Traveling and hotels are closely related, since most long-distance travelers require a place to sleep overnight. But people’s lodging requirements can vary widely depending on the length of their trips, what they plan to do, how much they budget for their vacations and their personal preferences.
For example, some people have no issue shacking up with strangers in a hostel. Others might lose their minds over a chorus of snores and pungent smells. And for those who prefer a hotel, they can find plenty of options, ranging from luxury properties to bargain-basement motels.
Some of the best deals are found when booking accommodation in advance, when prices tend to be lowest. Some travel experts recommend booking accommodations about a month in advance and then keeping tabs on them for about 40 days, watching for prices to rise or fall and adjusting accordingly. Many hotels and Airbnbs also offer flexibility with their cancellation policies, especially if it’s a last-minute trip.
Another way to save on hotels is by staying away from major cities and tourist hubs, where lodging can be more expensive. Instead, look for accommodations on the outskirts or in more suburban neighborhoods.
Another way to save is to use a travel app or website that allows you to compare prices across different chains and hotels for the same destination and room type. And many travel apps have loyalty programs that can deliver additional benefits, like free nights. And a number of travel services, including airlines and online travel agencies such as Kayak and Travelocity, often offer bundled packages that can save you money, particularly if you book flight, hotel and rental car together.