Where and how to look for cheap accommodation? We have prepared a complete guide and tips for finding exactly the accommodation you want.
How to find cheap accommodation
In this section, we have written 10 general tips for you, which apply to all accommodation search engines. If you follow them, you will save a lot of money and time on accommodation.
1) Use filters correctly
Filters are something we absolutely love on search portals. Used properly, it will save you a lot of time and you will find exactly the right accommodation for you.
- Price – set your budget.
- Location – do you care about location? If you don’t want to end up somewhere in a remote or less nice neighborhood, choose a location with a rating of at least 7 or 8.
- Distance from the center – set how far you want to be from the center.
- Stars – we don’t deal with them, for example, because they often don’t have to match at all. This only means meeting some standards that are often not even important (such as a telephone in the room or a minibar).
- Free cancellation
- Breakfast included
- 24 hour reception – if you plan to arrive at night or you do not know the exact time of arrival.
- Parking – some hotels in the center can be difficult or expensive to park.
- Wi-Fi internet connection – not always a matter of course.
- Double bed
- Entertainment – fitness, massage, sauna, bike or motorbike rental and more.
2) Trust the ratings and read the comments
Hotel reviews are not in search engines for nothing. On the contrary, it is good to follow it. People are generally not very critical, so a rating of 7 out of 10 is no longer much. 6 is already bad. We recommend looking for accommodation with a rating of at least 7 and ideally at least 8.
On the contrary, getting a rating of 10 out of 10 is almost impossible and anything with a rating of 9 or more is great.
The number of ratings is also important. If the hotel only have 5 reviews, it can be very distorted.
The comments on the evaluation also give a lot of hints. Especially comments on worse ratings. You will find out the reasons why the given user evaluated the stay negatively and what to watch out for. Sometimes, on the other hand, you may find that people give low ratings for small details that you don’t care about (such as too small towels).
3) Avoid public holidays and popular dates
On popular dates (such as Easter, Christmas or New Year’s Eve), accommodation is more expensive and sold out long in advance. So try to avoid these deadlines. It is also good to find out when public holidays and school holidays are in the country you are going to and avoid these dates.
Accommodation is also more expensive on weekends.
4) Take advantage of the lowest price guarantee
Both Booking.com and Agoda search engines provide the lowest price guarantee. So if you have already booked accommodation, for example through Booking and you have found a lower price on the same date in Agoda, Booking will pay the difference. The same is true the other way around.
Download the Chrome Gopher extension, which automatically scans other web portals for better deals.
5) Find cheap accommodation by map
If you don’t look at the map and book a cheap hotel that is far away, you may spend a lot of money and lose a lot of time just getting to the city center.
All major accommodation search engines offer efficient search by map. First filter your main requirements and then choose a good compromise between price and distance according to the map.
6) Take advantage of loyalty clubs
Most accommodation offers have a loyalty club that rewards customers.
- Booking.com has the so-called Genius status, which you get if you stay twice in the last two years. You will get, among other things, a 10% discount on selected hotels.
- All you have to do is register for a member club on Agoda and you will receive various discounts.
- At Couchsurfing, it may be worthwhile to pay you a verified membership. This will give you the opportunity to send unlimited requests and also greater credibility.
7) Beware of additional fees
Always look at what’s included and what’s not. For example, air conditioning or heating are often not included in the price. If you arrive at the place and you find that it is extremely hot in the room, or on the contrary you freeze and you want to pay extra for air conditioning, or it will probably, then it will probably be more expensive than living in a better hotel, where everything is already included in the price.
Another common fee is, for example, a city tax. Some hotels pay extra for Wi-Fi internet, parking, fitness center and more.
8) Take advantage of free cancellation
Some hotels have cancellations for free. In this case, you can book the hotel and then look at the last minute offers and if something cheaper / better appears, you can cancel the original accommodation and book a new one.
Does it seem immoral to you? Believe me, a lot of people do that and hotels count on it.
9) Stay longer than one night
Many hotels offer a discount if you stay for more nights. You can often find deals like 4 nights for the price of 3 and the like.
10) Book cheap accommodation at the last minute
Hotels are trying to sell their vacant rooms at the last minute. If you book accommodation sometime between 4pm and 8pm on that evening, you will often find a 20% to 70% discount. So you can afford a much more luxurious hotel for the price of a cheap hostel.
Attention! Just in case there are a lot of accommodation offers in the area and it’s not in popular terms. It could also happen that everything will be sold out and you will pay significantly more.