Discover the top 10 hacks for saving on hotel bookings! Learn how to book cheap hotels for affordable stays without sacrificing quality.
Traveling is an enriching experience, but it often comes with a hefty price tag, especially regarding accommodations.
However, there are hacks to save money on hotels without compromising comfort and quality.
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I wrote this guide with the 10 best hacks for saving money on hotel bookings.
How to book cheap hotels
- Use the Booking.com mobile app for CHEAPTER RATES.
- Join comparison sites loyalty programme.
- Be flexible with your dates.
- Search for newly opened hotels.
- Turn on your VPN when searching for hotels.
- Ask the hotel for a direct booking price.
- Check out websites with secret deals.
- Join hotel chain Loyalty Programs.
- Look for last-minute deals.
- Book cheap hotels on Roomer.
1. Use the Booking.com mobile app for CHEAPTER RATES.
Booking.com is my favorite hotel booking platform because of its good user experience.
It also provides many filters, like a gym, good reviews, distance to the city center, etc., that make it easy to find a hotel that meets your expectations.
Did you know?
Many hotels are cheaper in the app than on the booking.com website!
Booking.com has noted that over half of their reservations are made on mobile devices. They incentivize hotels to offer special mobile-only discounts to capitalize on this trend.
In return, these hotels gain enhanced visibility on the platform and are awarded a badge indicating their participation in the program.
2. Join comparison sites loyalty programme
Many comparison sites, like booking.com or hotels.com, have loyalty programs to get free nights, breakfast, upgrades, or discounts on stays.
I’m at level three of booking.com’s Genius loyalty program and get a discount of up to 20% at participating hotels!
Hotels.com offers a loyalty program where you earn one free night after staying for 10 nights.
3. How to book cheap hotels – Be flexible with your dates
It’s not a secret that hotels charge much more on weekends or during the high season.
If you want to stay in luxurious hotels while sticking to your budget, consider booking during mid-week in the off-season.
4. Search for newly opened hotels
Keep an eye on newly opened hotels, as they often offer special introductory rates to establish their reputation and accumulate reviews. This is a fantastic opportunity to stay at upscale hotels that are usually quite expensive.
Insider Tip: Many excellent websites list newly opened hotels, so you don’t have to search them.
5. Turn on your VPN when searching for hotels
Using a VPN can help you find better deals on hotel bookings, as prices sometimes vary based on your geographic location.
I wrote a detailed guide on using a VPN to book hotels cheaper and save money.
6. Ask the hotel for a direct booking price
It is also worth it to message hotels to ask if they offer a better rate if you book directly with them.
Whenever you book a room on platforms like booking.com or hotels.com, the hotel has to pay a commission to these platforms.
This hack works exceptionally well on AirBnB! Just be smart about how you formulate your message, as AirBnB will automatically block any words they interpret as you try to book off the platform.
7. Check out websites with secret deals.
Use websites like Secret Escapes to get significant discounts on luxury hotels.
Due to agreements with platforms like Booking.com, these hotels are restricted from publicly advertising better deals elsewhere. For this reason, websites like Secret Escapes are exclusively for members.
Membership, however, is often free as these sites earn money from hotel commissions for every booking made.
The concept is straightforward: hotels aim to avoid vacant rooms, so they offer these rooms at reduced rates, which works to your advantage.
This approach requires flexibility, as your options regarding specific locations and dates might be limited.
Websites with secret deals:
8. Join hotel chain Loyalty Programs
Another hack to save money on hotel bookings is to join hotel chain loyalty programs.
You might get free upgrades, welcome drinks, high-speed WIFI, complimentary breakfast, or lounge access, depending on your status.
Hotel Chain Loyalty Programs:
9. Look for last-minute deals.
Looking for last-minute hotel deals is one of the best ways to save money on hotels.
Hotels often reduce prices at the last minute to fill up rooms that would otherwise remain unoccupied. This is a win-win situation; the hotel increases occupancy, and you get a room at a fraction of the usual cost.
Websites to find last-minute deals:
10. Book cheap hotels on Roomer
Many hotel reservations are non-refundable, and unforeseen plan changes can lead to financial loss.
Roomer serves as a marketplace for these non-refundable hotel bookings, enabling individuals who cannot utilize their reservations to sell them to others.
This is where you can find opportunities to save money by purchasing other people’s hotel reservations.
Frequently Asked Questions – How to Book Cheap Hotels
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What is the best time to book a hotel to get the lowest rates?
Typically, booking 1-3 months in advance for peak seasons and a few weeks ahead for off-peak times can secure lower rates. Last-minute bookings can also offer significant savings.
Are there benefits to booking directly with a hotel?
Booking directly can sometimes offer better rates or perks like room upgrades, free breakfast, or loyalty points.
Can I really save money by booking hotels during the week?
Yes, mid-week bookings often come with lower prices compared to weekends, especially during a hotel’s off-peak periods.
Is it cheaper to book hotels last minute?
Yes, hotels often reduce prices at the last minute to fill empty rooms, leading to potential savings.
Do price comparison websites always offer the best deals?
They are a great starting point, but it’s also wise to check the hotel’s own website and consider alternative booking methods for potential better deals.
Can using a VPN help me find cheaper hotel rates?
Sometimes. Prices can vary based on your browsing location, so using a VPN might reveal different pricing.
Are there specific websites for finding discounted luxury hotels?
Yes, websites like Secret Escapes specialize in discounted rates for luxury hotels, often requiring free membership.
How does booking a hotel with a free cancellation policy help save money?
It offers flexibility to cancel and rebook if you find a cheaper rate closer to your travel date.
Can I save money on hotels by traveling during the off-season?
Absolutely. Hotels typically lower their rates during off-peak times when demand is lower.