We all count down the days until our annual holiday, because it’s that opportunity that we’ve been waiting for to finally relax and let our hair down. However, particularly at a time when we’re all feeling the financial squeeze, what we don’t want to do is pay more for our hotel reservation than we absolutely have to. Plus, there’s nothing worse than that sinking feeling when you talk to others staying at the hotel and find that they paid half the price for an identical room. So, here are some great tips on how to save money on hotels so you can enjoy your holiday to the full without breaking the bank.
1. Be Flexible in Your Dates
Unless you absolutely cannot, try and have a little flexibility in your holiday dates. Starting your holiday just a couple of days earlier or later could save you a lot of money, depending on the hotel’s availability. If you can, avoid peak periods such as school holidays, and travel during quieter parts of the season. Not only will you pay less, but you’ll also have more space in the pool and shorter queues at the bar!
2. Be an Early Bird
Try and book your holiday as soon as you can, because there are often early booking discounts. It’s in the hotel’s interests to get booked up as soon as possible, so they can make all sorts of tempting offers.
3. Shop around
There are now countless apps who will do comparison shopping for you and there is a whole range of sites on which you can book a room at the hotel that you’ve already chosen. Don’t book on the first site you come to; shop around and see if you can get it cheaper anywhere else. Or, even better, find a site offering a lowest price guarantee. That way, you know you’re getting the best possible deal, without having to spend lots of time searching the internet.
4. Enjoy a Midweek Stay
Weekends are a hotel’s busiest time, so they are also the most expensive. Try and run your holiday Monday to Monday instead of Saturday to Saturday, for example, so only one weekend is incorporated into your stay. Or, if you’re taking a short break, try a weekday stay instead of a long weekend. You can often get a Monday to Friday break for the same price as a weekend break, so, if you can get the time off work, go for it!
5. Choose a Package Deal
A package deal is very often better value than paying for travel and accommodation separately, as travel companies can negotiate the best prices. There are other advantages to a package deal too: less hassle, and more protection if anything goes wrong with your holiday.
6. Watch out for Hidden Charges
Hidden charges are the bane of any holidaymaker. Make sure you read all of the small print and check that you are certain you are happy with the final price before paying. Bear in mind that some companies will charge you for using a credit or even a debit card, but offer no other option to pay. Just be prepared to see the price rise when it comes to paying.
7. Special Offers
Some travel websites will throw in special offers to encourage you to book with them. You may have to add these offers to your basket though, even though they are free, so make sure you check out every offer and take full advantage of them.
Price alone definitely isn’t everything. One website might sell you a room for an extra dollar or two per night, but offer free parking or even free breakfast with it. This is ultimately going to be much better value, so when comparing prices, make sure you factor in any freebies that you may be getting.
9. Be Flexible with Your Location
When you move slightly out of the city center or further from the beach, hotel prices can drop dramatically. You will be able to get better facilities and even a longer stay for the same amount of money, or leave yourself with lots of spare cash to use as spending money. Be careful, however, because it’s all very well moving from the center of things, but if you’re going to be getting taxis every day to and from where you want to be, it could end up costing you more. The best thing to do is stick to within walking distance but be prepared to walk a little further.
10. Sign up for Newsletters
Most travel companies have a newsletter in which they will send out all of the best deals. Sign up for these, and make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Some run competitions too, so you could even win a free holiday!
Overall, the best thing you can do is to research, research, research! The more work that you put into it now, the more fun you will have on your holiday.