With cost of lodging being one of the key components of any travel budget, wouldn’t it be convenient if you could score a cheap or a discounted accommodation, especially as international travel resumes in the postpandemic phase? According to veteran travellers, with some perseverance and research, it is not difficult to find rooms that are inexpensive and help in reducing costs.
Travelling during off peak or the shoulder season (period between peak and off peak seasons) can get you cheap (read low rates) rooms in many destinations as many hotels offer discounts during these periods. Even at hotels which do not offer such discounts, you may have a talk with the reservation desk before booking and see if you can get them to give you a discount during off-peak season. In season or out of it, many hotels offer lower rates during the week (Monday to Friday) compared to that offered during weekends. If possible, schedule your itinerary accordingly.
According to travel experts, check if the hotel of your choice is offering a room package which includes basic features, such as free wi-fi or breakfast or parking fees (if you are on a driving holiday). Room rates for hotels that do not offer such services may seem lower at first glance but you may end up paying for the services separately, which can jack up your budget. If you are a frequent traveller, you can also sign up for hotel loyalty programmes, which offer a range of discounts subject to terms and conditions.
Most of us own one or more credit cards. Check the website of the card company or the issuing bank to see if they are offering any discounts on hotel bookings. Many of them offer discounts if you book hotels using their card on a specific hotel aggregator platform. Many hotel booking sites too offer discounts from time to time. Also check if your credit card allows you to use the reward points or use your airline miles to book hotel rooms. Sign up for newsletters or agree to receive emails to know of their promotional offers on a regular basis. Sometimes, with a little research, you may come across hotels or hotel booking sites who will match a lower price from a competitor if you can prove it (subject to rules).
Check hotel websites for seasonal discounts or coupon codes. There are also third-party booking companies (https://www.couponsherpa.com/ or https://www.coupondunia.in/, for example), which offer printable coupons or coupon codes which can be used for booking individual hotels or on hotel aggregator sites. Here too signing up for their newsletters can be a helpful option. If you are booking a vacation home, and the place is going vacant, there are chances you may be able to ask for a bargain. The owners are more likely to agree to a lower rate (within reasonable limits) rather than let the place remain vacant.
Sometimes, travellers have to cancel their trip in the last moment and are likely to face a loss with non-refundable hotel bookings. There are websites that allow such travellers to sell their booking at a discounted rate. Check these websites (https://www.roomertravel.com/ for example) to see if there is anything that suits your plans. There are also apps (https://www.hoteltonight.com/ for example) that list discounted hotel rooms but to avail these discounts you must have a flexible itinerary or someone who is booking at the last moment.