Are you looking for the best travel hacks around?
We’ve been giving tips for staying in the hotel on a budget. And we covered the majority of them, but here’s the ultimate list of 24 hotel & accommodation hacks. Let’s jump into the travel hackers’ world once again.
The best travel hacks
How to save on your vacation by following these top travel hacks and tips
#1 Beat the hotel rush
If you’re checking into a hotel and don’t have a reservation but want to beat the line wishing to get there and have a room available for you, do it at a perfect time. It’s best to come to the hotel between 4:45 pm and 6:00 pm, right after the rooms have been made up and ready for people to check-in. But also, that’s before the rush where everyone else who’s reserved is coming through. However, the best time to book a hotel online is around 2 am and 6 am.
#2 Ask to see all available hotel rooms
When you’re checking in or if you’re at the hotel making a reservation, ask to see all of the rooms available. Because sometimes, larger rooms or rooms with a bigger bed and more amenities are the same prices as a room that’s a little smaller and maybe has two double beds instead of one king-size bed.
#3 Save time hunting down the perfect hotel deal
One of the travelers’ favorite tools when it comes to booking a hotel on a budget is RatePunk browser extension. How it works is you install it on your laptop and search for a hotel how you usually would do it. You can go on booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, Priceline, etc. – any website and find the hotel that fits your budget. Then, when you click to see the rooms, RatePunk pops up on the screen and compares prices for this hotel with other OTAs and shows you the cheapest option, including the amount of money you would save booking through another agency. It also has cashback and rebooking features. Plus, it is free to use.
#4 Understand the ‘BEST RATE GUARANTEE’
Third-party sites are great for booking hotels because you can get some deals often, right? But there is a way of even getting a better deal. So how these third-party sites work is that the hotel pays them a commission for advertising them. Say you find a hotel at the Hilton in New York for £350 on one of the third-party sites. Leave that window open, open up another window, and go to the official website for the hotel. Check to see what the rates are for that exact same room. Now let’s say on the official site that the same room you found on the third-party site is £400, so that’s a £50 difference. Before you do anything, read the terms and conditions for booking on the official site. And if there is a certain time frame where you can cancel after booking and get all your money back, book through the official website. So, pay that £400, and this is why. Most hotels have the best rate guarantee, so they will match the lower price that you found and give you extra perks so you can even get a free breakfast. Sometimes you can even get an upgrade. Now, if it turns out that they don’t have the best rate guarantee, then you can always just cancel, get your money back and book through the third-party site. See the ‘TOP 5 Most Reliable OTAs’.
#5 Hotel rates are set | Airbnb rates are not
Where hotel prices seem to be set, Airbnb prices are flexible. Not all the time, but often. You can actually contact the Airbnb owner and offer a lower rate. You can negotiate with them. Hosts want to make money, so they’ll most likely give you a discount if you book the night before and their place is available.
#6 Stay in destinations where your money goes a long way
If you dream about a luxurious 5-star experience but don’t have a budget to back it up, stay in destinations where your money goes a long way. Places like Vietnam or Thailand, India, and Belize, where you can stay at a 5-star hotel for the same price as if you were staying in Paris at a 2-star hotel. We might have something for inspiration, explore ‘15 Insanely Affordable Budget Travel Destinations In 2022’.
#7 Save by booking vacation rentals
Vacation rentals are great, especially if you’re a family or on vacation with your friends. Then getting a vacation rental, you can sometimes save 50% of what you would pay at a hotel or resort. Often, these vacation rentals have pools and full kitchens, so you can cook and save money that way. It feels like a home away from the actual home.
#8 Stay for free
There are also ways to stay for free using websites like Hospitality Club, Global Freeloaders, and Couchsurfing. Of course, if you are okay living with an unknown person in a foreign country.
#9 Pack an HDMI cable
Bring an HDMI cable with you to hook up your computer to the TV in your hotel. And get Netflix, so you don’t have to pay for any movies through the hotel. Find more travel tech tips for your next vacation!
#10 Hand wash your laundry
Laundry in hotels costs a billion dollars. Okay, maybe not that much, but paying $5 for one sock to be washed? No, thanks. So, what you can do is wash your clothes in the tub or the shower. But if you’re kind of a boujee and you have a room with a jacuzzi, use it for laundry. Put your clothes in there with some water and soap. Turn on the jacuzzi, and it works like a washing machine. It’s incredible. And hilarious. That’s the kind of story you will remember for a long time.
#11 Pump up the tunes using the phone in glass method
If you’re staying in a hotel, hostel, or guesthouse, and you’re having a room party, you want to turn up, but you don’t have a Bluetooth speaker, only a cell phone – that’s enough. So get a glass, vase, or empty water jug and put your phone inside it. It will increase the phone’s volume.
#12 Work for your stay
Many hostels will allow you to stay there if you’re working there, and you can negotiate the number of hours, but it’s a pretty sweet deal. This tip is mainly for nomads, backpackers, and full-time travelers because they are almost always ongoing. Moreover, housesitting is a great way to stay for free and immerse yourself in the culture. Because you’ll be living in a neighborhood surrounded by locals. There are several different housesitting websites, such as Mind My House; House Carers; Luxury Housesitting, etc. So, let’s skip this hack if you’re just looking for a nice week’s stay in Hawaii away from work.
#13 Get an AAA membership
It will give you discounts on hotels all around the world as well as more flexibility when booking and late cancellations.
#14 Get a hotel rewards card
There are hotel rewards cards, so you’re basically spending money as you normally would do on a daily basis, but you’re racking up points that you can use for hotel rooms.
#15 Negotiate a cheaper rate
Suppose you’re staying at any type of accommodation for an extended period of time. In that case, you can always negotiate or simply try to negotiate a cheaper rate because you’re staying longer than usual.
#16 Let the hotel staff know of your special occasion – Top Travel Hacks
Even if the hotel doesn’t necessarily give you an upgrade, let the staff know about your celebration when you’re celebrating a special occasion like a honeymoon, birthday, or anniversary. They will have something special for you most of the time. Some of the treats they may offer are decorating your room and leaving something nice in there, sometimes a bottle of champagne. They also sometimes offer dinner for two for free at the hotel restaurant. In addition, they might offer an hour massage at the spa. So, there are a lot of perks just because you’re celebrating a special day, and they want to help you have the best day possible.
#17 Get ‘ELITE’ status at a hotel
Dedicate yourself to one hotel chain, and you can get Elite status which gives you free upgrades, free stays, free breakfast, and many other perks.
#18 Exchange a review for free WiFi
If the hotel charges for WiFi (which is very common), tell them you will give them a good review on Tripadvisor in exchange for free WiFi. Sometimes you just gotta bribe, and sometimes it works.
#19 Ask for an upgrade
If you want an upgrade, ask for it. Sometimes the hotel staff will do it. That’s not a hack. It’s more like a reminder that communication is the key.
#20 Ask for a room on the top floor
When checking in, ask for a room on the top floor. You will get a better view, and there are usually fewer people if it’s not a fully booked hotel.
And those are some of our favorite accommodation hacks. We hope you learned something that helps you get the best out of your stay during your next trip.
Further reading on Travel Hacks