Saving money on hotels

When searching for the right hotel, take into account your budget, the destination and your plans for the trip.

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Updated 2 December 2019  | 4 min read

Which type of hotel should you choose?

You’ll need to decide whether you want to stay in a budget hotel, a hotel chain, an independent hotel or a boutique retreat.

You can also check out the hotel’s amenities, location and photos so you know exactly what to expect.

The higher a hotel’s star rating, generally the better the service and amenities the hotel has.

If you’re travelling for business and just need a clean and comfortable place to rest your head, it might be more cost effective to look for a cheaper hotel that’s more practical than luxurious.

For more relaxed holidays, searching for a hotel that has lots of amenities, such as a swimming pool or spa, might be more worthwhile.

Once you’ve worked out what you’re after, compare hotel prices to see if you can bag a bargain.

What’s the best hotel option for a larger group?

Villas and apartments can work out a lot cheaper than hotel rooms, if you’re travelling in a group. Use sites like Airbnb to find somewhere for the whole gang.

UK residents travelled abroad over 13 million times from January to March 2018
According to Statistica[†]

How to find a cheap hotel deal

Here are some handy hints that could help you save when you’re booking your hotel:

  • Time your break wisely – prices will increase around any local events or school holidays
  • Keep your dates flexible – you'll have a better chance of finding a great price
  • Check the cancellation policy – if you need to cancel, will you get a refund?
  • Read real reviews – sites like TripAdvisor can help you get a proper idea of the place
  • Book a package holiday – these usually work out cheaper than a trip you’ve planned yourself

What to look out for when booking a hotel

Keep an eye out for any taxes that could catch you out like city tax or room tax - you’ll usually have to pay these on arrival at your hotel so you might not know about them until you check in.

Spending over £100 on your hotel? Book with a credit card. It could see you covered if something goes wrong as your card provider can refund you under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act but beware there are restrictions when booking through third parties, please check before you book.

Be sure to get travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your trip too, otherwise you might miss out on cancellation cover.

Read independent reviews before you book your hotel, to get unbiased opinions from fellow travellers.

If you’re off on a package holiday, ABTA or ATOL protection will make sure you’re covered if your holiday provider goes bust.

What if I need to cancel my hotel booking?

Before you book your hotel, check their cancellation policy. Unless your plans are set in stone, choose a refundable option so you can get your money back if you need to cancel.

Get in touch with the hotel you’ve booked with to cancel your stay or cancel online – your booking confirmation should contain a link.

What’s the best way to pay for my hotel?

Whatever is most convenient for you.

However, if you pay by credit card and your stay is over £100, your payment will be protected by your credit card provider.

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