or bar-goer, a busy nightlife may be perfect. Would you prefer a nearby spot for a quiet night cap or late night dessert? What about a coffee shop or convenience store nearby? Save money by grabbing a muffin or coffee rather than splurging on breakfast at the hotel (unless it is free, of course!) Not only does street view give you a sense of the neighborhood it also helps acclimate yourself when heading out of the hotel for the first time and starting to explore.
Break It Up
If you are staying somewhere longer than a week and are able and willing to pack up your room mid-stay, try one hotel during the week and another on the weekend. Rooms are typically cheaper mid-week and you may get a deal at a hotel that would be out of your price range on weekends. More amenities and closer to the action for the same price as one farther out of the way on the weekend is sometimes worth the hassle of moving suitcases. Most hotels are willing to hold your luggage day until you can check-in later that day so don’t feel it would limit you.
Size matters or in this case it shouldn’t…. often reviews complain about how small a room is but who goes on vacation to hang out in the room? What is important is the comfort of the beds or free wifi but how big the room is should not be a priority. You have the entire city to explore, not to mention a whole lobby at your disposal if you need room for a cartwheel. Spend time outside of your room– sit in a nearby coffee shop, a park bench in a public garden or lounge at the art gallery instead of your room. Smaller rooms often mean smaller price tag…. not always but usually. Good things come in small sizes!
If you travel a lot (at least once a year) it may be worth it to join a hotel website that rewards you ‘punch-card’ style. ‘Stay 10 nights get 1 free’ type of deal. Or look into getting a credit card that rewards you with airfare mileage points or discount offers. It only makes sense to get rewarded for purchases/bookings you were going to make anyway, might as well take advantage of a freebie or discount wherever you can get it!
Lastly… Enjoy ever minute of your trip!
Do you have any tips for saving money when booking a hotel? I would love to hear them in the comments.