Getting cheap hotels is an art. What would they do if they came to a city they did not know, far from their place of residence and were unable to contact the relatives or local friends who offered them lodging? Worse still, if they promise you and in the end cancel them! And suddenly the night comes in that strange place and they are in the middle of the street, completely alone and carrying their suitcases.
It has happened to me to find myself in that situation – yes, with everything – and I know the discomfort and impotence that you feel, but if my experience serves you, you must know that even in that remote circumstance that many travelers have once upon a time, there are always alternatives.
There are always alternatives! This is the phrase that possibly more read in the blog because I am convinced that the problems are part of life, they will accompany us at every step, wherever we go, but each of them comes in package with – at least – a solution.
In this hypothetical case I raise, the most logical and immediate would be to find a hotel to stay in, but we risk two things. 1) that we get two eyes from the face with the high costs, because, as a rule, it is very easy to find hotels near tourist places but almost always the best located are also the most expensive. Or 2) that to save a few pesos we stay in an area very far from the attractions of the city – and we can end up spending more on travel – and let’s not even talk about the risks in security.
Save yourself this scene of terror! Planning and forecasting is most important when making a trip. Today I will share the tips I have learned to find a hotel (or hostel) at a reasonable price and nice enough to sleep peacefully and above all, safe.
Search in specialized applications
There are specialized smartphone apps to find hotels and hostels in any city. In them you can not only find the location and a map of how to get there, but you can compare the prices among several establishments of that type and, better yet, read the references that other travelers leave. This helps you a lot when choosing!
There are quite a few apps of this type, but the best ones are: Booking, Hoteltonight, Hostelworld, Tripadvisor, Expedia, Hostelsclub, Hostelling International and Hostelbookers.
Compare in at least two different places
Do not marry any app as wonderful as this one is. You should remember that not all hotels and hostels are advertised in one place, so when looking for a single you could miss the opportunity to find better places, at better prices. Try looking at least two or three sites and you’ll notice the difference. The competition favors the user: take advantage of it!
Negotiate a discount
There is a practice that does not always work but worth a try. Normally when you make reservations online, the page charges between 15 and 20% commission per night, but we can try the following move: look for the hotels and once you choose the one that best suits your needs, do not book in the application, Communicate directly to the hotel by phones and negotiate a discount with them, sometimes you can get even a 5 or 10% discount by speaking directly. Both suits you! The hostel pays less commission to the app for advertising and you also for reserving.
Take advantage of the credit card
If you have a healthy relationship with your finances and use credit cards responsibly, this could be very helpful because you can get rewarded with promotions to travel and even there are hotels that give you the chance to cancel the reservation without charge. But if you are financially a mess, I do not recommend it much because giving cards right and left and not being punctual with payments can make you spend a lot more than you imagine. Little by little, considerable numbers are lost.
Golden rule: Booking in low season and midweek
If your trip is not so express and you have the possibility to choose dates, give preference to weekdays and low season – other than August, Easter or Christmas – because prices are much lower at that time. Think that normally the hotels in low season have rooms available and really it is better to offer better prices as long as these are occupied.
For trips with more planning, you should know that there are online agencies – Expedia, Edreams – that work like traditional ones, but with their virtual component. They are in charge of finding you not only hotels, but flights and other tourist services in exchange for a commission – which is nothing compared to what it would cost you to buy them from last minute.