Summer holidays are just around the corner! Time to start planing your epic summer trip with the whole family. Before you book your hotel, check out these tips to help stretch your budget and get more value for your cash, a free upgrade or even free breakfast.
After travelling to over 30 countries, I've learned what to do, and what to avoid, when it comes to booking hotels. Enjoy these tried and tested tips to get a better deal on your next hotel, and get more value with your budget and keep the kids happy.
1. Find a promo codes or coupons
The easiest way to save on your next hotel booking is with a promo code or coupon. You'll find the top Canadian hotel deals right here. You'll find coupons for specific hotels, for group booking sites, and even airlines. Alternatively, you can simply Google the hotel name your about to book, followed by the words "promo code" or "discounts" and see all the savings appear.
2. Check out hotel price comparisons
You are busy enough taking care of work, family, life, cleaning and everything in between! Let these sites find you the best deal without much work. Simply type in your dates and location and let the savings roll in. Now, with so many sites out there, which one's are the best? Let me tell you my top two booking sites. I have honestly tried almost every site out there, and these have the best hotel prices and they are easy to use!
Let's start with my go-to, Expedia. They have tons of options for hotels and even package vacations on the easy-to-use site. My favourite part is the Expedia free extras, since they include late checkout, resort credits, free breakfast and room upgrades, just for booking on their site! Who doesn't love late check outs?
Next is Priceline. You've probably seen lots of ads for them, and they actually have an easy booking process that only takes seconds to find the right room. To save even more, try their name your price option,and get the best deal on your next hotel stay.
3. Try Airbnb or a hotel alternative
Have you every tried an alternative to hotels? How about an Airbnb or a hostel? Airbnb offers affordable apartments for the price of a cramped hotel room. Get more room for the kids to run around and save even more money by cooking and doing your own laundry in your rental apartment.
Hostels are not as smelly and creepy as they used to be . You can now book individual rooms/family rooms for half the price of a normal hotel room and still get the chance to meet fellow travellers in the common areas. Hostels have upgraded to beautiful, clean, stylish and affordable places to stay for a quarter of the hotel price. Side note, before you book, make sure to check the recent reviews. I recommend the hostels.com app. They delete all reviews that are older than three months, and after booking over 14 hostel stays with them, I've never been disappointed.
4. Book using a rewards program
Free night at a hotel anyone? Now you can get every 11th night free thanks to Hotels.com. Just book your room on the site and let the rewards rack up. Claiming your free night is extremely easy, and they even send you a reminder if your free rewards night is about to expire.
5. Clear your cookies
Not the Cookie Monster kind – the ones that sites put on your browsers to help track your preferences. Although cookies are very useful for most sites, they do cause big problems when it comes to booking travel. Have you ever tried to book a hotel or a flight, then decided to wait, and the next time you check the price it's twice as much? That's thanks to those pesky cookies. You have two options: either delete your cookies or open an incognito/private window. Just open the new tab and enter your info to book. You'll (usually) instantly find the price should be lower, and you'll save tons.
6. Look for last-minute deals
For those travellers who don't mind last-minute bookings, you can save heaps of money. Hotels will usually lower prices at the last minute in hopes of filling up the hotel. Take advantage of the rock-bottom prices. Be warned that if you a travelling to somewhere for a conference or concert and you know there will be thousands of people there, book ahead to make sure to have a place to stay, because all the hotels might be full.
7. Use you student, teacher, military, CAA or seniors discounts
Save money by simply being you! Simply ask if the hotel has a discount. I've saved 10-15% at select hotels like Great Wolf Lodge and even sites like hotels.com.
8. Book on group booking sites
It's time to take that leap and book those getaways you've been eyeing on Groupon, Wagjag and Tuango. The offers may seem too good to be true, but it's not the case – it's just a result of these sites negotiating a great rate with hotels and airlines. You can easily save up to 70% off your next trip and hotel by simply keeping an eye out for the latest getaways.
These great deals have just one minor detail to pay attention to: read the fine print. Often you'll find a cleaning fee, or taxes not included in the advertised price. These deals are optimal for families and couples but can be more expensive for solo travellers, since the price is often based on at least two people sharing one hotel room.
Now that you have all these great tips, enjoy booking your next hotel room without busting your budget. From one traveller to another, save money on your trip, so you can travel more!