“The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands,” said British explorer Sir Richard Burton. And while there aren’t many places left in the world still unknown, you can venture forth into foreign lands— counties or countries, whichever—you’ve never been to. What’s more, you can do this and still get the benefit of relaxing in a comfy room at the end of the day.
Your adventure doesn’t have to use up your life savings, either. Here are seven ways to help you find great deals on accommodations, whether you’re staying at a cozy bed and breakfast or a luxury hotel.
Check out vacation packages.
Vacation packages are a godsend for those who don’t want to look into the nitty-gritty of the costs of travel and still save money. Many of these travel packages already include a three-day, two-night stay in a hotel (usually with free breakfast and Wi-Fi) and a guided tour of the city (with meals and private transportation). Vacation packages are often cheaper than spending money on accommodation, transportation services, and activities separately, plus you avoid having to do some DIY itinerary-making, which could be a hassle.
Use coupon codes.
If you are a fan of DIY trips, you can still save money by using coupon codes when booking hotel rooms. You could get up to 40 percent off the published room rates and you can even score points the more you use these codes on hotel booking sites.
There are websites that gather hotel price quotes from different travel search engines, and you can check these out so you can have an idea about how much you’ll have to pay for a certain hotel during the dates you plan to travel. If there’s a big difference between rates, check out the fine print to see what’s included in the price.
Visit hotel websites for promos.
Comparing hotel room prices via booking sites is good if you want to score great deals, but don’t rule out booking directly via a hotel’s official website, or by calling the hotel and talking to the reservations officer or manager. Hotels would often offer seasonal deals and promotions that are not reflected in the prices listed in third-party booking sites, so be sure to check them out first. Direct booking also gives you greater flexibility if you need to cancel your reservation or have it moved to a later date.
Take a chance with same-day booking.
If you have a lot more flexibility in terms of your itinerary and have no specific hotel in mind, go straight to the local tourist office and avail of their room-finding services. Hotels that fail to sell a room sometimes notify the local tourist office and you can then see different options and decide where to stay, depending on your budget. Many, if not all, of the room rates would already have been discounted, plus you can always negotiate for a bigger discount.
Consider smaller hotels.
Small, independent hotels and lodgings may not appear on travel search engines, but offer the same comfort and amenities for less. You can check out sites like TripAdvisor to identify these hotels get contact details so you can make reservations directly.
Visit during off-peak times.
Traveling during the off-peak months would give you lower hotel costs, but the key here is to do your research and see which months or seasons are considered off-peak in your desired destination. There are also off-peak days: in a business hub, off-peak would be weekends, while in resort areas, you’ll have a better chance of scoring deals during weekdays.