Cheap Hotel Rooms on a Student Budget

From student discounts to last-minute deals, there are plenty of ways for students to save

Smiling female student traveller with a travellers rucksack on
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wherever you’re looking to stay during your next getaway, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of options to choose from when it comes to booking accommodation. This process, however, doesn’t always come cheap and you can often end up paying hundreds of pounds (and maybe even more) for the perfect place.

Prices fluctuate regularly, and if you’re looking to book a hotel or alternate accommodation during the busy periods of the year (such as Christmas, Easter and the summer holidays), you can almost guarantee you’ll end up paying more. Students, as a result, tend to get the rough end of the deal as peak seasons are often the only time they have free to go on holiday. 

There are, however, several savvy ways for students to save. Below, we’ll talk you through a range of hints and tips to help you secure your next booking for less.

Make the Most of Your Student Discount

It might sound obvious, but student discounts are a great way to save on a wide range of goods such as food, tech and clothing. What might not be so obvious, however, is that you can also use them when booking trips through selected holiday and hotel providers! Popular booking agents such as Hotels.com and Expedia accept student discount codes from Studentbeans and UNiDAYS respectively, and could help you save 10% off selected bookings. All you need to do to gain access to these offers is to verify your student status with the relevant discount provider.

Larger travel agent websites aren’t the only place you should look. Hotel chains like Travelodge and Premier Inn occasionally offer student discounts, although these aren’t always available. We also recommend contacting your chosen hotel directly to see if they plan to offer any special savings for students during your stay (such as discounts on food, drinks or excursions).  

Consider All Options - Are Hostels Cheaper Than Hotels?

If you’re wanting to keep costs down and aren’t too fussed about the accommodation that you book, then a hostel might be the right option for you. Hostels often come with a bad name, but with a bit of research, you can be sure to find one that is safe, clean and more than hospitable. 

The concept is simple; you pay much less than you would in a hotel and in return get a room that you’ll (typically) have to share with other travellers. There are communal spaces, such as kitchens and areas to relax, and there tend to be laundry facilities in place too. For younger people, hostels shouldn’t just be considered for their cost-friendly nature, but also for the other benefits that they can offer. It’s a great way to meet other people, hostel staff tend to be very friendly and knowledgeable and most hostels will organise events for their guests. 

You’ll find hostels listed on Hotels.com, Expedia and also Booking.com - the latter of which is our personal favourite due to the sheer volume of choice that tends to be available. At MyVoucherCodes, we have a range of further discount codes and offers for these retailers, so be sure to check them out today! 

Keep an Eye on Flash Sales and Last Minute Deals

Flash sales and last-minute deals are always a great way to find hotel stays for less. The majority of providers don’t want empty rooms, especially during high seasons, and so will make a conscious effort to sell them for less should they not receive bookings.

Take a look at agents such as lastminute.com and Secret Escapes and browse through their last-minute deals sections. We also recommend signing up for their newsletters, as you’ll be the first to know of any discounted rates and offers. 

Have You Tried Browsing in Incognito Mode?

This method goes for everyone, not just students. Did you know that your online search history could be resulting in higher hotel prices? If you’ve been searching for a while, this will be noted in your cookies and booking websites will be able to change the price you see based on the current demand. By deleting your browsing history, cookies and any additional information, you could get cheaper results as the providers won’t have your personal data stored. 

Book in Large Groups and Split the Cost

If you’re planning to go away with friends or family, then splitting the cost is a sensible way of reducing the amount each individual owes. By looking at accommodation providers such as Vrbo, Airbnb and Agoda, you’re able to browse entire apartments rather than hotel rooms and this can sometimes work out cheaper.

This does, however, depend on where and when you're planning to book. For more information, be sure to check out our article on How to Get Cheaper Hotel Rooms. There’s a section here on whether hotels are cheaper than Airbnb, which might come in handy. 

Try Volunteering, Sofa Surfing or Housesitting!

These options are a bit more extreme, but can almost guarantee cheaper accommodation. In some cases, you might even get it for free! Volunteers are needed all over the world, and there are many companies that will help you organise a trip that involves this sort of work. In most cases, the accommodation will be provided for you, alongside food and drink.

Sofa surfing is a little different - it allows travellers to stay with locals throughout the world via an online platform called Couch Surfing. You’ll need to pay a fee to use the service, which is safe and secure, but staying on someone’s couch is totally free. For more information, including any FAQs on how it works and safety concerns, be sure to check out their website.

You can also housesit for homeowners who are currently out of town! Trusted Housesitters is a website that allows you to sign up for a paid subscription which grants you access to a range of sitting opportunities around the world. You can sit for pets, too, and the accommodation is free of charge.  

Jack Cunningham
Travel Editor

As a former sports journalist and content creator, I swapped the press box for a permanent desk several years ago. Since giving match reports the red card, I have enjoyed developing my writing and research skills in a few other areas, and now I spend my time doing something I really enjoy - sharing the best ways to save on travel with our wonderful readers.


I love nothing more than exploring different parts of the world and learning about new cultures (and taking in the occasional sporting fixture, if at all possible). I’m just as happy on a quick city break in Lisbon as I am navigating my way across the width of America, and firmly believe everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy travelling regardless of their budget.