How to Get Cheaper Hotel Rooms

Cheaper hotel rooms can be found if you know where to look. Here, you'll find a range of handy hints, tips and advice from industry experts.

Man checking in at hotel reception
(Image credit: Getty Images)

 

Figuring out how to get cheaper hotel rooms isn’t anything new - seasoned travellers have been researching and using hacks for decades in order to find holiday accommodation for less. 

For the majority, however, this is a new art. What should people be looking out for when they book? How can they make savings and are there any tips that they can take advantage of to get bang for their buck? Here, we do our best to answer these questions and help you add more strings to your money-saving bow.

How have customer booking habits changed?

 

With a cost-of-living crisis gripping the UK, shoppers are understandably tentative when it comes to spending large amounts of money on holidays. In fact, according to a recent Expedia press release, ‘“in the UK, more than a quarter (28%) of travellers admit they are more concerned with value for money than ever before.” 

The release also shows that “interest is up more than 20% globally in three-star and under hotels, emphasising the rise in the mighty lower-starred stays”.

It certainly seems there’s been a repositioning in customer booking habits. Expedia proceeds to mention that “in 2023, 39% of UK travellers plan to stay in 1–3-star hotels and 28% want to book a stay with added value inclusions, such as toiletries or free breakfast. There is a shift in mindset from the post-pandemic bucket-list mentality”. This data certainly makes for interesting reading, but beyond a quick Google search how do shoppers actually find these deals and maximise their savings? 

Request a Room on a Higher Floor

 

We reached out to Hotels.com for some in-depth top tips and they provided us with some excellent ways to trim down the overall cost of your next hotel stay.

The best place to start is by requesting a hotel room on a higher floor upon arrival. Hotels.com told us, "the higher the floor, the more premium the rooms, so don’t hesitate to ask for a room on an upper floor.” Although you might not be offered a suite, you’re almost guaranteed to be higher in the building and away from the noise of busy streets. 

Request a Corner or Refurbished Room

 

Securing a corner room could feel like a mini upgrade in itself, and according to Hotels.com, “these rooms usually have the most square footage and the highest number of windows, creating a visually larger and brighter space.” 

It would also be worth checking to see if any of the hotel rooms have been recently refurbished and requesting one instead. By doing so, you’ll experience a more premium feel to your stay as everything will be relatively new.

Stay on Sunday Night

 

Sunday nights are usually the cheapest night to stay in a city hotel. Hotels.com advised that “hotels often have amazing deals on Sunday nights and it’s also the night you’re more likely to get an upgrade to a suite, as the hotel is less occupied.” 

Sunday nights tend to be less busy, due to the lull between weekend visitors leaving the city and business customers coming in on Monday mornings. 

Book to Stay in December and January

 

According to Hotels.com, “the first two weeks of January are usually the quietest travel weeks and the perfect time to grab a bargain. You might think travelling around the holiday season would cost more but in fact, corporate hotels have great availability and prices in the last two weeks in December”.

Cheaper dates around this time would exclude New Year’s eve, however, as prices typically skyrocket for a night or two before coming back down again in early January.

Stay in Business Districts on Weekends

 

“Many cities which are popular for business travellers, such as Tokyo, London, Brussels and Sao Paulo, have fantastic room rates during the weekend once the ‘suits’ have left”, according to Hotels.com. 

It may not be your first choice, but business districts in popular cities are often well-connected thanks to an abundance of public transport options. You should find handy eateries and nearby convenience shops on your doorstep too. 

Save with Package Holidays

 

Customers looking for cheaper hotel rooms will also be mindful of keeping other costs down (such as flights and any other extras), especially when travelling abroad. Indeed, lower holiday prices and booking security appear to be more important to travellers today than ever, with the popularity of package holidays (which can offer both) steadily increasing following the COVID pandemic. 

In fact, according to Statista, “in 2022, the number of users in the Package Holiday market in the UK in 2022 totalled roughly 11.1 million. While this figure remained below pre-pandemic levels, it is expected to rise further in the following years, reaching 13.5 million by 2025.” It seems, then, that this upwards trend is set to continue.

Head of Hotel Partnerships at lastminute.com, Martin Kleinman, explained to us why package holidays are popular, and why customers can save by booking this way. He said “one amazing way to save money is to buy your flight and hotel together if you’re going abroad. You not only get protection if something happens, as it’s classed as a package holiday, but hotels love it as you’re less likely to cancel, and airlines love it as they’ve got a better idea of seat numbers on planes.”

Kleinman also mentioned that the majority of holiday companies will promote deals at some point throughout the year, and advised that it's best to follow your preferred provider closely on social media or to sign up for their newsletter to be notified of sales and discounts.

a suitcase with a straw hat on the handle, situated in a hotel room with a white bed in the background

(Image credit: Getty images)

Collect Points with Membership Schemes

 

There are a handful of other ways to save; including checking for point rewards via membership schemes such as Nectar and Avios. Not only can accumulating points on your Nectar card save money on your weekly shop, but they can also be converted into Avios; allowing you to spend on trips with British Airways. All you’ll need to do to start converting is to link your Nectar and British Airways Executive Club accounts together. The British Airways Executive Club is completely free to join and will start earning members rewards every time they fly, book a hotel or hire a car. It’s a no-brainer for anyone who loves to travel.

Free Cancellation Policies and New Travel Routes

 

Making the most of free cancellation policies is also worthwhile, as is keeping your eyes peeled for flash sales and travel companies that plan to open up new routes. Indeed, on this last point, easyJet has just this year announced new package holiday services from certain UK airports to tourist hotspots all over Europe, such as Edinburgh to Santorini and Southend to Amsterdam. By doing so, early deals can be made available in order to encourage sales, drive popularity and entice new customers. easyJet also provides a flexible booking policy; including a guaranteed refund, a ‘best price guarantee’ and the ability to amend your booking. 

Are Hotels Cheaper than Airbnb?

This largely depends on what you’re looking for. Hotels typically offer a safer environment, come with more amenities and tend to be more convenient in terms of location and customer service availability. However, they are more restricted in terms of pricing, room types, how long you plan to stay and the number of people that can sleep in one room.

Indeed, large groups may find better value when booking an apartment/house through Airbnb. For example, at the time of writing a late summer booking (from 18th September to 22nd September 2023) in Torquay for 5 people via a ‘Superhost’ costs roughly £861.00 per person. A hotel of a similar rating (for the same amount of people and on the same dates) can cost anywhere from £920.00 to £1,243.00. If we take the higher price, that's a saving of £382.00.

It’s important to note, however, that costs will vary depending on when and where you’re looking to stay (due to the sheer volume of choices available and other factors such as peak seasons). Airbnb’s tend to be offered on a self-catering basis and you won’t have room service or housekeeping facilities during your stay - so although you might have more freedom in an apartment or house, you’ll have to maintain the property yourself!

Make Sure You Consider the Holiday Extras

 

There certainly are ways to make considerable savings for travellers, whether they’re looking for a night in a hotel or they’re planning a package holiday abroad. We always recommend double-checking the terms and conditions of your booking before committing to payment and being happy with the amount you’re spending (whether this be a deposit or the total amount). Always check for ATOL or ABTA-registered companies and ensure you’ve included any essential add-ons, such as extra luggage and travel insurance.

At MyVoucherCodes, we have a wide range of discount codes and offers available for hotel and holiday providers such as Travelodge, Premier Inn, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, lastminute.com, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and many more. So, be sure to check in with us first and save on your next trip!

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.