How times have changed. Just a few years ago, if we needed to find a hotel, we generally had to rely on travel guide books and their (often out-dated) hotel listings. We’d find one in our price range and call them up.
Nowadays, however, thanks to the meteoric rise of the World Wide Web, there is a wealth of information available to us and we no longer need to rely on luck when it comes to picking the right place to stay.
The internet now provides the most comprehensive information on every type of accommodation: from campsites to budget hotels to luxury spa resorts. Once we have done our research, we can make informed choices and find the best deals on hotels in a matter of minutes.
Price Comparison Sites
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on your accommodation, yet you still hope to find a decent location and a comfortable bed at the very least, then this is entirely feasible: you just need to know how and where to look.
Firstly, there are travel brokers who negotiate deals with hotels and nearly always offer the best possible prices. Some of the better known include Expedia, Lastminute.com and Ebookers. Better still, there are now sophisticated Hotel Price Comparison sites which take all the hard work away from you as they collate prices from all of these brokers, and many more.
What’s more, you can refine your search to include specific features that you wish your accommodation to have.
Gone are the days from checking one broker’s site and then another – saving you precious time and money. Just as goods in a store are sold at different prices in different places, it’s exactly the same with travel products, so having them all in one place and being able to compare them at a glance makes shopping a breeze – if only it could be that easy when shopping on the high street!
It’s a common misconception that travel brokers and price comparison sites only offer mid-range and high end hotels. The truth is that they now cater to all budgets, even including hostels and backpacker accommodations. Hotels have realised that this is where most of their business is done.
It is now therefore easier than ever to find the best deals on hotels, regardless of your budget.
Once you have made your short list or chosen your hotel, then you should check the reviews to make sure it’s more des res than disaster. There are a number of review sites out there; all of the main travel brokers now include reviews alongside their hotel listings, and there are independent review sites, such as Tripadvisor.
However, the easiest place to check out reviews is again via Hotel Price Comparison sites which gather reviews from multiple sources and therefore offer the most comprehensive selection. The growing trend of previous guests reviewing their holiday accommodation is particularly helpful when looking for budget hotels, since this is where people are generally most worried about getting good value for money.
It’s also worth checking out a hotel’s own website too, for additional information and also to be sure that you’ve got the best deal by comparing their direct rate. Nowadays, hotels will rarely have better prices than you can find elsewhere on the internet and their sites are more geared towards giving you more detailed information and photos, to help you plan your stay.
There are a couple of other things to be mindful of in choosing your budget hotel. Firstly, you should not trust the star system. It is based on facilities and not quality, so the number of stars it has is no indicator of the most important factors, such as location, comfort and standards of service.
Moreover, there is no international standard in this system. Therefore, you are much better off looking at hotel websites and previous guest reviews. Secondly, when comparing rates, make sure that you know whether or not room taxes are included. Some sites will include it in the overall price, whereas others don’t.
It’s never been an easier time to find the best deals on hotels. Now you know where to look and what to look out for, you can be confident of securing the best possible rate, every time.