Overview: What You Need to Know about Booking Hotel Rooms (Discount Hotels and Cheap Hotel Rooms)
Whether you’re planning the perfect getaway or trying to travel on the cheap for an unexpected event, booking hotel rooms is an important item on your itinerary.
No matter where you’re headed or why you’re traveling, you still need somewhere to lay your head when nighttime rolls around.
In order to avoid couch surfing among family and friends, you may find yourself hunting on hotel sites for a cheap accommodation to get you through.
Image Source: Booking Hotel Rooms
Finding a deal on hotel rooms can be relatively fast and painless. If you know how to search correctly and what you’re looking for, cheap hotel rooms are a dime a dozen.
AdvisoryHQ wants to make your next travel experience even easier by teaching you the ins and outs of budget-friendly hotel reservations and how to navigate discount hotel websites.
Find out what tips and tricks other travelers are using to save a pretty penny on their hotel booking as we dive into another money-saving discovery.
Hotel rooms are easy to come by, but you could score some steep discounts by not booking hotel rooms in advance.
Advance hotel booking is great for families who may not want to risk having a night without lodging with little ones in tow. However, if you have any flexibility in your travel accommodations at all, you might find significantly discounted hotel reservations at the very last minute.
According to Bankrate.com, you can often find many hotel rooms at discounted rates after 6:00 p.m. when hotels are certain that their previously scheduled reservations aren’t planning on arriving.
In order for them to fill those hotel rooms as quickly as possible, you can negotiate for a cheap accommodation for the night. Not to mention, showing up in person and having the ability to barter and negotiate with managers can score you better bargains that you would be able to obtain through hotel sites.
The other benefit to this travelling tip is that it allows you to physically lay eyes on the room you will be staying in prior to making a commitment. A brief hotel search through one of the numerous discount hotel websites doesn’t allow you the same luxury. Cheap hotel rooms aren’t always top of the line, and you can eliminate hotel rooms that have heavy odors or are generally less than clean when you see them in person.
Book Well in Advance
Alternatively, some experts state that you can receive similar discounts on hotel rooms by booking them well in advance of your actual travel dates. This will only work for you if you are confident in your ability to follow through with your travel plans on those specific dates.
It’s recommended that in order to find cheap hotel rooms through this route, you make your hotel reservations more than one month prior to your desired dates.
From this point in time, you can continuously keep an eye on the rates of the hotel rooms you were interested in.
Should they drop significantly, you can always make a few phone calls to the hotel or to the discount hotel websites to see if they will honor the new lower price or provide you with an upgrade option to make your stay more comfortable.
Image Source: Cheap Hotel Rooms
While neither of these options are guaranteed, it’s still likely that you will get a great deal on hotel rooms through advance booking. This gives you more security and peace of mind than traveling without hotel reservations. If you have a van full of children accompanying you on your trip, this option for cheap hotel rooms may also be more appealing than winging it.Don’t Miss: HotelTonight Reviews & App | What You Should Know about HotelTonight’s Last-Minute Deals
All-in-One Change Management Tools
Top Rated Toolkit for Change Managers.
Get Your Change Management Tool Today...
Travel During the Off-Season
If your vacation dates aren’t set in stone, traveling opposite of the peak times of year can save you a bundle when it comes to hotel booking. Discount hotels are easier to spot when they aren’t booked solid for months to come.
Hotel rooms can go for a premium rate during their peak travel seasons, which can vary depending on your destination. For example, many travelers prefer to visit Europe in the summertime, but the European tourist season begins to wane as winter approaches.
A quick hotel search will likely reveal more success booking hotel rooms for cheap during these off-season times. Not only that, but seasoned travelers also point out that you face shorter wait times, and these locations are generally less busy than they are during prime tourist seasons.
Did you have your heart set on seeing your favorite city during a specific time of year? You can still save some money by hunting for cheap hotel rooms on the fringes of their peak tourist seasons.
You can find a cheap accommodation that is slightly lower than primetime rates by opting for a date just a few weeks outside of their busiest season. It isn’t likely that you’ll save the same amount as you would by doing a hotel search for their complete off-season, but you may still find a bargain and get the best of both worlds.
In addition to traveling during the off-season, you can also consider getting hotel rooms during less desirable days of the week. In most cities, you can find cheap hotel rooms midweek when compared to the prices you would pay for weekend days.
The exception to this would be for cities where most of the travel is business-related. In these instances, the city is usually empty on weekends, and hotel rooms are cheaper through the weekend than they are during the business week.
How many membership programs do you shell out for each year without even realizing all of the added benefits? Programs like AAA or AARP can also help you get discounts on hotel rooms when you’re traveling. When you call to make reservations or book through hotel websites, be sure to inquire about whether or not they issue discounts for hotel rooms for the programs you are a part of.
Furthermore, you may receive discounts on hotel rooms for your occupation. Mention your line of work when you call to do your hotel booking, and a few cheap hotel rooms may pop up.
Many places will offer discounts on hotel rooms for active duty or retired military, first responders, or teachers. It never hurts to ask about these types of discounts upfront. After all, the worst they can do is tell you no.
Hotel websites may also have membership or loyalty programs that can get you free hotel reservations after booking hotel rooms with them a set number of times. Perhaps the heavily advertised Hotels.com features one free night stay after booking a total of ten nights through their discount hotel websites.
If you’re the type of person who prefers to shop in just one location and call it done for the day, you’re likely missing out on a lot of cheap accommodation options. Hotel booking is done well when you have thoroughly checked through several discount hotel websites before you make a decision.
It would be nice if we could point to one or two specific hotel websites that are guaranteed to provide you with the best rates each and every time.
Unfortunately, hotel booking can vary so widely that this is never the case. Instead of checking just one of the myriad discount hotel websites available on the internet, make sure to do a hotel search on at least three prior to making your hotel reservations.
Don’t forget to read the fine print on each of these discount hotel websites as well. You may find that your hotel reservations are nonrefundable and nontransferable. If you’re booking hotel rooms well in advance of your trip and think you may need to cancel for any reason, you could be in big trouble.
Hotel sites may give you flexibility to cancel your hotel reservations closer to your travel date, but they may also lock you into those travel plans with no way out.
If this is the case, consider calling the hotel directly and asking them to match the prices you found on their hotel rooms through discount hotel websites. Hotel booking accomplished this way is likely to give you more flexibility should you need to cancel or rearrange your dates.
Not to mention, making hotel reservations through the company instead of through hotel sites may lead to upgrades. As an incentive to book directly through them, they may throw in free Wi-Fi or late checkout as a bonus.
Bundle Services Together
Taking a major trip often calls for more than just discount hotels and a detailed hotel search. Making flight arrangements or rental car reservations can be just as important. Discount hotel websites can arrange all three of these services for you quickly and conveniently so you can be on your merry way in no time at all.
Image Source: Groupon Getaway
It may be tempting to do your hotel booking separately from all of these other add-on items, but aggregate sites like Expedia, Kayak, and Priceline may offer you discounts for making all three reservations through the same avenue. It makes it easier on you to conduct your hotel search, flight search, and rental car search all through one convenient location, and it takes the headache out of arranging three separate services.
Bundling your services together can make your life easier and can save you a healthy chunk of money through discount hotel websites.
Popular Article: Best Cheap Online Shopping Sites | Ranking & Reviews
Search Unconventional Sources
Don’t confine your hotel search to well-known discount hotel websites or major chain hotels. You can find a large assortment of discount hotels through more unconventional methods of shopping and performing a hotel search. One of the best places to find discount hotels is through daily deal sites like Groupon or Living Social. You can find luxurious accommodations in sought-after cities at heavily discounted rates. Certain packages may even allow you to bundle flights, rental cars, and hotel rooms into one neat package.
Of course, you need to be certain to read all of the fine print on these deals, just as you would through discount hotel websites. These deals may seem spectacular at first, but they may limit your hotel reservations to specific days of the week or specific times of the year. If your travel dates and plans are relatively flexible, you can find incredible bargains through a quick hotel search on one of these sites. If they’re set in stone, however, you may be better off looking for discount hotels elsewhere.
Discount hotels may not be the only way to go. Being open to alternative options for your accommodations can help you to find more comfortable arrangements for around the same price or lower. Many people are now renting out their homes or specific areas of their homes in lieu of hotel rooms and tedious hotel booking. To find out more information or to price the stay of a more casual hotel booking in someone’s personal abode, consider conducting a search through one of these avenues:
Image Source: Couch Surfing
While there are certainly other options out there for unconventional hotel reservations, this route allows you to find a cheap accommodation instead of major chain hotels.
Search for Smaller Hotels
Many of the popular hotel sites feature large chain hotels or larger scale businesses. By doing a quick hotel search of the area for smaller local hotel options, you may find cheap hotel rooms much more quickly.
These hotels may not want to spend the additional advertising dollars to be featured on aggregate sites, but that doesn’t mean they can’t offer savings to customers. Especially if you can negotiate with a manager or supervisor based on the rates available on similar rooms through other hotel sites, you may be able to request and receive a discount on hotel reservations through these smaller locations.
Additionally, bed and breakfasts and small hotels may feature hearty breakfast choices that make up for a slight difference in cost compared to well-known hotel options. You are saving money for an additional meal by bundling it with your hotel rooms.
Conclusion | Guide on Booking Hotel Rooms
Booking hotel rooms can be a tedious chore, and it does take some time if you want to find cheap hotel rooms or some other type of cheap accommodation.
By having a little bit of savvy traveling knowledge, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars on hotel reservations. Search for your travel plans well in advance or late in the game to save the most money, and travel during your destination city’s off-times for even heavier discounts.
As always, be sure to read and understand all of the fine print before booking hotel accommodations through any hotel websites. If you need flexibility with your hotel booking, make sure it is included in the details of your hotel reservations before you fork over any of your credit card information.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.