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Our pirates have put together their top tips to save you money when booking a hotel room.
From price comparison sites to the cheapest dates and apps that'll tell you when you're being robbed.
We even put our tips to the test and show you how much you can save!
Using a price comparison website like Trivago allows you to see which website is offering the cheapest rate on a particular hotel and date. They compare numerous booking websites, including the hotel's own site. You can also see which sites offer free cancellation, breakfast and more.
Ratepunk is a free extension you can add to chrome that will tell you if there is a better rate on the hotel you're looking at. Similar to Trivago it compares various websites, but you can see the rates while browsing your preferred site like Booking.com.
They also offer exclusive member rates that are cheaper when you sign up.
Once you've done your research on the best price available online, you can try your luck at contacting the hotel directly to see if they will do a better price. Hotels pay a fee when you book through a third-party website, so they'll often match the price or offer.
If your trip also involves booking flights, it's worth checking if a package would work out cheaper than a hotel and flight separate. Since tour operators buy seats and hotel rooms in bulk they often sell them for cheaper when you're looking at last-minute dates. You may then also get transfers and luggage as part of the package.
This isn't always possible, but being flexible with your dates can save a hefty chunk on hotels. You can use sites like Trivago and Booking.com to see an overview of prices and find the cheapest dates.
Sunday nights are often one of the cheapest nights to stay, we like this, as it still technically counts as a weekend, and you can enjoy a full weekend day exploring and only use one day's holiday. The rates are often 50% cheaper than Friday and Saturdays.
You can save a pretty penny when joining hotel reward programmes. They are often free to join and you'll get all the best discounts sent straight to your inbox. You can also be rewarded with free stays if you stay frequently enough.
It's also worth becoming a member to hotel booking websites like Booking.com which offers special 'Genius prices' and Hotels.com which offers 'secret prices' and a loyalty programme where you'll get your 11th night free.
Where possible, book your hotel with free cancellation and keep a check on the price leading up to your arrival date. The price may drop closer to the time, and you can cancel and rebook with no fees and save some cash.
Third-party booking websites often have additional discount codes for hotel bookings. It's worth checking around for these first to find the cheapest price.
If you're a member of a cashback site like TopCashback and Quidco, make sure to check what cashback offers they have before making a booking as you could get a percentage back.
It's worth noting that the cashback is often not combinable with any discount codes you might have used.
If you have a destination in mind but not a hotel, it's worth checking members-only sites like Voyage Privé, they offer flash sales on hotels as they contract rooms and offers directly from the hotel which are often cheaper than you'll find them on other booking sites and often have extras like massages, wine or breakfast thrown in too.
OK, this is more a shameless plug for HolidayPirates than it is a tip. But monitoring the market for the best deals takes time, a lot of it. And deals can sell out very quickly.
At HolidayPirates, it’s our job to find great deals – we’re literally paid to do it. So while you may still want to look for deals yourselves, following our social channels, downloading our app and receiving our deal alerts on WhatsApp makes a lot of sense.
Let’s put a few of these tips into motion and see what we can save 💸 (hint: shitloads)
Starting with this 5-star hotel in London, 1 Hotel Mayfair. It’s mega pricy, but it’s fun for the purpose of this exercise.
The first price we see for this hotel on our chosen date is £780 a night on the hotel website on 31 March.
But we can see a much lower price using Trivago for £652 on Destininia.
Now, let's say we're flexible on our dates.
We can use the price overview checker on Trivago to see the price trend, and we're in luck, this same hotel a few weeks earlier costs £431 a night on lol.travel.
We then checked Quidco and found that you can also get 3.6% cashback on hotel bookings through lol.travel, which is just over £15 cashback on this hotel.
Now you can obviously go ahead and try some of our other hacks like phoning the hotel and telling them the price you have and seeing if they will match it or throw in some extras.