Bargain Accommodation in Ireland

How to Find a Bargain When Planning Irish Vacations

Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle (County Down) - even where the Mountains of Mourne run down to the sea, the occasional bargain can be found.
••• Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle (County Down) - even where the Mountains of Mourne run down to the sea, the occasional bargain can be found. © Bernd Biege 2014

Cheap or bargain accommodation in Ireland is a huge cost-saving factor when you are travelling on a budget - and even the more affluent vacationer might cherish spending a few Euros, Yen or Dollars less for a good night's sleep. So let us try to find a cheap room in Ireland ... how do you go about it?

Let a Booking Platform Find Your Cheap Accommodation in Ireland for You

As you are reading this, you already will be on the internet - thus help is just a few clicks away.

You will find any number of booking sites with a quick search, those will take the hassle out of finding cheap accommodation at an Irish destination. In virtually no time you will be presented with an instantly bookable list of rooms and options ... and there will be major differences in price.

Of course, these booking platforms do not operate on a non-profit basis - they finance themselves by adding a modest commission to the net cost of a booking. The important word being "modest", a large number of bookings and comparatively low running costs make bargains possible.

Reliable search and booking tools like Kayak, booking.com, trivago or Expedia can help ... give them a try, but do not book right now, because you should ...

Let a Search Platform Compare

Price comparison platforms are also worth a lot - why not run a search for bargain hotel accommodation on Hipmunk, for instance?

Give the Hotels' Own Websites a Try

The wisdom of the web is that you will never find real bargain accommodation on the hotel's own website ...

dismiss this as an urban legend, now! Actually you will find good bargains there, especially far in advance, for multiple stays or with meals included. This is, however, a game of chance. Sometimes there simply aren't any bargains, but if you are looking well in advance of travelling, you might be pleasantly surprised.

So, check with the hotels direct anyway. And also ...

Juggle with Currencies on the Internet

Some websites will offer you the choice between several currencies for payment - if payment is taken off your credit card immediately, check prices in the other (major) currencies on offer. Often discrepancies can be discovered and work in your favour. Unfortunately most hotel bills will actually be settled at the time of checkout only.In that case, pay in local currencies to avoid ludicrous "conversion charges" and unfavourable rates.

Give Your Local Travel Agent a Call Anyway

Once upon a time, travel agents made their money by charging huge commissions to customers ... times have changed and a normal travel agent in an average town will have adapted by now (or be closing down shortly). They will sometimes surprise you by getting you a really good deal. Often on a package of flights, accommodation and rental cars. But don't ever forget that ...

Not Every Bargain Really is One

Once you've found cheap accommodation ... have a second thought whether it really suits you. Getting a hotel in i.e. Dublin is one thing, getting the best hotel for what you are planning to do might be another altogether. You may be tempted to save $ 10 by checking into Hotel A instead of Hotel B ...

only to discover that you would have spent $ 15 a day less in public transport if you had chosen the "more expensive" option. Don't choose a cheaper hotel just to pay more in the end.

Questions to ask are:

  • Is the location convenient, will it save you time and money?
  • How much will they charge for parking?
  • Are meals and other extras (like the internet) included?
  • Is there a shuttle bus service to the airport, or at least easily accessible and reasonably priced transport available?
  • Do the rooms suit you (especially in older hotels, ask about lifts)?

Don't Be Meaner than Scrooge

One final word ... hunting for bargains is all good and well, but there'll always be a bargain you miss or somebody who found a better price. Once you are satisfied that you got a good accommodation deal, stick with it and be happy.

Don't re-check prices later, unless you can cancel for free (often possible until nearly the last minute on booking platforms). Then only cancel after you made the new booking ...

On the other hand - if you find out that your room neighbours get a free Irish breakfast thrown in at the same overnight rate, (calmly) talk to reception about this. They may point out that there is nothing they can do. But they may well be accommodating and lower your charge. Image, after all, is everything.