How to find the best accommodation deals at hotels and hostels. Tips and tricks

Gone are the days when you had to settle for expensive, imposed accommodations that drained your vacation or travel budget. Everyone seeks the best possible vacation deals, balanced in terms of quality and price. However, not everyone knows how to search for these deals. That’s why we aim to bring to light a few simple […] The post How to find the best accommodation deals at hotels and hostels. Tips and tricks appeared first on TukTuk Travel Magazine.

How to find the best accommodation deals at hotels and hostels. Tips and tricks

Gone are the days when you had to settle for expensive, imposed accommodations that drained your vacation or travel budget. Everyone seeks the best possible vacation deals, balanced in terms of quality and price. However, not everyone knows how to search for these deals. That’s why we aim to bring to light a few simple strategies and small secrets that professional travelers use when booking accommodations at hotels, resorts, or hostels worldwide. Suppose you employ them with patience and perseverance. In that case, you’ll not only save significant amounts from your vacation and travel budget but also learn to navigate the accommodation booking jungle without having to resort to intermediaries.

1 Plan ahead and be prepared to have flexible travel dates 

plan a trip

One of the golden rules of saving on accommodation is to plan your trip or stay in advance and be flexible with departure and return dates. Booking in advance can often bring significant savings, as hotels and hostels usually offer discounts for early reservations. By planning ahead, you can take advantage of special promotions and offers (such as early booking deals), ensuring you get the best available rates. Moreover, flexibility with travel dates allows you to take advantage of periods of low demand when prices are generally lower. Consider traveling during weekdays or in the shoulder season (the period between peak and off-peak demand) to make significant savings. 

For example, if you’re planning a beach getaway, avoid making reservations during school holidays or major events when prices tend to skyrocket.

2 Use online travel agencies and comparison websites, then contact the hotel 

booking a hotel

Comparison websites for accommodations are excellent tools for finding the best hotel and hostel deals. These platforms aggregate information from various accommodation providers, allowing you to compare prices, read reviews, and make informed decisions. Popular sites like, Expedia, and offer competitive rates and often provide exclusive discounts and rewards for their users. Comparison sites like Trivago and Kayak provide an overview of available options, allowing you to filter results according to preferences. Many people prefer to book through these platforms, but the best advice is that once you’ve found a hotel you like and seen a reasonable price on the booking platform, visit the hotel’s website to check if a direct booking might offer you savings. This often happens, and there can be last-minute offers and more. 

For instance, let’s assume you’re planning a trip to Rome. Using Trivago, you can compare prices for different hotels and hostels in your desired location, read reviews from past guests, and ultimately choose the best option that fits your budget and needs. 

However, input the hotel name into Google before booking, visit their official website, and check prices for your desired period. 

Tip: Use on your mobile phone. Many claim you get around 10% lower prices by accessing the site on a mobile device compared to a desktop. As over half of all bookings are made on mobile devices, the platform incentivizes hotels to offer this. They receive a badge next to their property, contributing to increased visibility and bookings, in exchange for offering at least a 10% discount.

3 Enroll in loyalty programs and benefit from member discounts 


Another excellent way to save on accommodation is to enroll in loyalty programs and take advantage of member discounts. Many hotel chains and booking platforms offer loyalty programs that reward frequent guests with exclusive benefits, such as reduced rates, free upgrades, and special promotions. 

For instance, Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and IHG Rewards Club are popular loyalty programs that offer members various perks. By joining these programs, you can benefit from discounted rates and accumulate points for future stays. 

Furthermore, check if you qualify for member discounts. Certain organizations, such as AAA, AARP, or student associations, offer exclusive accommodation discounts. Always ensure you have your membership cards with you and inquire about available discounts when making reservations.

4 Consider alternative accommodation options 

While hotels and hostels are the most common accommodation options, considering alternatives can lead to significant savings. Here are a few choices: 

Vacation rentals: Platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo offer a diverse range of private vacation accommodations, including apartments, houses, and even unique properties like treehouses or houseboats. Renting a vacation home can be more cost-effective, especially for families or groups traveling together, as it can save on food expenses. 

Bed & Breakfasts and Guesthouses: Guesthouses offer a comfortable and personalized accommodation experience. These units are often family-owned and offer competitive rates compared to larger hotels. Additionally, they often include breakfast in the room rate, saving you money on your first meal of the day. 

Couchsurfing: For more adventurous and budget-conscious travelers, the Couchsurfing system allows you to stay with locals for free. It’s a fantastic way to engage with local culture and save on accommodation costs. However, always prioritize safety by choosing verified hosts with positive reviews. 

When considering alternative accommodation options, read reviews, check the location, and ensure these accommodations meet safety and comfort standards.

5 Stay outside the city center 

If you’re flexible about location preferences, consider staying outside the city center. Accommodation prices tend to be lower in areas outside popular tourist destinations. Public transportation networks often provide convenient access to the city center, allowing you to explore the destination without spending a fortune on centrally located accommodations. 

For instance, if you’re planning a trip to Paris, staying in less central areas like Montmartre or Belleville can offer significant savings compared to hotels in the heart of the city. Additionally, the local experience might be more authentic in these areas.

6 Take advantage of last-minute deals 

last minute deals

If you’re more of a spontaneous traveler or have a flexible itinerary, watch for last-minute deals and flash discounts. Hotels and hostels sometimes offer significantly discounted rates to fill unoccupied rooms. 

Platforms like HotelTonight or specialize in finding last-minute deals, allowing you to book accommodation at reduced rates on the same day or a few days in advance. Additionally, many hotels and hostels announce flash discounts on their websites or social media channels, so it’s worth keeping an eye on your favorite properties to stay updated on any special promotions.

Tip: Another good website for last-minute deals is Holiday Pirates.

7 Bundle accommodation with flights or other travel packages 

When making a reservation, consider bundling accommodation with flights or vacation packages. Many travel websites and airlines offer reduced rates when you book a combination of flights and accommodations. 

For example, sites like Expedia and Travelocity allow you to customize your travel package by selecting the desired flight, hotel, and sometimes even car rental. Bundling often results in significant savings compared to booking each component separately. Additionally, check out travel packages offered by tour operators or travel agencies. These packages typically include accommodation, transportation, and guided tours or activities, providing excellent value for money.

8 Make use of hotel price-matching policies 

Did you know that many hotels and hostels have price-matching policies? If you find a lower rate for the same property and room type on another website, they might offer the same or even lower price. Take advantage of this by thoroughly researching and comparing prices on multiple platforms before making a reservation. 

Don’t hesitate to negotiate directly with the hotel. Especially during off-peak periods or when booking for an extended period, you might secure additional discounts or free upgrades by asking a simple question. Therefore, politely inquiring about available advantages or special rates doesn’t hurt.

9 Consider alternative booking platforms 

japan hotels

As mentioned earlier, booking platforms are excellent for finding accommodation price deals but don’t limit yourself to them. Some hotels and hostels may offer exclusive discounts or better rates when you book directly through their websites. Always check the official website of the property you’re interested in to see if special promotions or discounts are available. 

However, besides official websites, consider searching on local booking platforms or sites that specifically cater to your destination. These platforms may have partnerships with local accommodation establishments, allowing you to find unique offers or hidden gems unavailable on regular booking sites. 

For example, if you’re planning a trip to Japan, sites like Rakuten Travel or specialize in offering accommodation options throughout the country with exclusive deals for domestic travelers. 

10 Consider shared accommodation options 

If you’re open to meeting new people and experiencing a communal living environment, shared accommodation options can be an excellent way to save money. In short: hostels. Platforms like Hostelworld or Hostelz specialize in connecting travelers with affordable hostel options. Staying in a hostel reduces travel expenses and offers opportunities to socialize with travelers from around the world. Many hostels provide common areas like kitchens and lounges, as well as organized activities, creating a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere. 

When considering a hostel stay, it’s essential to read reviews from fellow travelers beforehand to ensure your choice has a good reputation for cleanliness and safety.

Additional tips for booking affordable hotel rooms 

hotels offers

Follow hotel social media – Like the Facebook and Instagram pages of hotels you’re interested in or follow them on X (formerly Twitter). It’s becoming more common for them to release cheap accommodation offers through these media channels. 

Subscribe to newsletters – Simply subscribing to newsletters from your preferred booking sites can give you access to accommodation offers ahead of others. Some hotels have special deals and coupons available only to subscribers. 

Clear cookies and browsing history – When searching for cheap offers on a booking platform the second time, use a different browser or access it in incognito mode to avoid the cookie the site initially planted, which might prevent you from seeing new deals. 

Get cashback – If you have a travel website or blog, enroll in affiliate programs from major booking platforms. This way, you not only get a small commission for every booking made through your blog, but you can also make your hotel bookings through your blog’s links and then reclaim part of the money through the commission. Additionally, you can ask friends or colleagues to book through your blog, such as, to benefit from this system. 

Avoid weekend reservations – Whenever possible, try not to book hotel rooms on Fridays and Saturdays, as these usually have the highest rates. Instead, book on Sunday evenings, and you’ll notice the price differences.

Use apps – Many hotels have partnerships with various apps that offer significantly discounted rooms, sometimes up to 60%. Some of the best last-minute apps, available for both iPhone and Android, include HotelTonight and OneNightStandard


In conclusion, there are numerous ways to save money on accommodation during your travels. From planning ahead, using comparison platforms, exploring alternative accommodation options, and negotiating directly with hotels, you can find suitable methods for your budget and preferences. With some research and creativity, using our pointers for finding the best accommodation deals, you can turn your journey into a memorable experience without breaking the bank.

Photo: Canva Pro

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The post How to find the best accommodation deals at hotels and hostels. Tips and tricks appeared first on TukTuk Travel Magazine.

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