Happy enough to proceed with another very practical information, about how to save on booking your accommodation while traveling. All the tips mentioned below are very well studied, and applied. And not only because we travel a lot, but also we work in hospitality field and work with hoteliers.
As you may already know, there are plenty of website resources these days to find a safe, practical and cheap enough accommodation while traveling.
If we were looking always for the cheapest accommodation ever, while we were traveling as a couple, now our priorities changed. Now, we are not only searching to find the cheapest deals, but also to get the BEST VALUE for our money. As we all need not only to sleep at night but also to get the best accommodation deal as possible.
Our priorities on selecting accommodation while traveling with kids are those:
- Savings for our travel.
- Destination is it a cheap or expensive in terms of average amount of money spent per day.
- Comfort level.
- Kids friendly accommodation.
- Location of accommodation, and the time and money you need to get to top places to see.
At the end we want to save money on accommodation and get the price we want, at the place we all are happy with.
Traveling as a family, we always prefer to stay in apartments. These offer several benefits:
- We can have access to a full kitchen and we save money on not eating out every night. As well it is great if we need to prepare a bottle by night and we don’t have to go to the bar to ask for hot water and so on.
- There is always an option for laundry. It is really helpful if you go for more than 3 days to travel.
- If we are traveling with other family members we can book a 3 or 4 bedroom apartment and split the costs, and get cheaper price.
- We can feel like home away from home. Kids enjoy changing homes so often. 🙂
Many times we book hotels, and it has it’s advantages as well:
- There is a daily service of housekeeping. I think that this is a great advantage while traveling with kids, and they like to have all their things on the display :D.
- There is 24h front desk service, and if your flight is early in the morning or late by night, you know that there is always somebody to make a checkin for you.
- One can leave luggage at the luggage room if the flight later than the check out time.
- And if it is an all inclusive hotel, then it is really great option to relax as a family.
10 BEST TIPS TO SAVE ON ACCOMMODATIONS
1. Choose the best location.
There is no reason to find a really cheap accommodation if you have to spend a lot of money on getting to the top places to visit in a city. Choose to stay in a central area close to public transport, airports, local attractions and the ability to get out and walk to most things. This will help you save extra money during your trip and time.
Even though, I admit to choose a good price accommodation if you travel to an island or to a place where you will hire a car. And your main goal is to keep going places, and discover the island with a car. In such situation, I think it really doesn’t matter where your accommodation is.
2. If you plan to stay in a hotel, try to look for the price for more nights.
Many hotels offer their best deals when you stay more than one night. From 2 nights stay, hotels begin with 10-15% discounts. And if you choose to stay more that 4 nights, a lot of hotels make offers like 4 nights, pay for 3. Especially in the off-season.
3. Stay over Sunday or mid-week. Avoid stay on Fridays and Saturdays.
Many touristy places receive tourists on Fridays and Saturdays, and hotels on these days are expensive. So, to avoid the really high prices, check the deals from Sunday (when others go back home) till any day during the week. Of course, in case of London, or Madrid, that are cities with a high business demand during the week, weekends prices on hotels go down, comparing with week days.
4. Travel in the low-season. Or when the high season just is on it’s end.
Be ready that the difference on prices can be triple higher on high-season than low-season.
If you don’t like to travel on low season, just choose the period between the peak and off-peak season. The price for accommodation is cheaper, and the weather is still favorable. As well, you will avoid the large crowds which make your travel with kids much more pleasant.
5. Choose an apartment if you travel with kids.
This is one of our best travel tips on how to save money – especially for families or small groups. Apartments and rental homes like on Airbnb are a great way to cut costs. They are usually cheaper and more practical than a hotel. If you’re traveling with other family members or another couple why not get an apartment big enough and share the cost.
It is also a great option, if you need a fully-equipped kitchen facilities, laundry and facilities of staying like at home.
6. Check for facilities that has your accommodation.
- Does it have a free WiFi?
- The price includes a free breakfast
- Free cable tv
- Laundry facilities
- Swimming pool
- Coffee machine or any other facilities like microwave, fridge, minibar and so on
- 24h reception
All these features add up when you’re trying to save money!
7. Check for family deals.
Many times, it is better to book a triple room than a familiar room, if your accommodation provides you cot for your baby. So it will be cheaper and it will save you money.
As well, check if hotels has any special price for families travelling with kids. Many times hotels accept kids up to 12 years free, if they are sleeping on the existing beds. We love to sleep all together, so we always check for this freebies 🙂
8. Reward programs.
A lot of big chains are giving special prices if you are theirs subscriber or you have stayed at least one time in their chain’s hotel. Keep an eye on this, as you can grab a really good price while staying in a stunning hotel.
To maximize your earnings in any rewards program, charging your hotel costs to a credit card tied to the rewards program is essential. All cards will give you bonus points for spending, and the best cards will also give you instant elite status in the hotel program, which means more bonus points.
9. Subscribe to newsletter deals on different flash-deal sites.
Subscribe via email to your favorite booking sites. They often distribute deals and special coupons only to their email subscribers and members.
10. Check the hotel’s webpage for a deal.
After having a decision on your trip accommodation, before booking it, check out the hotel’s webpage. Many times, hotels to incentive the buying on their site, offer from 5% to 15% exclusive discount on their webpage. As well, they are keen to offer a free upgrade or late check-out for no costs.
SEARCHING ACCOMMODATION DEALS
I am working as a travel agent for more than 6 years now, and believe me there are a lot of ways to find a great accommodation for your trip.
To be clear, neither one of travel websites mentioned below, pays us any commission or money on displaying them below. It is just my advice as a hotel expert, on how to get a good deal while booking your accommodation.
BEST HOTEL BOOKING SITES
If you read our previous post about how to find a cheap flight, you would already know that I love a lot metasearch engines. And I can’t get enough on using those. I think these are the best ever sites to grab a great price for a great accommodation.
I will mention you several metasearch engines that you can use for finding a hotel, but will proceed with an example on only one. Just to show you how it looks like, because all of the engines have the same result at the end, to display the best offer.
Hotels search engines: trivago.com, hotelscombined.com, tripadvisor.com, skyscanner.com, kayak.com
For the last year this hotel search engine is the most displayed on TV commercials and online ads. This company invested a lot of money to get known.
Here is how it works:
The difference between a hotel search engine and flight search engine. Be ready no to find the best deals always. As metasearch engines display only the online travel agencies or hotels’ websites that pay commission to them or pay per click, depends on the models they work on B2B. And sometimes you can skip some great deals, as the hotelier or online travel agency prefer to save money and not to be displayed on it.
It is an online travel agency. The first one in the history of online traveling and it is worth to be mentioned here.
It is working as a metasearch engine, but in this case it displays only the prices of the hotels, and of course with the hotels that it has contracts.
Apart of searching directly your destination and your flight dates. Look up for the offers they offer on the first page. Many times they have a special space where all the best deals are shown.
And last but not least, if you care less about a specific hotel brand and more about wanting to save money, consider shopping top secret deals. You won’t know which hotel you’re staying at until it’s booked. These are the deals for a 4 and 5 star hotels that have at least 10%-15% discount from their cheapest price, and usually have a great location.
3. Booking.com or Priceline.com – both are the same company, the only difference is the location. Booking.com is well known in Europe, and priceline is known in USA.
It is easy to navigate through the site. It has a lot of filters that you can apply while checking for the deals. And another advantage is that only here you can find a variety of low-cost independently owned hotels that can be difficult to find elsewhere.
They also have special deals for people who booked with them at least once. Even though not always they display this deals. Many times you can find a better deal on others website. Just keep your eye on it.
4. Airbnb – apartment rentals.
As mentioned, apartments are a great way to save money on accommodation and often work out cheaper than a hotel room, particularly when you factor in the savings of cooking your own meals and sharing with other couples or friends.
You can book entire apartments or just spare bedrooms, allowing you the choice between having the place all to yourself or staying with and getting to know the owner. Even if you never meet your host, you’ll get to feel more like a local.
As well, another apartment rentals worth mentioning is homeaway, I like it as well as it has a really high quality apartments.
5. Consider booking directly on the hotel website.
From my experience, I have seen a looot of not user friendly hotel sites. And I am always amazed how they get to sell anything on their websites. Even though, it doesn’t mean thbat there is no special deal for their customer.
Booking on hotel’s website, the hoteliers do not pay any commission to the third parties. That is why they are very open to give a discount for customers who buys directly on their website. Just give them a try.