How to Save Money on Hotel Bookings
Despite 2022 being the year of the GOAT (Greatest of all Trips) and statistics claiming 70% of leisure travellers plan to spend more on travel this year than the previous five years, times are tough. With an imbalance of rising fuel prices, energy costs, inflation, and overall cost of living against stagnant wages, many will debate whether they can afford to go away at all.
But fear not because our travel experts are here to help! Shop savvy and score your next hotel booking at a fantastic price, making that 'Greatest of all Trips' within your reach. Here's how…
Avoid booking hotels at peak times
We all know that hotels are pretty expensive during peak times like the school holidays and bank holidays. They also tend to be more expensive on Friday and Saturday nights or when a big event or festival is taking place close by.
The obvious answer is to book out-of-season when hotel prices are slashed. You'll also likely benefit from added perks such as free spa use, WiFi or a discount on meals in hotel restaurants. If hotels are quiet, they'll make their booking packages as attractive as possible to win our business. (Please note, we appreciate that not everyone can book out-of-season - hopefully, our other tips will help you!)
If you're planning a 3-day weekend getaway, try and book Saturday-Monday, rather than Friday-Saturday to secure a lower price. Or, for weekends away, consider looking at a 'business hotel.' As business travellers likely go home for the weekend, you might find hotels are more willing to offer a better price to fill their rooms.
Consider your location
Are you planning a city break? Often you'll find hotels in the city centre are much more expensive than hotels on the outskirts of town. So ask yourself, is the location the deciding factor? Or would you prefer to save money on an out-of-town hotel?
Consider this - your money is likely to go much further. You might even find you can book a high-end hotel with free parking for the same price as a budget hotel in the city.
Of course, if you're staying on the outskirts, you will need to consider the cost of travelling into the city centre to shop, dine out, visit art galleries and do everything else you want to do during your city break. So, find out how much it'll cost you to park or use public transport and weigh it up against the cost of booking a city centre hotel.
Use a comparison website
A great way to check the prices of lots of hotel booking sites at once is to use a comparison website. However, keep in mind that different comparison sites cover various booking sites, and prices can still vary from one to the next.
See if you can save by booking directly with the hotel
If you've got a price for a hotel booking from a travel comparison site or an online travel agency, it's still worth getting a direct quote. You will sometimes find that hotels offer direct bookers a better price as they won't pay commission to the comparison site. Other benefits of booking directly with a hotel include acquiring loyalty points and attractive freebies like WiFi.
Make use of price promises
Did you know that some travel and hotel booking sites offer price promises? This means they'll refund the difference if the price of the hotel you've booked drops before your stay or you find it cheaper elsewhere. The comparable hotel price must be based on identical terms to your original booking for this to work. Most hotels or travel sites won't go on screenshot evidence either - they'll need to be able to find the deal online themselves.
If the travel or hotel booking site doesn't offer a price promise, see if they offer free cancellation. That way, you can cancel and re-book your hotel room to benefit from the lower price.
Use cashback sites for hotel bookings
Have you considered booking a hotel through a cashback site? Essentially, these sites will pay you when you click through via their website to make a booking. However, cashback sites don't work with every hotel or online travel agency. So, it's only worth it if the money you get paid makes the hotel a lower price than booking directly on other websites.
See if the hotel includes breakfast
When booking a hotel room, see if the price includes breakfast. Now look and see how much it costs if breakfast isn't included. Sometimes you'll find the breakfast is cheap (and worth it), sometimes you'll find it adds on a significant cost, and you'd be better off visiting a nearby cafe or bakery.
Suppose you're booking a room with a hotel directly. In that case, it's worth asking if they'll throw in a complimentary breakfast to secure your booking. If you don't ask, you don't get!
Book through PlansChange
We couldn't compile this list of hotel booking tips without telling you about our amazing hotel discounts at PlansChange. We partner with top hotel chains and boutique hotels worldwide to offer our customers the best rooms at budget-friendly prices.
One of the reasons our hotel room prices are so low is because we sell non-refundable bookings. So, unfortunately, you won't get your money back from the hotel if you decide to cancel your booking. However - and it's a big HOWEVER, we've got a solution!
If you can't use your non-refundable hotel booking for any reason, you can resell it through PlansChange. Simply list it for the same price (or less) on our hotel room reseller marketplace and stand the best chance of getting your money back. And you needn't be a previous PlansChange customer to use our marketplace. It's open to anyone wanting to resell a hotel booking.
Check out our Hotel Resale Deals
Speaking of secondary hotel bookings, it's worth checking out our hotel resale deals page. Whether you've got a particular location in mind, or you're happy to go anywhere for a break, there are always lots of cheap hotel bookings to snap up! The page is regularly updated, so keep your eyes peeled.
Register for email alerts & loyalty schemes
Did you know that many hotels, online travel agencies and booking sites save the best deals for their subscribers and members? So it's worth subscribing to their emails to access exclusive deals, discounts and offers on hotel rooms.
Some hotels also have loyalty schemes you can sign up to. In exchange for your booking and any ancillary purchases you make, you will receive loyalty points to redeem against future bookings. Loyalty schemes are particularly beneficial to business travellers.
Psst…Another great thing about booking a hotel through PlansChange is that you'll still earn your hotel loyalty points as you pay the hotel directly!
Follow hotels and booking sites on social media
Special discounts and hotel room sales are often broadcast on social media, so make sure you're following PlansChange and other hotel chains.
There's also no harm in sending a cheeky Tweet or Instagram comment to ask if hotels, online travel agencies and booking sites have any special deals.
If you're visiting a particular hotel, consider tagging them in a post about how excited you are about your stay. If it attracts their attention on social media, there might be an opportunity to score a free upgrade. It's always worth a try!
Ready to give our tips a go? Start your search for discounted hotel bookings with PlansChange.