With the holiday season just around the corner many of us will be spending time in hotels either in this country or abroad. Whilst the holiday season is a time to enjoy ourselves we still need to look for cost savings wherever we can - so here are my top tips on hotel costs.
Do your research
Get on the internet and do your research well ahead of your proposed holiday dates. Many hotels offer deals for certain days of the week or for longer stays, and make sure you visit several holiday sites (such as expedia or trivago) as theses deals may be restricted to certain sites.
If you find a hotel you like go onto a map site and research the hotels in that location as you may find a similar hotel at a cheaper rate, or try to negotiate a cheaper price at the hotel you like.
Also, remember if you collect Tesco Clubcard points you can redeem these at three times their face value at certain hotels, check their website for details
Choose your dates wisely
Try and avoid the busiest periods if possible such as school and bank holidays. Also try and avoid other busy times, such as the Olympics if staying in the London or the Edinburgh Festival if going north of the border. There will be local festivals in places abroad so make sure you avoid those times if you want to save money.
Consider booking bed and breakfast rather than room only
Hotel breakfasts these days are always buffet style which is a great opportunity to start the day with a substantial meal. Also, if you get up slightly later you will probably be able to skip lunch if you grab an apple and banana as you leave the breakfast room.
Don't touch the minibar or book room service
Just look at the minibar tariff and you will see why you need to give it a wide berth. Nothing wrong with having the odd meal on room service but be aware that you will pay around £5 for them to deliver it to your room, and sometimes a service charge on top. So ringing down for two coffees is a definite no!
Check out 'Happy hour' or 'Early bird' deals
Most hotel bars and restaurants will have daily deals to grab business early in the evening make sure you check these out and take advantage of them.
Don't buy a newspaper
Many hotels offer either free newspapers delivered to your room or they are available at reception. If free papers aren't on view ask at the desk if they have a daily paper, as they will collect discarded papers from the lounge and will be happy to let you have one.
Don't pay for internet access
Many hotels will charge an extortionate rate for in-room internet access but provide free wi-fi access in public areas, so use this. If there is no free wi-fi access anywhere check out the business centre as internet access may be free for a short period every day. If all else fails ask the Concierge for the nearest free wi-fi hotspot, in my experience most libraries here and abroad have some kind of free service. Obviously if you are in the UK you can use the 3G facility on your smartphone but never use this whilst abroad, and make sure you turn off data roaming.
Use the hotels courtesy bus service
Many hotels, especially abroad, offer a courtesy bus service into the nearest town or city, just grab a timetable and make sure you use this rather than local taxis.
If your chosen hotel doesn't have it's own car park check if it has an arrangement with a nearby car park. Many hotels get a discount from the local car park - I've just saved £15 on two days parking in London using this tip.
Paying your bill
If you are holidaying abroad make sure you pay your bill in the local currency as exchange rates can be very poor.
Free images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net