The most expensive part of traveling outside of airfare tends to be hotels. If you’re staying somewhere for an extended period of time, the accumulative hotel fees may actually become more expensive than your airline tickets.
If you’re lucky you may have a friend or relative who lives in the location you are visiting, and they will have a spare bedroom ready for you. However, not everyone is so lucky and more often than not we need to fall back on hotels when traveling.
There are a few tips and tricks you can use to cut down on this expense; leaving you with more money to spend on your actual vacation.
Be Willing To Stay at Older or Less Popular Hotels
This seems so simple but it is advice that so few people will take. When someone sees an old looking hotel in a bad part of town they tend avoid it like poison.
Obviously you should not stay at a hotel if it looks so shady that it makes you concerned for your safety. That being said, all hotels look the exact same while you are sleeping. Keep in mind that this is about all you are using your hotel for during a vacation. It is a place to rest at night. During the day, you should be out exploring and getting the most of your vacation.
If you’re willing to settle on a bare-bones room and bed that is safe and clean, you’ll have a lot more money to enjoy your vacation.
Hotels in Small Cities are Cheaper
The larger the city, the more expensive their hotels become. The good news is that most major cities tend to have smaller towns scattered around their outskirts.
These suburbs are often only fifteen or twenty minutes outside the main city, which is a perfectly reasonable driving distance. You can save money by staying in a smaller town and then driving to the main city during the day.
This is also a good technique to use when looking for a hotel in the Caribbean. Hotels are often much cheaper outside the main areas. Take Curacao as an example. The hotels in Willemstad is usually very expensive while the hotels on the rest of the island can be a lot cheaper.
Finding Online Deals
There can sometimes be dozens if not hundreds of hotel options within driving distance of your vacation spot. Comparing the prices on all of them can be quite impractical; so more people have been turning to online services that check these prices for you.
These companies operate similarly to those that compare plane tickets. They check under every rock for deals and last minute savings that you might have missed. Sometimes hotels will release sudden and unexpected deals if they need to fill rooms, and these services pride themselves on being able to find these deals for you.
Be Willing to Bounce Between Different Hotels
Typically, hotels are cheaper if you stay in them for an extended period of time. They may offer you a special deal if you are willing to stay with them for a full week, for example.
However, in some rare cases it may be cheaper to bounce between different hotels. As mentioned earlier, some hotels release sudden deals if they need to get rooms filled. But these deals are sometimes only for a night or two to drive business. If you are using an online service to find cheap deals, be willing to shift between different hotels so that you can grab the cheapest deal available to you each night.
Compare prices of Bed and Breakfast Inns
Sometimes you can get good deals, and an awesome breakfast, by staying at a bed and breakfast instead of a chain hotel.