How to find the cheapest hotel deals
Cometh the internet, cometh better deals on everything we will ever need to purchase and that mantra applies to hotel rooms too. With more and more of us looking to get away from it all as much as possible, even if it’s simply to a different part of the country, cheap hotel deals are one thing that we’re all searching for, and it’s become quite a competitive market online, turning over millions of pounds each year.
Back in the dark ages before we had comparison websites such as Money Supermarket and Last Minute, we had to rely on our own negotiating skills and confidence to get ourselves the cheapest hotel deals. This often involved phoning the hotel direct and begging for money off, or simply having to settle for the price that was offered as part of a package holiday from a tour operator. With a huge amount of agents offering, supposedly, the best deal on hotel rooms these days, it’s wise to think about how you are going to book to save the most money, so here are a few key tips:
Find The Hotel Agents
Hotels do deal with agents that sell on their behalf, although they will only use a few of them at most. If they aren’t using agents, this usually means they have no trouble selling out their rooms and puts them in a position of strength – meaning they can charge exactly what they want. Great places to start your search are websites such as TravelSupermarket.com, although Google can throw up some great bargains from time to time, if you get lucky.
- photo – Chris Pederick
Avoid The Extra Charges
Some agents and hotels add on extra charges once you think you’ve found the best deal, and expect you to go along with them. You don’t have to, though. Watch out for credit card charges, taxes and other optional extras that can ultimately make a huge difference to the bill – not all agents charge these, so if yours does look around for a better deal.
Check The Cancellation Policy
You really need to delve keep into the terms and conditions of your chosen website for their cancellation policy. Some will be generous and not charge you at all; while others will charge you more than the room was worth if you cancel on the day of your arrival. These rates often vary depending on the cost of the room itself – if you need to cancel, make sure you contact the hotel rather than the agent first as they may have more sympathy with you.
Overall, it does seem as though there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to finding the cheapest hotel deal, although using comparison websites will give you the best chance of avoid a hefty bill for your trip, whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure. So, whatever happens, simply find the hotel that suits you needs best, pack your skinny jeans and your swimming trunks and hit the road.
- Laura Weeden is a travel writer with a passion for saving money wherever possible.