Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or a round-the-world adventure, finding the right accommodation (at the right price) is the key to a great trip. These 10 tips will help you save big on hotels and ensure you have more money to indulge yourself or extend your holiday.
1) Know Your Budget and Stick to it
Everyone loves a holiday, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement while planning your accommodation. Before you know it, you’re splurging on luxury suites and beachfront views. That’s all fine and good, but figure out your budget before you book anything.
Knowing how much you can afford to spend per night will make it much easier to shortlist accommodation and will help you avoid making emotional decisions you might not be able to afford. It also means you’ll have more money to spend on other activities.
2) A Few Blocks Can Make a Big Difference
Certain neighbourhoods and postcodes come with a premium. Unless there’s a particular reason you need to stay in Tribeca (New York), Knightsbridge (London) or Roppongi Hills (Tokyo), try expanding your search to adjacent suburbs.
Larger cities have no shortage of hotels and districts to choose from, so go with one that suits your personality and your budget – you’ll have a lot more fun.
3) Bundle Flights and Accommodation
Bundling your flights and accommodation is not only a quick and convenient way to plan your trip, it can lead to real savings. Most people look at flights and accommodation at the same time, so you may as well package them up, create a single itinerary, and save yourself some money in the process.
You can find flights + hotels discounts online with Expedia Malaysia. Click on ‘Packages’ on Expedia.com.my, enter your dates and destination, and you’ll get a choice of hotels and flights to bundle together for a cheaper holiday. Look at the green bar to see how much you save — sometimes enough to enjoy a free flight!
4) Choose Your Season and Look Out For Big Events
Public holidays, major sporting events and large conventions can play havoc with a city’s available accommodation and send prices skyrocketing. Always check the local calendar when travelling overseas. If you’re on a budget, make sure your arrival dates don’t coincide with any notable celebrations. Adjusting your travel plans to avoid these big-ticket events can save you substantially and provide a lot more options when it comes to hotels.
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5) Join a Rewards Program
If you’re doing a lot of travelling and living in hotels you may as well be rewarded for it. A good rewards program does exactly what it says on the label, earning you points that can be redeemed for free or discounted travel and accommodation in the future. You can join Expedia’s rewards program by registering here.
As an Expedia+ member, not only do you get member-only discounts for cheaper hotels, but you also collect points for every flight and hotel you book. When you have enough points, you can redeem for benefits like solid hotel discounts or free nights. If you use the Expedia mobile app, you get 3x points.
When you reach Gold status, you can also get extra perks at Expedia +VIP Access Hotels, like spa credit or free drinks.
Psst, here’s a tip. You can collect Expedia+ points, AND airline miles for rewards on two fronts. Best sekali!
6) Look Out for Mystery Hotel Deals
If you don’t have a specific hotel in mind you can save big with Mystery Deals. You’ll be given the approximate location of the hotel, its star rating and general details – more than enough info to make an educated guess about where you might be staying. Alternatively, you can embrace the mystery. Either way, you’ll save money.
7) What About Breakfast and Wi-Fi?
Make sure you look beyond the nightly rate when comparing accommodation.
Free perks, including complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi, can save you a lot of money and turn a good deal into a genuine bargain. These offers are especially useful while overseas, and can help you to avoid both exorbitant data roaming charges and tourist-trap cafes.
One of my favourite perks at newer boutique hotels is when they provide a mobile phone with local data that’s free for guests to use during their stay. You can take these with you even when you leave the hotel, so you don’t have to worry about finding a local sim.
8) Check For Discounts and Deals
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s worth repeating. Airlines and hotels run deals throughout the year. These might be seasonal, used to drum up extra business or to help celebrate a new opening. The actual reason isn’t important; as long as you’re registered with your favourite travel and accommodation site (*ahem Expedia hinthint), you’ll always be the first to receive these offers.
Subscribing to newsletters is helpful to alert you to great travel deals far ahead so you can book at a great price and have plenty of time to plan your holiday. On the other end of that, last minute holiday deals helps you find the best savings when it’s close to travel dates.
9) Serviced Apartments Offer Comfort and Convenience
A serviced apartment usually means more space, your own kitchen and all the comforts of home. It’s great if you’re travelling with a family. You can prepare meals yourself in the kitchen and keep snacks on hand, potentially saving a small fortune in food and beverage charges.
Prices for serviced apartments are usually comparable to hotel rooms, and you’ll still get your fresh towels and cleaning staff.
10) Plan Around the Weekends
Weekends are always going to be more expensive, that’s just supply and demand. But thinking about which nights you book – and planning an itinerary that has you avoiding weekends – makes sense. Or you can spend the weekend in budget accommodation and nicer hotels during the week. This will help you stretch your dollar and your stay longer.