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How to book the best hotel and accommodation deals
With sites like Booking.com and Hotels.com now listing well over 1 million properties in virtually all countries, finding the best deal can at first appear a formidable task. However, if there’s one thing you should never do, it’s overpay for a hotel room.With just a little ingenuity, however, you can put all that information to good use and grab the best hotel at the best price,
Utilise free cancellation
More and more properties offer free cancellation, sometimes right up until the day of arrival. With prices changing all the time and new sales or discounts continually popping up, it can sometimes pay to secure a relatively good deal with free cancellation early on. That way you can continue looking for better deals right throughout the cancellation period safe in the knowledge that you’ll always have somewhere to stay if you don’t end up finding a better deal. Not all places will off this and the cancellation periods do vary considerably so do make sure you double check before you book.
Sign up for an account or use loyalty schemes
One of the easiest ways to grab some great savings is to simply register for an account on the accommodation site you’re using. By registering with Booking.com and booking just five stays in two years, you’ll be promoted to genius status. This loyalty scheme offers a straight 10% discount on participating hotels, as well as 2 hours earlier check-in and 2 hours later check-out. With Hotels.com it’s even easier, simply register for an account on the website and you’ll unlock their secret prices scheme, which offers lower prices not available to non-members on thousands of properties. Expedia.com’s scheme, called Expedia+. offers points for every £1 spent on hotels, flights, activities and car hire. You can then redeem these points later for some cool savings. The best thing about all these schemes is that they cost absolutely nothing to sign up to, so there’s basically nothing to lose.
Book at the right time
Traditional advice on this point has generally been to either book really late or really far in advance. The thinking here is fairly obvious. By booking really far in advance lower demand should bring prices down and by booking really late the risk of hotels not filling rooms again helps forces prices down. However, research done by well known travel review site TripAdvisor showed that UK holidaymakers are most likely to get the cheapest rates by booking several months in advance, rather than waiting until the last minute. Of the 15 major holiday destinations included in the research, they found that savings of up to 49% were possible if trips to Dubai were booked within 3 months of the travel date. Trips to New York and Tokyo provided potential savings of up to 40% and 30% respectively when booking within one month of travel. The savings do vary by destination so it always pays to spend some time doing a little research before booking.
As many hotel and guest house owners will tell you, reviews are the life blood of the industry. After all, you’re unlikely to book a hotel if you can see it’s had very bad reviews. Don’t just glance at the star ratings as you scroll through however, lot’s of really useful information can be gathered from reading the main text of genuine reviews. Often, you can find good tips on how to save money not just on the accommodation booking itself, but on local shops and restaurants. Most accommodation sites, Booking.com included, offer lots of filters to help sort through reviews and you can use these to get reviews that are most relevant to you.
Use discount codes
Nearly all the major accommodation booking sites release discount codes periodically. These can sometimes offer 10 to 20 percent off the listed price. They’re not always easy to find but Zohos makes this really easy since we have dedicated discount pages for all the major accommodation bookings sites. You can also check out our great selection of discount codes and deals in our dedicated Hotels, Hotels and Villas category, which includes all the major accommodation bookings sites.