10 must know tricks for cheap hotel booking

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Flights tickets and Hotel bookings are the most expensive part of travel. In this post, I will share with you my 10 must know tricks for cheap hotel booking. If you haven’t read my guide on booking the cheapest flight possible in your budget. Please do read it along with this guide and next time you travel, apply the tricks you have learned here to your bookings. Without wasting any more time, let’s begin.

Hold great rates with free cancellation

So you have decided on your vacation destination and are yet to book flight tickets or even yet to decide on your dates. Do not wait, take advantage of the free cancellation option provided by most of the booking websites including Booking.com, Agoda.com, and Hotels.com and reserve your room for a few dates that you plan.

This not only allows you to reserve early but also helps you to see hotel rates, so you can plan exact dates of your vacation. Do remember to book for a few dates and in different parts of the city (as you haven’t yet decided where to stay).

Pro tip: Final Hotel booking should be done considering the flight prices for the dates of your travel and vice versa. Booking either Hotels or Flights without considering the cost of the other is not a good idea as often you might end up paying more for one of the two. Always calculate the total cost of flights and hotels before making your bookings final.

Decide where to stay

Now you have some idea about the prices for the dates of your visit. It is time to decide on what you plan to do at your travel destination and decide on which part of the town are you going to spend your most time. It could be that you plan to spend most of your time in the city or you might intend to spend most of your time on excursions out of the city.

If your trip is for lesser than 3 days, stay close to the place where you plan to spend the most time on. For longer trips, you should stay at multiple places and visit places closer to you place of stay. As often moving around will save you a lot of time.

Decide on your budget

Making a hard decision on your budget even before you have checked a few places is not a good idea. If you have a predetermined budget you will either end up paying too much or reserve a place at an undesirable location.

Hotel prices vary all year round and are different for different regions. You can always start with a lower or higher budget and then move to the price that you think will get you the right place. Do remember after you have finalized your place of stay. Look at few of the hotels in that region and then decide on your budget.

Try off-season or shoulder season

Hotel prices much like airline prices are affected by demand. Obviously in off-season and shoulder season, as the demand is less so are the prices and you can easily expect to get a great deal in such time.

After exploring a few hotels if you feel like the hotel prices are too costly. You should consider the option of trying for off-season and shoulder season. You might get a deal too hot to resist. However, do read the weather conditions and other details before making your decision to postpone your travel.

Use Google maps for finalizing your hotel

Websites like Booking.com, Agoda, and Hotels.com. Offer one of the cheapest rates and plenty of deals. They also offer map view that can help in research but all of these websites scan from different databases and none of them have complete data. Due to this lack of completeness, if you only rely on one or many of these websites, you might miss a few hotels in the area of you choice.

So how does this work? Open google maps and search for hotel, zoom in or zoom out to the area of your interest and click search in this area. Google maps will show you hotels in the area. See map above for how it looks.

Now click on each of these hotels and check their prices on the multiple websites that Google has partnered with. Make a list of the cheapest and best hotels as per your budget and requirement. But don’t book just yet.

Use Google search to find the best deals

Google search is a powerful tool in any search. Now that we have shortlisted a few hotels to stay on our dates of choice. We will try to search for better deals on these hotels and there is no better place to search than Google.

Before we begin our search, we will change our location to the country we plan to visit. Why you may ask? Well changing the country to the country we plan to visit will get us localized results for all the websites including local hotels aggregator websites which a lot of times offer a much better deal than the Global hotel aggregator websites like Booking.com

To change the country go to google.com and then look for settings on the lower right of your webpage. Click that and go to search settings. Under Region Settings, change to the country you are planning to visit and click Save.

Go back to google.com and enter the hotel name. Google.com search results will display local results clubbed with global ones. Make sure to check the first five pages. Check each of the links. If you need to translate the page, you can do so by going to google translate

Most of links will be related to well established hotels aggregator websites. Do remember to sign in to each of these websites as most of them offer better rates or coupon codes to logged in members. Don’t worry if you don’t have an account, its a one time process and will help in your research in all your future trips.

Search for Coupon codes

Coupons websites like coupons.com or RetailmeNot.com are one-stop websites for all coupon search. Before clicking that pay now button, do try to check the coupons page for the hotel of your choice on these websites.

Most of the time the coupons codes don’t work as they are specific to some conditions being met. However, do try top five coupons mentioned on each of these sites.

Last minute deals

If you have been holding on to your free cancellation booking for too long since you never got time to do the research as suggested in the previous steps. You still have a chance to save some money.

Last minute deals are where a hotel tries to sell its room at a reduced price. There are multiple websites that offer such deals. My personal favorite is hoteltonight.com.Expedia also has a last minute deals page

One of the newer variations to this market is roomertravel.com. This website offers rooms from people who can’t use theirs. If you book a hotel through this website, it gives back some of the money to the original buyer and you get the room at a reduced price. However, I do recommend to not wait for last minute deals if possible as in most cases you will not get a better deal than what you have reserved as your free cancellation in step 1.

Home Rentals

Home rentals have gained in popularity in the past few years. Spearheaded by AirBnb, Home rentals not only help you save money but also let you stay like a local and experience life as a local.

Home rentals may be either complete home or shared with other tenants or the house owner. This is really a good option if you traveling as a family or have longer stay at a place as you can get multiple rooms and kitchen at a much cheaper price.

Once you have finalized your hotel using the tricks mentioned above. Go to each of these websites Airbnb, homeaway.com, homestay.com, wimbu.com and find a place within your budget. Each of these websites also have map view which will help you finalize a place of stay.

Compare the options available for home rentals and hotel that you finalized in the previous steps and then decide what is best for you.

Credit cards

When used right Credit cards help you save money. This is true in the case of Hotels as well. Sign up for the best Hotels reward credit card that your credit score allows and enjoy the benefits of rewards on travel spends and everyday spends.

One of the top cards is Capital One Venture card, which offers 50,000 Bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

The timing of opening a new credit card is important. Travel is expensive and this provides us with an opportunity to apply for a credit card just before our travel so that we can enjoy the maximum benefits. Doing this before every travel is a good practice.

Along with standard bank cards. Do consider cards issued by hotel chains and booking websites. These cards tend to offer points on staying in one of the hotels, which can later be exchanged for free upgrades or free stays. A few popular ones are Expedia rewards, Hotels.com rewards, and Mariott Rewards program.

Now, I have not mentioned many other options that help you save money like House sitting, Couch Surfing, House swapping and mystery deals offered by Priceline and Hotwire as they generally are not very practical for most of the travelers. However, if you are interested, go ahead and click on each of the links to explore more.

That’s it for now. Now go ahead, follow this guide and book your hotel. Do tell me how you liked my post on 10 must know tricks for cheap hotel booking and if it helped you save some money. I love to hear from my readers. Also, comment below what are some of your cool hotel booking tricks.

Do check out my guide on how to book the best flight ticket in your budget. Hotels and flight tickets are the most expensive part of travel. Combining both these guides will surely give you a great result. Also, stay tuned as in coming days I will publish my post on how to plan your trip.

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2 Thoughts to “10 must know tricks for cheap hotel booking”

  1. Danny

    I am new t traveling. Wil save some money. thanks

  2. Jane Doe

    She actually knows what she’s talking about. I’m hooked!

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