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Escape Hunter Planning How Solo Travelers Can Spend Less on Hotel Nights

How Solo Travelers Can Spend Less on Hotel Nights

October 10, 2014
April 29, 2015

Usually, the services that consume most of my trip's funds are the hotels.
I don't like hostels, because I enjoy the comfort of hotels... this may be true in your case as well. But, what can you do to spend less on hotel nights, especially when traveling solo?

I'm writing from the more exigent solo traveler's perspective: couchsurfing is out, hostels are out... "nothing below a hotel" is the general rule, no compromise on comfort, safety or privacy...

How many things have you tried to shrink hotel booking expenses?

Hotel room

Source: © iStock.com/mooltfilm

Before we go into details: calculate the percentage you spend on accommodation per your entire trip.
Naturally, you should focus on struggling to minimize the expenses in case it makes up a large portion of your overall travel spendings.

Keep in mind: we're talking about hotels strictly, no apartments, no Airbnb, no house sitting, no couchsurfing nor hostels.

Here are a few things I do. Some of them pay of powerfully well:

#1 Join a club to accumulate reward points, earn discounts

Some hotel booking sites will give loyalty points to their members. These can later be used for earning price cuts - so, if enough rewards add up, then you can even get free hotel nights!

One of the sites I use is HotelClub.com, which gives 3-7 % rewards to members who book with them. Actually, the reward is highest if you book through their app.

#2 Hotel hopping

Hotel rates rarely stay the same every day. They vary wildly. And, you can turn this tariff change into your advantage - though, flexibility and patience are required.

Play around with the prices, move from hotel to hotel when the rates are cheapest.
You don't have to do it every day. Just split your schedule in such a way that you stay at different hotels when it's more affordable.

#3 Reserve, but don't pre-pay and sniff for last minute rates

The idea is to make reservations "for safety", but be on the lookout for last minute prices 2-3 weeks before your check-in date.

On most online booking sites you don't have to pay in advance. And, most of the time you can simply cancel the reservation as late as 2-3 night before check-in without paying any fees.
Policies vary from hotel to hotel, though...

After having booked, take a look around on sites publishing last minute hotel discounts: LateRooms.com, RatesToGo.com, HotelClub.com

Generally, the best time to look for these last minute hotel rates is 2-3 weeks before check-in.
Found a good deal? Book it an cancel your advance booking. With late deals you can save between 50-70 % if you're lucky!

#4 Book during pre-season

From my experience: pre-season prices on hotels are the lowest. They tend to be under the after-season rates. Although, the general belief is that the latter are the lowest.

#5 Don't forget the coupons

But, instead of just hitting the coupon sites, it's best joining a number of social media channels and newsletters of agents.
They will let you have "insider coupons" and, they'll reach you before they hit the crowds.

#6 Hotel alerts

Priceline's Hotel Bid Alerts section and the site HotelRoomAlerts.com sites will alert you when a good opportunity for booking arises.

Especially interesting is the latter (HotelRoomAlerts.com), which sends you a free text message or e-mail whenever a booked hotel room becomes available again.

Escape Hunter

About the Author:

Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...


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