Booking Hotels on a Budget

by Veronika Yatskevich
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On top of flights, hotels can take a big chunk of your travel budget. Here are a few ways to save money on accommodation wherever you travel in the world.

Plan your stay long in advance

Hotels often offer discounts to people booking nine months to a year in advance. If you’re able to commit this far ahead, it could save you money. Booking last minute can also sometimes get you good deals as hotels are eager to fill empty rooms, however you’re taking a greater risk here as good rooms may not always be guaranteed.

Don’t always trust the star rating

Star ratings aren’t always reliable – the standard widely differs from country to country. You’re far better off using sites like Trip Advisor to judge the reputation of a hotel. If you were hoping for a four star hotel, don’t ignore three star hotels during your search – some may be cheaper and just as good as their four star equivalents.

Choose your location wisely

Where you stay can also make an impact on the price. Hotels that are close to attractions or have stunning views are often a lot more expensive. If you’re prepared to walk twenty minutes to attractions or take public transport or drive from the hotel, you could save a lot of money.

Make use of club memberships

Hotels such as Courtyard St. Petersburg Clearwater are part of membership clubs – joining these clubs could allow you discounts on such hotels all around the world. These clubs can be especially useful if you stay in a lot of hotels. Before joining a club, it’s worth researching into the types of locations they offer so that you’re not paying membership fees for accommodation you’ll never use.

Try alternative accommodation

Hotels aren’t the only form of accommodation. If you’re backpacking, hostels are a very cheap option – you’ll have to share a room in some cases, but it could be a great place to meet other people travelling if you’re on your own. Campsites are also a cheap option – even if you don’t fancy staying in a tent, many have static caravans and lodges that can be very affordable. On top of these options, you could consider renting an apartment or trying homestay accommodation. Offering to do volunteer work as with this Chaing Mai volunteer project could even result in free accommodation.

Beware of hotel extras

When keeping your accommodation costs down, it’s important to not fall victim to hotel extras. Using the hotel minibar, checking out late or asking for extra towels could result in additional charges in some hotels. Some hotels may even charge a fee for using wi-fi or parking. These are all important costs to consider before you book a room – read information carefully online so that you always know what is included.

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