Top tips for a cheap hotel stay from booking hacks to how to get a free upgrade
When you’re booking a cheap holiday, sometimes the accommodation costs can take up a frustratingly big chunk our of your budget – but that doesn’t have to be the case.
In fact from the moment you book your stay through to check out, there are a few easy hacks and tricks that could help you get the most bang for your buck, leaving you with more money to spend on making the most of your time abroad.
To give you a helping hand, the experts at Hotels.com have shared some of their insider secrets for a budget break, from nabbing the best value hotel room to bagging a free upgrade.
They’ve even highlighted the cheapest month to travel – and how you can use it to your advantage and find deals on five-star hotels with rooms for under £50 a night.
Read on to become a hotel booking expert yourself…
1. January is the cheapest month to travel
There’s no better way to get over the January blues than with a hotel break – and the first month of the year is one of the quietest travel months. Therefore, it’s the perfect time to grab a bargain; in fact, Hotels.com found amazing deals on five-star hotels around the world where rooms are under £50 a night…
Jakarta, Indonesia from £45: The Alila Jakarta hotel is right by the national monument and a ten-minute walk from highlights such as the Merdeka Palace.
Marrakech, Morocco from £44: The luxurious Riad Granvilier is located just steps from the iconic Jemma-El-Fna market.
Rome, Italy from £47: The quaint and charming B&B L’Arca is a real bargain, and boasts an enviable location near the Borghese Gallery.
(All prices are based per room, per night).
2. Sunday nights are usually cheaper for city hotel stays
Weekend travelles have left the city, and you’ll miss the Monday morning business rush too. Lots of hotels run offers on Sunday nights – and it’s the night you’re most likely to get an upgrade because the hotel’s unlikely to be at maximum capacity.
3. Book on mobile
More and more travellers are booking hotels while on the go. In fact, Hotels.com’s Mobile Travel Tracker has revealed that 54% of people have booked a hotel on their smartphone – not to mention you could find special exclusive deals on the apps.
4. Stay in the business district
Cities such as Tokyo, London, Brussels and Sao Paulo boast vibrant business districts and as the hotels are aimed for business travellers, you can find some fantastic room rates during the weekends when hotels are less likely to be occupied.
5. Make the most of loyalty programmes
It can pay to be loyal, as loyalty programmes often offer members the best rates, as well discount coupons, free nights and VIP services. For example with Hotels.com Rewards when you book and stay 10 nights, you get one reward night.
6. Travel with your pet for more space
Sometimes pet-friendly hotels allocate the biggest rooms to those travelling with man’s best friend, so you could get a more spacious and comfortable room.
7. It’s worth booking late
Long gone are the days when it was necessary to book your hotel stay months in advance – and leaving it late could get you some great deals.
8. Request a higher floor to get a top room
Suites and premium rooms tend to be located on the higher floors of a hotel. Request a room higher up and while you won’t necessarily get a presidential suite, you’ll enjoy perks such as being further away from street noise.
9. Check in as late as possible to chance an upgrade
If you arrive later in the day, there’s a possibility that the hotel will have run out of standard rooms, and you could end up receiving a free upgrade to a higher room category.
10. Be sure to mention special occasions
Celebrating a birthday? Treating your loved one to a romantic minibreak? Give the hotel a heads-up and ask for a nicer room; telling them in advance gives them the chance to assign a set room and you may even find extra treats such as a bottle of champagne.
Top tip: Don’t call the hotel between 10am and 1pm with a special request, as the chances are they’ll have a long line of guests waiting to check out.
11. Ask for a corner room
Due to the structural layout of buildings, these generally have the most square footage and windows, not to mention they offer the lowest noise level. It will feel like you have a bigger, nicer room – without having to splurge for one. It’s also worth finding out if the hotel has undergone any recent renovations and requesting one of the new rooms.
12. Be nice to the staff
Politeness is key! Be friendly and polite with reception staff and this can often lead to a better room and even perks like late checkout, breakfast certificates, a bottle of wine, fruit baskets, or waived mini bar charges.
13. Make the most of freebies
Hotel freebies have had a serious upgrade over the past few years. Forget soap in the shower; you can often enjoy designer toiletries, including body lotion, face masks and beauty utensils. Other items to watch out for are exotic teas and snacks, slippers, high end magazines, stationery and some hotels even have items for the day usage such as portable WiFi units, umbrellas and bikes.
14. Ask about breakfast deals when you check in
If your package doesn’t include breakfast, ask the reception if there are any deals at the on-site restaurant, especially for breakfast; you could bag discounts on food and make the most of guest-only deals.