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Cheap Hotel Hacks – 4 Proven Tips to Bag an Absolute Bargain

Love getting a good hotel and paying less for it?

Great – so do I!

Check out my list of cheap hotel hacks for some easy ways to stretch your budget to the max.

autumn leaves in box over picture of a hotel bedroom

1. Cheap Hotel Hacks – Travel Out of Season

The reason this is at the top of the list is it’s my number one tip.

Travelling out of the normal season, which is generally April to September, is a great way to find cheaper hotel deals.

It’s a simple matter of supply and demand and it can mean there are plenty of deals.

Hotel prices are much better value because hotels need to fill their rooms.

Out of season can often mean a much quieter hotel or resort. I personally enjoy this, although some people may find having the pool to themselves a bit unnerving!

Spring and autumn can mean cheaper hotels deals and weather that can be great too.

Check out UK bank holiday dates here so you can avoid travelling on these dates. 

If you want to check out school holiday dates in the UK then you can check them for your local area here. 

Bear in mind that holiday dates in other countries are different including school holidays.

There are also a variety of sites that can help you find warm places to travel to at different times of the year such as this Met Office post about places in the world that are 20 degrees in March.

October and November can be great as can February and March depending where you go of course!

Having a trip in these months is also a great way to deal with the winter blues.

Cheap Hotel Hacks – Pro’s Of Travelling Out of Season

  • Many more hotel deals available and much cheaper rates
  • Better change of getting upgraded
  • Quieter hotel and hotel environment
  • Quieter visitor attractions and areas to visit
  • Weather can be lovely

Cheap Hotel Hacks – Con’s of Travelling Out of Season

  • Some hotel facilities can be closed i.e. outdoor pools etc
  • Less activities and attractions open – might be reduced opening hours
  • The weather may be more changeable
picture shows pair of feet on lounger overlooking sea with hotel room as background

2. Cheap Hotel Hacks – Price Up a Package Deal

Sometimes a package deal can be cheaper than putting together a trip yourself.

This varies depending on the place, time of year and demand of course.

There are some great package sites where you can get some good deals.

My favourite package sites are;

I particularly like Holiday Pirates because they have some great search options and filters which enables you find deals that fit your preferences for budget, reviews, hotel stars and price.

I also like the fact that you see the details for changing flights quite easily if you want to pick different flight options.

Package deals have the advantage that if something goes wrong you are protected. However, do double check because some package sites have separate bookings for flights and accommodation so this is not always the case.

A couple of more recent package deal finds include;

  • Flights and 4 nights 4 star hotel to Portugal for under £200
  • Flights and 4 nights 4 star hotel in Alicante for under £200
picture shows hotel pillows in box with hotel room as background

3. Cheap Hotel Hacks – Loyalty Schemes and Offers

Booking.Com Genius Program

Booking.com has a loyalty scheme called Genius.

It rewards loyalty and there are two levels of membership depending on how many hotel stays you have.

The first level gives 10% discount on hotel stays if you book 2 stays in a 2 year period.

The second level gives another 15% discount on hotel stays if you book 5 stays in a 2 year period.

The great thing about the Genius program is that once you achieve you Genius membership level it stays with you for life no matter how many hotel stays you book.

Genius Deals = Perks

You can search via Genius deals when using Booking.com which is an easy way to find these travel perks.

Genius perks can include;

  • Room upgrades
  • Free breakfast
  • Lower prices

As always remember that a perk is only valuable if it is something you want.

(Below is a detailed guide to the search function for Booking.com including more of Genius levels)

Some hotels have loyalty schemes which are worth registering for because they sometimes have loyalty scheme offers.

Pestana Group

I had a lovely hotel experience in the Algarve at a Pestana Hotel and I really liked it. I joined their program and receive regularly tempting deals and offers. I particularly like their Pousadas which are historic hotels and am planning a trip based around these in the future.

Village Hotels

They have some particularly good offers like cheap Sunday nights, or stays including a meal.

shows someone holidng phone while on laptop with hotel room as background
4. Cheap Hotels Hack – Use a Great Search Tool

There are lots of hotel search comparision sites out there. These sites either give you a selection of hotels in a particular place or they show you the cheapest prices available online for a particular hotel.

The sites that give you the cheapest prices available online can bring up some great deals.

When booking cheap hotel deals make sure you are comparing like for like. Some prices might be cheaper because they are fully payable in advance with no refunds.

Having tried all sorts of cheap hotel booking sites and services I’ve found that Hotellook consistently beats other sites in terms of prices.

It has a huge selection of hotels available.

Let’s do a quick comparison to see how it performs.

I am going to compare hotels in Inverness for 1 night in early June – which is peak season. I am going to compare prices of hotels I know.

Hotel Name

Black Isle Bar & Rooms

The Royal Highland

Columba Hotel

Kings Highway

Mercure Inverness

Well Known Hotel Site

£69

£117

£142

£129

£195

Hotellook

£69

£70

£119

£129

£169

As you can see by the comparison, there are some considerable differences in prices.

Scroll down for a complete guide on how to search using Hotellook so you can find the best prices for the hotels that suit you the best.

5. Cheap Hotel Hacks Summary;

Find cheap hotels by;

  • Travelling out of season if you can find – it is the simplest way to find cheap hotels because of lower demand
  • Using Booking.com for good deals if Genius loyalty member
  • Using Hotellook.com to find best prices
  • Check package deals for cheap hotels and flights combined
  • Register for hotel loyalty schemes to get emailed special offers
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Cheap Hotels Hack – Cheap Searching Tool

This tool will show you which site has the best price for hotels in the area you want to visit. A great way to find a good deal quickly! This is set for Barcelona but you can easily change the destination.

How to Use This Cheap Hotel Search Tool

You can easily refine your search to find a hotel that suits you specific needs.

a. Enter the location you would like to stay in – either a place name, area or specific hotel.

b. Select the dates you would like to travel.

showing online search for hotels in barcelona with cheapest dates shown in green

When you select the dates you will already get an idea of prices.

Dates are colour coded and a little key at the bottom of the date selector will give you an indication of the rates for each colour.

  • Green means the cheapest hotels.
  • Yellow means mid range rates.
  • Red means the most expensive rates.

If you have any flexibility on your travel dates this colour coding will help you quickly find the cheapest dates for your location or specific hotel.

c. Enter the number of guests and click search. You will then go to a more detailed screen where you can refine your search.

search box for hotels in barcelona with tops deals

You can refine the search by the following criteria;

  • Price – you can set upper and lower limits using a slider
  • Star rating
  • Guest rating
  • Property type – hotel, villa, apartment etc
  • Distance from the city centre
  • District – ideal if you know the area you want to visit
  • Room facilities – air conditioning, in room wifi etc
  • Hotel facilities – pets allowed, gym, parking etc
  • Room options – such as free cancellation, breakfast included etc

d. Click ‘View All on a Map’ to refine further.

e. You can zoom in and out and scoll around to find the area you want to focus on in relation to your stay.

The search below is set to Barcelona as an example.

map search for hotels in barcelona on hotel booking site

f. Hover over one of the dots to see details of the hotel. This includes the name, the review and the price. Once selected the dot will turn green.

g. Click on the green dot to see a picture of the hotel.

h. Click to see more information on the hotel including detailed quality and feedback scores and pricing.

Cheap Hotel Hacks – Try a Hotel Search Now?

Enter your search details in the box below and then click ‘map view’ in the results to see a map view like the one above 🙂

Cheap Hotel Hacks – View Selection of Top Deals

This is a handy search if you want to get an idea of hotels in the area you want to visit.

You can refine your search by;

  • Price – you can set upper and lower limits using a slider
  • Star rating
  • Guest rating
  • Property type – hotel, villa, apartment etc
  • Distance from the city centre
  • District – ideal if you know the area you want to visit
  • Room facilities – air conditioning, in room wifi etc
  • Hotel facilities – pets allowed, gym, parking etc
  • Room options – such as free cancellation, breakfast included etc

You can also sort your search by;

  • Price
  • Popularity
  • Guest rating
  • Star rating
  • Distance from the city centre
  • Discount

This is a great way to search if know where you would like to visit and want to get an idea of hotels that meet your budget and/or your travel criteria.

The search below is set for New York but you can easily amend the destination.

Check now to get a quick idea of prices for somewhere you want to visit.

Quick Hotel Search

Use this search box if you want for a quick search right here!

Ideal if you know the hotel or area you want to visit.

You can refine further once you get hotel options.

Cheap Hotel Hacks – Find Cheapest Prices For a Specific Hotel

Check here to find which site has the cheapest prices for the hotel you want to visit.

You will get a list of prices from a variety of sites.

It will automatically show the cheapest price at the top of the results.

Just double check the room type and booking conditions and away you go.

Tip

At the bottom of the page you can see the hotel facilities, reviews and there will also be details of a couple of similar hotels in the area and the prices for the dates you selected.

I often find this type of search as a great way to find cheap hotels close to well known hotels or perhaps hotels I have stayed in before.

This search is set for the wonderful Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

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Cheap Hotel Hacks – Finding Genius Deals on Booking.com

As you may have guessed I love Booking.com

They have a fantastic selection of hotels all over the world.

Genius Benefits

Booking.com has a great loyalty scheme called Genius.

There are two levels.

Genius 1

  • Book 2 hotel stays through Booking.com in 2 years to activate.
  • You will then receive a 10% discount.
  • This benefit stays with you for life i.e. no matter how many hotel stays you book through the site in future.

Genius 2

  • Book 5 hotel stays through Booking.com in 2 years to activate.
  • You will then receive an additional 15% discount.
  • This benefits also stays with you for life.

The thing I really like about Genius is that you often get nice things like a free room upgrade or free breakfast.

Tip

You can filter your search by those properties that give Genius benefits to find these options more quickly. This can be another great way to make your travel budget go that little bit further.

You can refine your search by the following options;

  • Map search
  • Filter by budget
  • Select popular filters – such as hotels only, free cancellation, ‘Very Good’ hotel scores etc
  • Privacy level – entire house, hotel room etc
  • Star rating
  • Distance from the city centre
  • Online payment
  • Fun things to do – fitness, cycling, happy hour etc
  • 24 hour reception
  • Free cancellation and no prepayment
  • Local landmarks i.e. hotels close to those landmarks
  • Bed preference – double bed or twin beds
  • Review score
  • Hotel facilities
  • Room facilities
  • District
  • Hotel chain
  • Accessibility

You can filter once you have selection your options by the following;

  • Top picks for solo travellers
  • Entire homes
  • Price – lowest first
  • Review score and price
  • Stars
  • Star rating and price
  • Genius
  • Distance
  • Top reviewed

If you are a Genius member you may get a better room deal using Booking.com if you are able to get a free room upgrade or a free breakfast.Search hotelsFrom cozy country homes to funky city apartments

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Further Reading

If you have found my Cheap Hotel Hacks article useful then you might also like;

6 Flight Hacks – for finding great deals and new destinations

Packing Hacks – to help you travel light with all the right grear

Mobile Phone Travel Hacks – to help you save time and money when travelling

Cheap Airport Lounges – how to find the cheapest lounge access for you

You can find more money saving resources on my Travel More and Spend Less page

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shows hotel with pool