We all know travelling can be expensive, so what can be done about it? Accommodation is the number 1 thing we try to cut costs on purely because these days with sites like TripAdvisor, even cheap accommodation has to maintain an excellent standard. Also when it comes to visiting a city, we spend the majority of the day exploring so would rather spend the money whilst we are out rather than when we are asleep! So here are our Top 10 tips to help you save some $$$ when booking your next holiday accommodation.
Sign up to a Cashback site and make sure you remember to use it each time you book accommodation. This allows you to receive between 2-10% refund each time you make a booking.
Read my previous blog ‘How to get cash back when booking holidays’ for more details
2. Location Location Location!
Try to book somewhere central and close to public transport if possible to save on time and potential cab fares. Also if you stay a few blocks further away from main attractions you will find there is usually a significant saving to be had.
3. Rewards & Loyalty Programs
Lots of hotel booking sites offer loyalty rewards but my absoulute favourite is the one offered by www.hotels.com which offers 1 FREE night for every 10 nights you book.
If you book more than 15 nights in one year on www.booking.com you will be automatically upgrade you to ‘Genius’ status which entitles you to a further 10% discount off certain hotels and other benefits such as later check out and complimentary drink on arrival.
4. Shared vs Private Bathrooms
There is usually a pretty big difference in price here, it can be 50% at times. For us, sharing a bathroom is not a big deal because we spend most of our day out exploring and would rather spent the money saved on food! Check reviews first though, some shared bathrooms are as clean as a private bathroom whilst others can be horrid.
5. Hotel vs Hostel/Guest House
This is a common question people ask me about. Here are the main things to note:
– uses a star rating system
– formal atmosphere
– mostly private rooms
– can have room service and room cleaning
– catered for all age groups
– no star rating system, highly reliant on TripAdvisor review
– usually casual and laid back atmosphere
– dorms and private rooms
– no room service but can have room cleaning depending on the hostel
– caters for 18-35 year olds (approximately)
In terms of price, hostels are normally cheaper however a 1-2 star hotel can be equally as cheap. We tend to stay in hostels generally because its a bit more laid back, the staff are usually up to date with things to do which suit our age group and its a great way to meet people.
6. Free Breakfast
Plenty of hostels and hotels offer free breakfast. This saves you both time and money.
7. Free cancellation
Booking.com are particularly good when it comes to this. It is usually clearly stated before you book if free cancellation is offered. The benefits of this are:
– if you change your mind or have a change in travel plans, it is literally a click of a button to cancel your booking
– if you want to lock in a popular hotel/hostel but you see the price drop, you can cancel it an quickly rebook to take advantage of the price drop
8. Price guarantee
Some sites offer a price guarantee which means that if you find the same.accommodation cheaper on the same dates they can match it or in some cases beat it even if you have already booked.
Some accommodation sites offer a discount if you are booking with them for the first time such as with
– Airbnb: using this link both of us will get €26 credit off the next booking (only if you are a new user)
10. Trustworthy websites
There are hundreds of websites out there, but after using dozens of different websites, we’ve narrowed it down to a select few which offer the best prices and are the most reliable. Here are our recommendations (these sites offer both hotel and hostel accommodation)
So that’s our Top 10 recommendations. Make sure to read other travellers reviews prior to booking anything, as often the description written by the hotel can be very deceptive!
Happy travels 🙂