I have been actively traveling for the past 20 years all over the globe. It is amazing for me to see the way things evolved in recent years both due to the technology and ease of hotel booking.
I still remember the days when I use to rush to the reception to collect the RJ11 cable and start the dial-up connection to get hooked to the Internet at 256Kbps. How much has changed today with this technology?
Today, I can land at the airport, pick my mobile and book a hotel at my convenience. There are various last-minute portals that can offer fantastic rates. But if you are someone who wants everything in order, then advance booking is the way to go.
In all these years of travel, if there is one question I faced the most frequently then it should be How to book the cheapest hotels.
I am not surprised at all. Because today there are 100s of online hotel booking sites and smartphone apps that offer rooms for your stay. Almost all of them show professionally taken pictures of the rooms and the hotel’s neighborhoods.
But are they for real? Yes and No.
Yes, in the sense, its the same place that you will visit. But no in the sense, you won’t see the same as you saw online. Got me?
And hence your question of how do I choose to book a hotel room. As you may have noticed by now, most of my travels happen with my family. And vacation days are something that you should keep cherishing forever. It’s too costly to have a bad stay that affects the entire vacation.
right Hotel booking should be the top priority?
Remember, you can never get back those days. So make it right the first time.
This is exactly the reason why I choose hotels through trusted & certified providers. Almost all my bookings will be done through the Hotels.com portal. There are many advantages when sticking to one portal because your loyalty is
Yes, you heard me right. For every 10 days of stay, you would earn one night free. The worth of that free night is the average room rates for those 10 days. Why miss such a golden opportunity when your loyalty is going to be rewarded?
For long stays I also use Airbnb.
Even when I use Airbnb, I make sure I do some homework about the places, reviews and see if it’s offered by the super host or not. And keep an extra eye on the small prints, like cancellation fees and service charges.
One of the easiest checks to do is to try visualizing the location before actually visiting it. With today’s technology, it is just a finger-swipe away.
Use the Google street maps to be informed of what to expect around the hotel location. Well, it also depends on how old is the map you visualize. But you get an idea right? And most often the maps could not be older than a year or so.
Next is to check the maps for the available public transport facilities and also free car parking around, especially for those who travel by car. If not satisfied for any reason you can always cancel the rooms – hence the cancellation policy is a must-read.
Booking the hotel with the free-cancellation option could be a bit costly in your pocket. But unless you are 101% sure of the trip, do not opt for no-cancellation fares.
If you do all these checks and pick your rooms you are sure not to have an unpleasant stay for your vacation.
Tip : Do not miss to read my Hotel reviews and other travel tips!!!
Tip: How to Book Cheapest Hotels
Hacks To Book Cheapest Hotels
1. Register for price alerts
2. Coupons are a boon
Portals like Groupon‘s are your best companion when it comes to grabbing a steal deals. There are offers all through the year, and you can even plan a place based on the deals if you are not keen on a particular destination.
3. Use Credit Card
Using a credit card is always advisable, not just because they are convenient to use. They also earn credit and bonus points. There are several credit card companies that even offer free hotel stays that you can claim based on the accumulated points. Go for it!
4. Check for last-minute deals
Although these last-minute deals can help you grab much cheaper prices (as much as 60% to 70% off) there is no guarantee that you will get a room. So, use this when you are not with family.
5. Subscribe for Membership programs
Joining the credit card and Airline frequent flyers program can help you get major membership discounts.
6. Choose alternate location
Yes, I have seen many who stick to a particular location in the city for want of public transport or other convenience. I do not say it is wrong. But if an alternate location can offer many bargains, why not think to switch? It will be a good option especially for people planning their trips in their car.
7. Finally, Ask!
You can usually get good deals using online portals. But, it is not always true. There are incidents where I got better deals while calling the hotels directly. Cheaper than the offers on booking portals. So, do not feel shy to call up the hotel that you want to check-in.
Remember these hacks to book the cheapest hotels for your travel and you will thank me always.
What are your recommendations for booking the cheapest hotels during your travel?
I would love to hear your perspective and the online booking portals you are using for your regular travel bookings.
Also, please feel free to enlighten fellow travelers by commenting on your valuable feedbacks.
|Don’t Forget Travel Insurance|
Nothing is permanent except change. Acts of God, nature, airline strikes, terrorism or even our own illness can impact our travel plans. Moreover, we usually book cheaper tickets that come with strict cancellation terms.
And that is why you should always buy a Travel Insurance.