There is something exciting about booking a last minute break but finding a decent and cheap hotel can be a challenge. Today we are going to look at how to find cheap hotels last minute. We are going to start at the basics so jump forward if you’re a travel pro or already know where you want to stay.
Firstly, you are going to want to decide where you want to stay.
This sounds obvious but you need to jump online and find the best neighbourhoods for your chosen destination. Keep in mind what you are looking for.
For example, Bangkok. Use blogs, guides and google maps to find the best areas to stay – I find the TripAdvisor forums to be super helpful with this. If you are looking for a central location with bars and cheap hostels, the old town is the area for you. If you want a more residential hotel with great links to the city, find a hotel along the BTS line. If you want plenty of restaurant choices, you may think about Siam, whilst those looking for a romantic stay may look closer to the river.
Either way, deciding which area or neighbourhood you want to stay in, is your first step.
Next, head over to a hotel comparison website. We use booking.com for the USA or Europe and Agoda for Asia, just because we find the prices cheaper.
Remember to filter your results – and it helps to change the price per night column to your own budget.
Get the best price
Once you have chosen a handful of hotels you like the look of, you are going to do a few more things.
First, you are going to compare prices on multiple comparison websites as well as the hotel website itself. Make sure you create an account with the comparison websites, often they will offer better rates for members and becoming a member is generally free.
Check out Expedia – We find that, when booking a last minute deal, Expedia can often offer some really good deals. Check out their last minute and deals tab for great rates on many hotels.
You are also going to take a look at the hotel website to see if they have any membership cards that offer discounts or perks. Make sure you check out the offers tab when available, hotels may offer last minute booking options.
Next, you are going to contact your hotel via facebook, asking them where the best place to book accommodation is. Often, small hotels (especially in Asia) will prefer for you to book directly.
This is a great way to save but make sure you research the hotel on TripAdvisor and other review websites to check they are legit.
Download the app
For bigger chains such as Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton, you can download a hotel app and accumulate points which can be used on hotel bookings plus you often get room selection preferences too.
Even better deals?
Take advantage of other websites and apps.
HotelTonight and Lastminute.com both offer great deals and can browse last minute deals in your chosen destination for you. HotelQuickly is also an app that is great for those travelling Asia, with the best deals coming up a few days before your stay.
Don’t forget coupons. In the UK, we always use HotUKDeals or Groupon but every country have some version of this type of website – collecting and sharing popular coupons for different retailers or businesses. If you are booking on a chain hotel or a comparison website, make sure you google search your destination and the word ‘coupons’, to check if there are any deals available.
Use the secret deals.
Some websites, such as Lastminute.com offer a secret hotels deal. You can choose the rating of hotel and will learn about the general area but you won’t know the name of the hotel until you have booked it. This is a way that hotels fill their rooms but you can also get a great deal by doing just this.
Check out Roomer – we haven’t used this service yet but are looking forward to trying it. Basically, you book a room that someone else has already booked but is non-refundable. So the original booker gets some money back but also you get a discounted room.
Tips for saving money for your travels
Saving money for your last minute trip is helpful but having the money for that last minute trip is just as important. Here are a few tips to help you save money for your next vacation or weekend break:
- Skip the coffee – avoid little extras like those Starbucks trips; they all add up.
- Public transport – catch pubic transport to avoid the costly prices of taxis and get saving.
- Cook – whilst at home or travelling, try to cook fod for yourself as much as possible; avoiding expensive meals out and even those little takeaways we like to have every so often.
- https://www.sparkrock.com/finance-procurement/ is a great resource for those looking to organise their finances with help from a professional.