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How to find the cheapest hotel deals

Monday, July 21, 2014

Probably each of us has his own little secrets, tips and tricks on how to find the best hotel deals.

When we speak of cheapest hotel rates, we do not mean budget hostels, or old and dirty two-star properties we wouldn't advise any enemy to book.

In fact, the secret is to find good-rated 3 and 4 star properties at the same price others would pay for a two-star property.

How we do it? There's no short-cut, really. It takes discipline and some time to search the best quality / price hotel.

Here we go: below we prepared a comprehensive step-by-step approach that we follow:

Step 1

We start the process with the hotel comparison websites, like Trivago and HotelsCombined.

We do this because of two reasons:
- they show (almost) all the hotels you can book in any given location;
- you can already have an indication of which travel agencies might offer the best deals.

We note down the hotels that are at least 3 stars and that are in our price range (we also include in this short-list hotels that are over our budget, as later on we will find them cheaper elsewhere).

Step 2

We take all the hotels from the short-list and check their descriptions and guest reviews from booking.com.

We keep only those properties with at least a 7.5 rating and that offer the amenities we look for (every person might find various things important, but for us what matters most is breakfast included, free Wi-Fi and free parking).

We usually advise against booking hotels that are rated less than 7.5 on booking.com.

Step 3

After the first two steps we already know:

- that handful of hotels where we would be happy to stay;
- the maximum price we should pay.

Remember, you should never pay more than what you find on Trivago or HotelsCombined.

There is only exception to that rule: when booking directly on the hotel's website will bring a significant amount of loyalty points that would easily compensate for the few extra bucks paid (depending on the promotions, a couple of nights stays can sometimes easily get you another night free based on the loyalty points accumulated).

The third step consists of checking our list of 10 best cheapest booking websites. This is a really good source of finding a really good deal.

Even more, if you have the time, check-out all the travel agencies we using and expand your chances of finding that hidden gem.

Step 4

Check-out all the available discounts and promotions that you can find on our blog, in the right-hand side column called "Current discounts".

This is your best source of hotel discounts. 

Step 5

Check also the membership-based discounters, like TravelPony.

Membership is free, however you have to create an account to see the deals (you will get a 35$ credit if using this link to create the account). This is necessary so that this type of websites can circumvent the best rate guarantee policy of hotels.

Step 6

Check-out the secret hotels offered by various online travel agencies:

- Hotels from lastminute.com;

- Express Deals from Priceline;

- Unpublished Rate Hotels from Expedia;

- Secret Hot Rate Hotels from Hotwire.

These are discounted hotels where you will see the price and some of the amenities, however you will not see the name until after booking. This is done by these websites so that they do not affect the regular pricing policy of the hotels.

Step 7

If you are unhappy about your final results, send us an e-mail at emma@vakanz.club and we will try to help you.

Or even easier and time saving for you, just write us when and where you'd like to go and we will run all the steps above and provide you with a top 3 hotel choices, indicating the best prices and the websites where these can be booked.


Let us know if your arsenal includes other methods of finding hotel deals.

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