Today’s post is based on a recent Couple Money Podcast episode on Travel Hacks for Your Next Vacation.
One of the biggest hurdles people have with taking a trip or vacation is the costs. Depending on where you go, the biggest expense can be your lodging. The good news is it doesn’t have to be. There are several ways you can find the perfect spot for you.
Three of my favorite ones include:
- Be flexible with your trip window.
- Be on top of your hotel bids.
- Be willing to look beyond hotels.
I’ll go over each of them so you can decide which options work best for you and your traveling circumstances.
Be Willing to Be Flexible
Besides where you go another huge factor in price is when you go. Two of the best times to go somewhere is during the off and shoulder seasons.
Off season travel doesn’t mean you have to go when the weather is miserable. Few of my friends travel to Ireland during the winter and loved it.
An alternative that may be more appealing to you is traveling during shoulder season. It’s that in between time between off and peak seasons when the weather is more cooperative and tourists are relatively manageable.
You probably won’t save as much, but it’s still better deal than visiting during the popular seasons.
Decide between yourselves if either works best for your budget and travel temperaments.
Be on Top of Your Hotel Bids
Just like with flights and car rentals, you can bid on your hotel stay. Some people are hesitant about signing-up because they don’t know which hotel they will be getting until the booking is made, but there are ways to make sure you get a great hotel at a fraction of the advertised price.
First off, with Priceline, you have some control as you break down certain locations and cities by zone. That allows you to hone in on areas that you want be within walking distance of, saving you on car rental.
You can also let Priceline know what hotel quality you’re searching for. I find that having a minimum of 3 1/2 stars gives us plenty of options and still be happy with the bid taker.
to help you increase getting the deal and hotel that you want is utilizing sites like Better Bidding. There is a ton of information on which hotels are in what areas and lots of reviews.
Beyond the Big Sites
Finally if you want to maximize your savings and perhaps get a more local feel with your stay, you should explore different rooming arrangements. My sister, who loves to travel outside the country, is always on the hunt for deals. There are some wonderful places that aren’t listed on the popular travel sites.
There are several lesser known ones including Eurocheapo.com and Wimdu. You can also look for bed and breakfast spots and local rentals. Besides the money you can save, you can be living like a native – making your trip even more memorable. Sites like Airbnb, All The Rooms, and HomeAway can help with that.
Thoughts on Hotel Deals
If you have any questions, please tweet me or send me an email. I hope you have the vacation of your dreams and you enjoy your stay.