When you are travelling, whether for a holiday or for a longer trip, one of the biggest costs you will incur is your accommodation. Wherever you are jetting off to, you will need somewhere to sleep and keep your luggage while you are away, and there are many different types of accommodation available to travellers and holidaymakers.
Your accommodation tastes will be down to your own personal preferences, and while some travellers will be happy in a basic hostel, others might prefer a more luxurious arrangement. Whatever your jet setting style is, there is no need to pay over the odds for your accommodation.
There are a few tips and tricks you can use to get a good deal, and this guide explains how to find good accommodation on a budget.
Shop around and shop direct
When it comes to booking a hotel, there are hundreds of websites offering the best deals and discounts, and it is important to shop around to find a genuine bargain. Use online travel agent sites such as Expedia and Booking.com to search for hotels available in your destination and for your dates.
These sites are great for getting an idea of what accommodation options you have available to you, and they will provide full details such as facilities and photos.
Once you have found a few potential hotels on these sites, head to the hotel’s official website and check their direct prices and offers. Most hotels will offer the best rates and other benefits to customers that book directly with them as opposed to through online travel agents. If they have the option to sign up to a loyalty programme or newsletter then make the most of it, as a lot of these schemes offer further discounts and freebies and are completely free to join.
Many hotels will offer discounts on longer stays, so think about staying for more than one night. It is not uncommon to get deals like stay for four nights and only pay for three.
Consider the location
It is often tempting to choose accommodation that is out of town in order to save a bit of money. Many hotels that are farther from the action will be much cheaper than those in more central locations, but they are often much more inconvenient.
There is little sense in staying out of town if you then need to pay more for transport costs, as by the time you have added the price of taxis, buses or other means of getting around then the chances are you won’t have saved any cash at all.
Choose your accommodation in a location that is within walking distance of most attractions and public transport links. You might pay slightly more for the privilege, but you will have little or no additional transport costs.
Avoid peak seasons
Every destination will have its peak and off-peak seasons, and even the cheapest of accommodations will increase their prices during peak months. It is not advised to travel in off-peak seasons as the weather will be against you, and many attractions may be closed completely. Instead, opt for the shoulder season, which is the time in-between peak and off-peak.
Hotels will be cheaper than in the peak months, but the weather will still be reasonable, and attractions will be open for business. For example, Europe is generally most expensive and busiest between June and August, so opt to travel in either May or September and save.
When you choose to travel in the shoulder season not only will your accommodation be cheaper, but flights will often be less, and destinations will not be as crowded and busy.
Split the cost with houses and apartments
If you are travelling in a group or as a family, then consider staying in a rental home or apartment instead of a hotel. They will almost always be a cheaper option, and you can split the cost between the group if you get a place big enough for you all.
Not only will the accommodation be cheaper, but you will also have your own cooking and cleaning facilities, so you can save on dining out regularly and choose to have some meals in your rental. Use sites such as Airbnb to find local rental homes in your destination, and you might be surprised at the amazing and unusual accommodation options available to you.
Always check the reviews and photos of Airbnb listings carefully before deciding on accommodation for your trip. One of the great benefits of choosing an Airbnb is you will also get to speak with your host who will likely have a lot of first-hand knowledge of the area.