The price of a hotel room can be notoriously high if you simply book it the same way everyone does – going for one of the most popular rooms in one of the most popular cities at one of the most popular times of year, and so on.
So, does that mean the only route to an affordable hotel room is accepting horrendous compromises?
Not necessarily! Follow one or more of these hotel booking secrets to slash tens or even hundreds of pounds off what you spend on a hotel, guesthouse or bed and breakfast on your next holiday or business trip.
Book in advance
It sounds like such obvious advice, but it’s also vital advice if you know the demand will be high for your preferred hotel on your preferred date.
If there’s a high-profile event set to take place nearby at the same time – a major concert, conference, festival or whatever – you really can be sure that there will be heavy demand that could push up prices. That makes it even more crucial to book many months in advance, if possible.
Peruse the online booking portals
When you aren’t sure of which exact hotel you might fancy – or even if you are – it’s a good idea to look at the online booking portals and price comparison sites. After all, it’s here where you will find lots of hotels grouped together, with up-to-date prices that are easy to compare.
Head to Toprooms, for example, and perform a search, and you’ll notice a ‘Sort’ drop-down box on the search results page. Select the ‘Deals’ option, and you could find some pretty hefty discounts – think as much as 50% off, even for accommodation in London at relatively short notice.
Target new establishments
Once you’re sure of your destination, do a bit of research to see whether any hotels, bed and breakfasts or guesthouses have opened up there relatively recently.
Finding out could be a simple case of searching Google News for the name of your intended town, city or resort, followed by ‘hotel’ or ‘bed and breakfast’, to see whether the launch of any new establishment has been announced in the news. Alternatively, you could ask friends in that area if they know of any newly-opened accommodation.
New hotels – especially in slightly less fashionable locations – are often eager to start filling their rooms and getting the word out, so you may find that a discount or upgrade is easier to obtain.
In the mood for a city break? Try the summer
Imagine discovering the cultural and culinary delights of London, Manchester or Edinburgh in the summer sun. Surely, a hotel in such sought-after cities at such a time of year would set you back a bit?
You might think so, but actually, prices at big-city hotels are often restrained during the summer by the tendency for so many people to head to the coast. Target a weekday booking that avoids any big events such as arts festivals or Premier League football matches, and you really could snap up a brilliant deal. You could also sign up to Global Guardians who deal with vacant property security. You could get a great deal and could even stay in the property for a month!
Affording a holiday can be tricky even at the best of times, which is why it’s a good idea to save up money in advance – the Money Advice Service has some great tips for how to do this. Combine all of the aforementioned guidance, and you may be shocked by just how good a hotel you can afford on your next vacation or business trip.