Finding Hotel Deals

Balancing quality and cost can be like walking a tightrope, especially when planning your trip.

After flight costs, accommodation prices tend to eat up most of a traveler’s budget. By saving on your guest house or hotel room night after night, it can make a huge impact on your spending. Especially important for vacations longer than a week, saving even 10% per night can keep hundreds of dollars in your pocket.

But how do you book a great place, at a cheap price?

Use online tools

Price comparison sites like, (also for flights), and many more can help you establish a baseline for price and find a great deal. is one of the best cost comparison sites, for both service and helpfulness. Agoda offers reward points that will eventually earn you free stays, and often lowest price guarantees. Their customer service is also available via phone and email, speaks English, and is outstanding internationally.

Contact the hotel directly

If you see a hotel that you really like on one of the above price comparison sites, you should try contacting the hotel directly. Mention the price you viewed on the comparison site, and see if the hotel can do better if you book direct with them. Most hotels will be willing to at least match the deal and throw in a free amenity (like breakfast, parking, airport transfer, or an upgrade) if not beat the deal completely.

Consider staying in a home is growing in popularity and scope. With a wide range of options in most cities, Airbnb offers the advantage of staying in a more authentic location and having a host who can provide suggestions and help if needed.

The price savings can be substantial. In some major cities, an excellent Airbnb with full amenities can be less than half the cost of a comparable hotel room.

Use points

If you prefer staying in large, international chain hotels, it is very much in your interest to sign up for the rewards programs. In addition to earning points (which will eventually equal free stays), many reward programs offer discount stays, free upgrades and special deals.

Can you be flexible in your travel dates?

Use Google Hotel Finder

Google Hotel Finder will tell you the cheapest time to visit a location, and will consider your inputs, such as budget, preferred dates, and location limits.

Travel during low or shoulder season

Big city prices quadruple during peak season, especially around popular holidays like New Year’s Eve.

In popular traveler cities (like Rio de Janeiro or Rome) you can save an average of $100 per night or more by traveling in a shoulder season. On Airbnb, rooms quintuple in the peak month, as compared to low season

Groupon and LivingSocial

If you are a bit flexible in your travel times and locations, these sites can be extremely worthwhile. Amazing hotel and flight combo deals are available every day, but not for every locations. The most prolific deals are in the US, Mediterranean, Mexico, and Central America.