Just like flight deals (see Cheap Flights (Really!), there are some incredible deals on great hotels online if you know where to look. While hotels are the traditional lodging choice, maybe it’s time to try something different. You could save lots of money while having an experience worth remembering.
Hotels sell blocks of rooms to discounters, which is why you will probably find a cheaper price on a large hotel site versus booking at the hotel directly. Here are some that I like and why.
Great Hotels at TravelZoo
TravelZoo represents more than 2,000 travel, entertainment and local companies and some amazing steals. From $99 hotel stays at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut (45% off) to a 3-day fishing trip including meals in British Columbia for 1/2 price at $779 (the ultimate Father’s Day gift), TravelZoo has the best variety. Click here to sign up for their email list and get immediate access to the best cheap hotels before they’re gone.
Great Hotels at SkyAuction
SkyAuction – You can get a steal on a great hotel or condo with this auction-based site, especially if you are going to Orlando, Las Vegas, or Cancun. SkyAuction offers flights, cruises, vacations packages, theater, and dinner gift certificates, but I have found my best deals on hotels. The trick is to read the fine print as there are always additional charges and possible blackout dates. Once you get the hang of it, though, you can really get a great vacation.
Here’s one set to expire in a few minutes. No one has bid so a whole week in a 2 bedroom condo in Orlando is going for $1! Here’s the fine print: There’s a $100 security deposit, only 3 weeks available in April and 3 weeks in May, $299 for taxes, and another $20 processing fee. Total for 7 nights in a 2 bedroom condo with a full kitchen that sleeps 6 – $319 which comes out to an amazing $45 per night plus a refundable security deposit.
Great Hotels at TravelPony
TravelPony.com is awesome! Although it’s been around about 4 years, many have never heard of it. That’s mainly because TravelPony says that instead of spending millions on advertising like some of the bigger booking sites (Hotels.com, Trivago, Expedia, etc.), it is able to send that savings to the consumer. They have a feature which allows users to list deals that they found, giving you more options. To create a free account and get $35 in travel credit click here.
Great Hotels at Hotel Tonight
Hotel Tonight is great mobile app to download if you are traveling and need a last-minute reservation. Their rates are discounted usually up to a week before so it’s worth checking. Download the app and use my code BEOKUN to get $25 off your first booking.
Great Hotels at HotelsCombined
Frommer’s recommends HotelsCombined as their number one choice for a reason: HotelsCombined aggregates several larges hotel booking sites (Agoda, Hotels.com, LastMinute, etc) and provides the lowest price.
Great Hotels at Tingo
Tingo is worth looking into because of their ability to rebook your room automatically if the price decreases before you travel. Cool, right? Also, they will monitor the hotel to see if an upgrade is available at the same or lower price. The catch here? They have a more limited inventory but if the hotel you want is there, you might want to book it with Tingo.
RocketMiles is a great way to double-save. You can earn up to 5000 airline points per night by booking through this site. If you find a hotel with a good rate, it pays extra to book it here. Click here to get an extra 1000 points just for signing up.
Now what if you’re stuck with a non-refundable room and can’t go? Try RoomerTravel. There’s actually a site that can help you sell your room to someone else who is looking for a bargain. Half of your costs back are better than none, right? It’s also a great site to find some last minute bargains as well.
Hotels.com, Booking.com. Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, Priceline, Trivago…everyone has their go-to site. I usually just check with the following three if I need to compare some more prices:
What I like about Hotels.com is that you get a free night after booking 10 nights with them. Of course the free night needs to be less than the average cost of all the other 10 nights – so no booking 10 nights in a $50 a night hotel to turn around and get a free $1000 hotel. There are also 50% off promotions all the time. The catch is that the locations and hotels chosen are limited so the chances that you’ll get a 50% off hotel that you need are very slim.
Booking.com is very similar to Hotels.com but some may find the search a bit more cumbersome. The one benefit I see is that the reviews in Booking.com seem a bit more honest and a negative review is easier to spot.
If you are not faint of heart, Priceline usually has some good deals. No, you won’t know the name of your hotel or the exact location until you book, but you will know the approximate area and the amount of stars it has before you have to pay.
I love Airbnb and have used it around the world. Out of the main three, Airbnb has the most offerings with the most variety with the lowest prices. I have stayed in a yurt, a renovated fighter jet, ski chalets, and beautiful guest bungalows. Airbnb offers a private location, a guest room, or a shared space. Depending on the type of accommodation, you may never see the host. Click here to get $40 off your first trip of $70 or more
VRBO appears to have more houses or single family offerings and their prices are proportionally higher. I have used VRBO for larger family gatherings or when looking for a nice beachfront villa.
With such luck with Airbnb and VRBO, I have never had a reason to use Homeaway so I can’t give any advice other than hearing it is similar.
Hostels are an amazing way to see the world and to meet some memorable people. While hostels are the best way for students to travel on a budget, don’t discount them if you are older. There are all ages at hostels, and most have some pretty interesting stories. This is really not my area of expertise anymore (my most recent experience is limited to a hostel stay in Zermatt with my adult children – it was fun, though).
HostelBookers appears to be the least expensive and they have a large amount of locations and accommodations to choose from.
HostelWorld has the most offerings but there is a price difference because there’s a service fee.
I hope you have found this list useful. If you have any other recommendations, please comment below.
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