More Deal for Your Dollar: Tips on Finding Affordable Accommodation

 Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons user Gregory Moine

When traveling, the two things that will eat up your budget the fastest are transportation and lodging. Many, many articles are written about finding cheap flights – but what can you do in your search for affordable lodging? Can you afford that perfect Mexican Seaside Villa? Will you find an amazing Toronto Furnished Condo? How can you keep prices down while not staying in a slum?

Shop for your size

This is one that actually took me a while to learn.  Usually, traveling with one or more people will mean you get cheaper lodging but that’s only if you do your booking correctly.  Some web sites and accommodation charge per-person. This is great if you are traveling alone, since you won’t be paying for space you aren’t using. However, if you are traveling in a group or couple, you will often spend more than if you had booking by the room. 

So for example, let’s say you are traveling with a group of three. But after looking around you realize that hotels are at least $90 a night. You’ve stayed in hostel dorm rooms in the past so you check out a couple of hostel booking sites. Then, you find a great hostel that offers beds for $35 a night. You book and confirm. Your total cost per night will be $105. You would have saved by booking a hotel rather than a hostel. 

Consider the entire package

This is also another tip that takes a while to remember. Don’t always look at the bottom line. You have to take into account what is included for the price of your room. Food? Internet? Airport Shuttle? Even if one hotel is cheaper, you might save money on incidentals by booking with the pricier accommodations. Always take into account the value of any of these extras (that you would have paid for otherwise) before making your final booking. 

Contact hotels directly

Before booking you should always contact the hotel directly to see if they are offering any discounts or specials that aren’t advertised elsewhere. Oftentimes, small hotels will be able to give you a discount if you ask. There are other benefits as well: 1) You can reduce the chances of a lost reservation by working directly with the hotel 2) By skipping booking fees, you guarantee that all your money goes to the hotel and the economy of the country you are visiting and 3)By booking through the hotel, you often have greater cancellation flexibility. 

Search Discount Websites

That being said, its also worth searching discount websites. They are often the cheapest option and will allow you to easily search and compare multiple options. They are also often a source of feedback from other travelers in order to make sure you are getting the most for your money. Even better, most allow you to filter your searches based on a myriad of options such as price, dates, location, and amenities. 

So next time you are looking for that perfect Mountainside Italian Villa or that ideal Toronto Furnished Apartment, make sure you are finding the best deal for your dollar.

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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by a third party

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