Having traveled extensively, I want to share the tactics I have used to experience wonderful hotels consistently, on a budget. Read on to find out how to save money on hotels.
Wants and Needs
Think before you do. Before searching for a hotel, it is important to think about what you are looking for. Assuming price is important, distinguishing between wants and needs is key. To give you an example, I am typing this on an extended road trip (the joys of working for yourself). Extended road trips can be expensive but if you shop wisely, less so. I would LOVE to stay in a five-star resort each night but can’t afford to. I need decent wifi, a quiet bedroom to get a good sleep and free parking. When trying to save money on a hotel, I look for my needs and only bring into play my wants if there is a tie between hotels (gotta love a good hot tub)!:)
Supply and Demand
Hotels run a fairly simple model based on supply and demand. The more demand a hotel has, the greater the incentive to keep prices high. Do you need to hit that city up on a weekend right in the middle of the summer? Flexibility helps in a big way. If you have the option to travel midweek or out of season, you can find big hotel savings during these times as hotels lower prices to keep occupancy levels up.
Use Tools to Help.
Technology is wonderful and when it comes to hotel booking, it really is your friend! Don’t go direct to a hotel website initially, use price comparison websites. I use hotels.com (click here if you like this article and wish to ‘pay it forward’ to Wealth-Hack) but there are lots of options Kayak, Trivago, Expedia, the list is endless. Filter results using your needs (not your wants) and remember, date flexibility really helps. Don’t like the daily rate? If you can, move the dates in and out a day or two to see if the daily rate is cheaper.
Previous searches can influence prices. It may be worth either cleaning out your browser cookies or opening up an ‘incognito’ window (Chrome) or new ‘private’ window (Safari) to ensure you look like a brand new prospective customer each time.
Another thing worth noting, once you get a price and the site says ‘says hurry! Only 1 room left!’. This actually means there is only one room left on their site. There are more than likely more rooms available on other price comparison sites. Don’t let pressure marketing bully you into clicking too quickly!
The Power of the Crowd
Call me a cynic but I don’t just rely on the star system associated with hotels. I love hearing from independent customers of that hotel before clicking the ‘book now’ button! A quick and easy way to do a check is to plug the hotel into Google maps. Google will display the average rating out of 5 from users who have commented. Wifi really important to you? Take a look at the comments and if you see a negative theme, vote with your feet! Also, Google helpfully gives you a price listing across multiple price comparison sites below. Consider this your last minute final price check before booking.
Save Money on Hotels by using ‘The New Hotel’
There is an alternative to traditional hotels which is to either rent a room or an entire apartment/home direct using a provider such as AirBnB. Again, the same rules on separating wants and needs and date flexibility hold true. If you can do both, you can save big! AirBnB is also ideal if you are traveling with a bigger group. Any method you can use to get your cost per person down helps.
And there you have it, you now have 5 top tips on how to save money on hotels prior to your next vacation season! What do you think? Have you used any of these tips before? Got any additional steps we should share? I hope this helps you save money! And if it does, why not learn how to use that money to transform your future. Click our Wealth-Hack article here to learn how to make your savings multiply!