With safety concerns restricting some of Britain’s most popular summer destinations, such as Turkey and Egypt, travellers still planning to head abroad during the summer months may find accommodation in resort at a premium. The world’s leading global hotel price comparison website and mobile app, HotelsCombined, has shared the following tips to help travellers get the best deals when searching for accommodation this season, plus some ways to optimise the savings upon arrival.
Cover The Bases: ‘Identifying an optimum time to book can be challenging as hotels have different strategies,’ says Konovalovas. ‘Sometimes, the cheapest rooms will be sold first – to ensure costs are covered – and as the hotel fills up the rooms become more expensive. In this case, booking early is best. However, some properties dispatch rooms at their rack (highest) rate first. In this case, booking last minute can be best. To cover both possibilities, guests might consider booking a chosen hotel early on a refundable basis and then watch the price fluctuate. Most refundable bookings can be cancelled up to 48 hours before arrival.’
Go East: Budget conscious travellers might consider Eastern Europe over the Mediterranean this summer. Boasting similar average temperatures and sunshine, the average cost per night of a 3-star hotel in Montenegro can represent a 33% saving when compared with Menorca. Similarly, by swapping a beach holiday in Sardinia for one in Bulgaria, travellers might save as much as 40%*.
Stay Close: ‘With the British summer tipped to be the hottest on record, budget conscious travellers might lean toward a staycation to get some fun in the sun. Swapping the pebble beaches of the French Riviera for Brighton’s famous seafront will be a ‘no brainer’ for some travellers,’ said Konovalovas. ‘Not only will they save the hassle and cost of air travel, they won’t have to consider the potentially tenuous exchange rate around the Brexit referendum.’
Don’t be a star-gazer: ‘Don’t be overly informed by hotel star ratings,’ said Konovalovas. ‘They often differ by location, and countries have different rating standards. While most four star hotels may offer similar service levels, the facilities on offer are often what determines the star status. If a traveller isn’t going to be spending their holiday in the hotel gym, using the business facilities or crèche, then they may be better off with a lower rated – but highly reviewed – property instead.’
Flattery Will Get You Everywhere: Sometimes a hotel will give room upgrades if their property is mentioned on social media before or during a stay. Guests should ensure to use the appropriate social media handle so that the mention has the highest possibility of being noticed. Plus, a ‘best foot forward’ approach at check in is recommended as front desk staff are often able to change a guest’s room at their discretion.
Be Tardy to the Party: While travellers are often inclined to check in as early as possible to make the most of their hard earned money, checking in later in the day offers the highest opportunity for a room upgrade as hotel management has a better view of their room inventory as the day progresses.
Don’t Get Caught Short: While gratuities aren’t always required, in the instances when it is appropriate travellers might consider being prepared with small denominations of local currency to ensure they don’t find themselves ‘financially embarrassed’ or indeed over-tipping at check in.
Be A Boy Scout: With a little bit of preparation, frugal travellers can often make big savings on their holiday. Bottled water in the room is usually charged at a premium rate so guests should consider buying items such as water and snacks outside the hotel. Plus, many hotels offer a buffet breakfast option so travellers might consider making this their main meal of the day. By going down to breakfast as late as possible and eating really well guests may only need a light lunch, or may even skip it altogether.
Most Important of All, Be Appy: Using the HotelsCombined mobile app travellers can locate their perfect hotel at the best available price. It’s easy to use and 100 per cent free. To browse the HotelsCombined database of over 800,000 hotels globally and compare all major travel sites to find the best price available