Travel Tips for Finding Cheap Hotels

A room to yourself as you travel. It's a basic need, but it comes in many shades of style and at a variety of prices. Shopping for hotels on a budget need not be complicated. Read the step-by-step budget tips linked below and prepare yourself for an affordable hotel room on your next trip.

  • 01 of 10
    ••• Mark Kahler
    Controlling hotel cost for each night of your stay is an important step in all budget travel planning. Not all of these eight steps will work for every itinerary or traveler. But it pays to investigate a few ways to lower your daily hotel cost.
  • 02 of 10
    ••• Mark Kahler

    Just when you've found that great hotel rate, a bunch of fees crop up to turn your bargain room into a budget buster. Sometimes these fees are unavoidable, but many can be reduced or eliminated with a little planning. Take a step-by-step journey through hotel room no-nos that can add up to a big bill.

  • 03 of 10
    ••• Mark Kahler
    One of the best ways to secure a bargain hotel room is to bid for a low rate on Priceline.com. But if you don't have experience with such online auctions, it's easy to overbid and pay too much. Since you're taking some risk in bidding, you should get the best financial reward possible. It comes in added value, but only if you have a strategy. Follow the tips in this step-by-step before clicking on a non-refundable buy.
  • 04 of 10
    ••• Mark Kahler
    Would you like to check into a nicer room than you're paying for? If so, you'll need some good fortune, good manners and a fair amount of persistence in asking for a free hotel upgrade. Following these steps is far from a sure pathway to this upgrade, but such things do happen every day at hotels all over the world. Increase your chances at greater value at the front desk. Look into a free hotel upgrade.
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    ••• Mark Kahler

    Take a look at five examples of budget hotels in Europe that offer comfort, convenience and low price. They aren't perfect examples, and you could do even better in your searches. But they will provide some insight into how to spot and book a simple, economical discount hotel in Europe.

  • 06 of 10

    Hotel Special Offer Pages

    ••• Adam Berry/Getty Images News
    Budget travelers have their own preferences when hunting for a bargain hotel room. Some search scour the offerings of aggregators or they read traveler reviews posted online. Others try bidding for a room with Priceline or Hotwire. But some of the best offers are found in another location -- the hotel special offer pages. Chain hotels that want to fill empty rooms at the last minute or during a slow season sometimes will post great deals, sometimes passing them on to online travel agencies. Take a look at a few links to some of these potentially helpful pages.
  • 07 of 10
    ••• Mark Kahler
    Many hotels in resort locations offer all-inclusive pricing. They are sometimes quite aggressive in making this offer, and will tell you that it's a great deal that will save money. Sometimes, that is true. But what else will you be sacrificing? If you will eat mediocre meals on the property instead of discovering great local eateries, is it a good value? There are a number of issues a budget traveler should consider before agreeing to an all-inclusive price.
  • 08 of 10

    Hotel Extended Stays and Hub Travel

    ••• Courtesy Residence Inn Edinburgh
    The idea is simple enough: pick a strategic point in the middle of everything you want to see and stay there, taking day trips and unpacking only one time. There are some budget travel advantages to this approach. If you're filling a room for a week or more, you should have some bargaining power to negotiate a lower room rate and perhaps some other perks. Choose you hub well and save both time and money. Take a look at how this can work with an example from Munich.
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Value Hotel Selections

    ••• Mark Kahler
    If you're looking for the cheapest possible place to lay your head at night, read no further. This is an article for people who want to stay in high-quality hotels without paying an extravagant price. This, too, is budget travel. Take a look at a few hotels where a budget travel splurge is possible at less than full price.
  • 10 of 10

    Types of Hotel Accommodations

    ••• Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images
    When you check into a standard hotel and pay the rack rate, chances are good you're paying too much. For those willing to do a little research, there is money to be saved and value to be gained. It helps to start by thinking about the types of accommodations that are available. Links here go to reviews of a specific property, and honestly, that property itself might not interest you in the least. But think beyond the hotel and consider if there is an establishment of similar type available in your intended destination.