8 top tips for finding cheap hotels
We all want the perfect hotel when we go away - one in the town-centre, with an enormous bedroom and an ocean view, breakfast included and preferably with someone on staff who speaks English. The search for a good hotel at a low price is no easy task, but with a few handy tips you will be sure to make the best choice.
There are about 20 price comparison websites to search. Using one of these websites is invaluable to anyone searching for a bargain when it comes to hotels. These sites clearly display all price and quality options available, allowing you to compare what's out there before you book. Trawling through price comparators will take a while, but at least you will have a good idea of what you can get for your buck.
Keep checking every day
Hotel prices change from day to day - something usually referred to as yield management, whereby prices are set in accordance to demand. It's generally worthwhile to not just use comparison sites alone. Take the time to look at all of the hotels' individual websites in the city you are looking to stay in, and keep checking prices over the course of several days; especially as there might be a special offer on.
Do your homework
A good price isn't the only thing that's important; make sure you are getting something decent for the money you are spending. Hotel experts, journalists, customer reviews - anyone and everyone can post their opinions on the internet, making it easier to avoid those unwanted surprises. If a hotel is very cheap, there is usually a good reason for it, unless it is just a really good offer, but always be sure to check first.
In the mad battle to get customers to book with their site, certain operators will leave out hidden charges. Always remember that unless you are booking an all-inclusive hotel, prices will be relatively more in order to cover the cost of meals. Carefully compare each individual offer, with the use of a comparison site. Breakfast, Wi-Fi, a gym, swimming pool or spa...these extras are free in some hotels, but equally could incur added costs in others. Each hotel will have its own policy on customer use of the facilities, so be rigorous in your research to avoid breaking the bank.
Do your research on your destination
The middle of town isn't always the best location for a hotel, especially if you are looking for something reasonably priced. Even though in the UK and the rest of Europe everything is built around the city-centre, that's not always the case in the rest of the world. New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Sydney...none of these cities really have a city-centre as such. So make sure you do your research, decide where you want to stay and try and find a hotel in that area. If you get a cheap hotel, there is always the risk of you losing the money you saved on public transport. For example, if you are planning to go to London to go shopping along Oxford Street, you wouldn't book a hotel in the suburbs.
Choose a good time to travel
Hotel prices, along with flights and package holidays are subject to increases during the school holidays. If you are able to go away outside school holiday dates you will usually be able to save a considerable amount of money. If you manage to book your getaway whilst the kids are still at school (check UK term dates) you will not only save money but also gain on comfort - tourist spots will be far less busy, hotels less full and you can be certain not to have to fight over the last room. Families will obviously not have a choice in the matter.
Choose the right day to travel
In the same way that choosing the right time of year to go away will save you money, so will choosing the right day of the week. Travelling during the week instead of at the weekend is always far cheaper. If you arrive at your hotel on a Tuesday instead of a Saturday for example you could pay half as much, so try and be as flexible as possible. A room in a cheap hotel can be nearly impossible to find at the weekend. Travelling during the week won't just save you money, if you're going to Rome for a weekend to visit the Sistine Chapel - you will pay extra and may have to queue for an hour or two, so it is well worth looking into the possibility of a mid-week getaway.
Decide on your budget and stick to it
After you have decided how much money you are willing to spend, also think about what kind of star-rating you are looking for in your ideal hotel. If you stick to these criteria, and keep making daily checks on any new deals available you will be sure to save money, find a good-quality hotel and maybe even benefit from added luxury extras. Certain hotels that are struggling to fill their rooms off-peak offer incredible deals on price comparison sites, especially for those prepared to book in advance. In these cases it's not unusual to find a four- or five-star hotel for the price of a three-star establishment.
How to find and book a hotel
Hotel prices change all the time, so our search engine displays prices in real-time.
Hotel booking centres respect daily yield management systems (the handling of prices according to availability) which causes prices to vary several times a week. This system is applied to better spread supply and demand throughout the year. With the Easyvoyage UK real-time prices you are less likely to be caught out by inaccurate prices.