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Cheap Hotels Booking Tips and Tricks – To Help You Bag A Bargain

Who doesn’t love finding a lovely hotel at a bargain price? It’s a great way to make your travel budget go further!

  • Waking up after a great night’s sleep in a lovely big bed with super comfy pillows and crisp sheets?
  • Enjoying a nice view from the window or balcony?
  • Having a luxurious shower before you start your day exploring?
  • Retreating back to a little oasis of calm after a hectic day discovering somewhere new?

A great hotel is part of the travel experience so read on for all my cheap hotels booking tips and tricks!

Just before we start I should say I am a hotel girl, rather than guest house or hostel. I really like a luxury or boutique hotel but of course at cheap hotel prices. That’s why I invest a bit of time in finding the best hotel deals so I can stay in the best place I can afford, have the nicest hotel room possible.

Of course I used hotel booking sites to find hotels and great deals. This makes it easy to compare hotels and I like the reviews on these sites because they are made by guests.

So whether you are looking for city centre hotels, London hotels, boutique, luxury, designer or art hotels check out the tips below because they will help you max your holiday budget, discover a great deal and ensure you have bagged a bargain.

Travel Out of Season to Find Cheap Hotels

This is my number one cheap hotels booking tip which is why it is top of the list. As a bit of an introvert I prefer to travel when it is a bit quieter.

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.

This generally means that hotel prices are much better value because they are keen to fill their rooms.

Out of season can often mean a quieter hotel full stop and I 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.

If you are interested in package hotel deals Holiday Pirates has the ability to filter by temperature as well as lots of other criteria. 

I often travel in October and November, then February and March, generally because I am not working in those periods so I can go away without having to turn down any work.

I often enjoy nice weather during those periods and having a trip in February and March helps me deal with the winter period a little better.​

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

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

Check Package Deals for Cheap Hotels & Flights!

It amazes me how often when I check the price of booking flights and hotels separately myself a package deal can often end up being cheaper.

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

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 and temperatures fairly quickly.

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 accommodations so this is not always the case.

If I am looking for a package deal then generally I choose something without meals so I can dine where and when I want and I never usually book breakfast, preferring a room upgrade to a free breakfast for example.

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

Booking.Com Genius Program

I love Booking.com and I have used them for years for my hotel bookings.

I really love their loyalty scheme which is 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)

Check For Cheap Hotels Direct

It’s always worth checking with a hotel direct to see if there are options for cheap hotels. Sometimes this might be a special promotion or new offer.

Generally I don’t find the prices to be cheaper, which might make you wonder why it’s on my list of cheap hotels booking tips!

However, sometimes there can be perks that make the overall package better value. This might include room upgrades, breakfast being included or meal vouchers.

It is also worth checking hotel loyalty programs – sometimes they have good deals and sometimes they just have nice little perks.

I don’t use chains very much when I travel so I’m not a member of many programs but I am a member of these two;

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.

Hilton Honors

I don’t stay at Hilton hotels very often. However, their Blue (basic) membership level gives free WIFI in their hotels which can be handy if I am visiting somewhere and need to do a bit of work over a coffee. It also offers a room choice, digital key etc.


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
  • Booking comparison site
  • Booking.com for huge range plus Genius loyalty options
  • Check package deals for cheap hotels and flights combined
  • Check direct with the hotel for loyalty/reward offers

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.


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.

This can be an easy way to adjust your search to find cheap hotels.

Using This Search

I love this search because you can refine it to suit your specific needs.

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

You can zoom in and out and just search the area you are looking out – the visible area. This option is at the bottom right hand corner of the search screen.

I also love the fact that you can add information about where the main eating, shopping and nightlife areas are if you want to be nearer to these.

The map will then change colour slightly with a highlight appearing showing the selection.

You can select this search by clicking on the symbols in the top left of the map search.

You can only select one option at a time.

  • Click the knife and fork symbol to find the areas where the most places to eat are.
  • Click the shopping bag to find the areas where the most shopping options are located.
  • Click the cocktail glass to find the areas where there is more nightlife.

You could these three criteria to avoid areas where there are more restaurants, shops and nightlife if you want quieter and cheaper hotel options.

The search below is set to Barcelona as an example.

Cheap Hotels Search

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 🙂

Find Cheap Hotels By Viewing a Selection

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.

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.


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.

Cheap Hotels With Loyalty Rewarded

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.


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

Check Hotels Direct

It always pays to check direct with hotels.

Sometimes their prices might be the same or similar but they offer rewards for booking directly such as free breakfasts, room upgrades etc.

95% of the time I find booking through a site is still the best for cheap hotels but it’s always good to double check.

Remember, the rewards are only worth it if it is something you really want and are going to use.

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