10 Hacks For Getting Cheaper Hotel Deals And Stretching Your Budget


With so many booking apps out there, you no longer have to overpay for flights, scramble for last-minute accommodations, or feel stressed about sticking to your budget. But what if you could save even more?

Whether you’re a seasoned jet-setter or rarely go on holidays, there’s always a travel hack that’ll get you a great deal on your bookings. Bored Panda spoke with RatePunk, a free-to-use app and Chrome extension, for searching the best hotel rates, to bring you some nifty money-saving ideas.

Scroll down to see how you can plan a getaway without breaking the bank.

More info: RatePunk

Image credits: Oleksandr P (not the actual photo)

1. Travel Off Season

Traveling off-season means dodging the peak tourist rush, which translates to lower prices across the board. From flights to accommodations and activities, you’ll find lots of sweet deals and discounts waiting to be scooped up.

And that’s not all – traveling during quieter times also means enjoying a more authentic and immersive experience without the crowds. Plus, with fewer tourists vying for space, you’ll have more flexibility and freedom to explore at your own pace. No need to worry about long queues!

2. Keep Your Itinerary Flexible

Flexibility is key when it comes to scoring the best hotel deals. Consider adjusting your travel dates if possible, avoiding peak seasons and holidays when prices tend to skyrocket. You can also explore alternative accommodations such as BnBs or guesthouses that may yield better value for your money.

Keep an eye out for package deals that bundle hotel stays with flights and activities, as these can often result in significant savings. If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s also worth getting a membership offered by hotel chains for exclusive discounts or rewards.

Leverage RatePunk: While other price comparison tools might show you outdated prices based on old data, RatePunk is always on the pulse, using APIs to track prices in real time. This means you get the lowest deal, every single time.

3. Browse Through Different Devices To Find The Best Deal

10 Hacks For Getting Cheaper Hotel Deals And Stretching Your Budget

Image credits: Pixabay (not the actual photo)

Did you know that hotel prices can sometimes vary slightly between mobile and desktop booking websites? One reason for this dynamic pricing is user behavior analysis. Booking apps often use algorithms to track user activity. For instance, if you repeatedly search for a particular hotel on your desktop but don’t book, the platform might offer you a lower price when you switch to your mobile device, hoping to entice you to complete the reservation.

Also, some hotels and booking websites offer exclusive deals or discounts specifically for mobile users. To ensure you’re getting the best deal, browse through different devices and platforms. RatePunk has a built-in feature to compare prices on mobile vs desktop.

4. Search Reviews With Keywords

Discovering the best services a hotel has to offer—and identifying areas where it may be lacking—requires a keen eye for detail. For instance, search the keyword “breakfast buffet” from reputable sources like TripAdvisor, or Booking.com. Do guests consistently praise the buffet selection, or are there recurring complaints about service?

RatePunk also has a feature that can make this work easy for you. Check its comment cloud for words flagged in green (positive) and red (negative). RatePunk aggregates keywords from various booking websites and gives a user-friendly visual representation of what each hotel is renowned for—or where it might be lacking.

Green words highlight the positive aspects, showcasing what guests love about the hotel, whether it’s stellar service, breathtaking views, or luxurious amenities. On the flip side, red flags draw attention to areas of concern, signaling potential drawbacks like noisy surroundings or cleanliness issues.

5. Sign Up For Loyalty Programs

Image credits: davidlee770924 (not the actual photo)

Smart travelers use loyalty programs offered by airlines and hotel chains. You earn points or miles every time you book a flight, hotel stay, or other travel-related expenses. These points can be redeemed for free flights, hotel nights, upgrades, and even cashback rewards. There are also additional benefits like priority check-in, access to airport lounges, and exclusive member-only discounts. Plus, some programs partner with other companies, allowing you to earn points through everyday purchases like dining out or shopping.

Signing up is usually free and only takes a few minutes, so why not take advantage of these incredible perks?

6. Book Package Deals

Package deals combine your flights and hotel stays into one convenient bundle and offer the best bang for your buck. You can expect amazing discounts and exclusive perks that you wouldn’t otherwise get if you booked separately. Also, you don’t have to go through the hassle of coordinating flights and accommodations separately. Moreover, with the convenience of booking everything in one go, you’ll have more time and energy to plan your itinerary to make the most of your vacation.

7. Set An Alert For Prices

If you have the foresight to plan ahead, then use a price alert for locking in the best prices and making every penny count. Simply input your desired travel dates, destination, and preferred price range, and let your booking app do the rest. Whether you’re dreaming of a tropical beach escape or a jungle adventure, these alerts will notify you via email or push notification as soon as prices drop or special deals become available.

This will save you valuable time and energy, and you won’t be scrambling last minute to hunt for deals.

8. Use A VPN

A VPN, or virtual private network, connects to servers in different locations around the globe.  You can virtually change your IP address and trick booking websites into thinking you’re browsing from a different country or region.

So, why does this matter? Well, hotel prices can vary depending on your location. By changing your virtual location with a VPN, you can access localized deals and potentially unlock lower prices that might not be available in your current location.

For example, a hotel in Bali might offer different rates to visitors browsing from the United States compared to those browsing locally. By using a VPN to switch your virtual location, you could potentially access local deals and save big on your hotel booking.

Pro Tip: Use RatePunk’s location change suggestion feature. It pops up and shows you which country to connect to for the lowest hotel price. This means you don’t have to switch randomly to search for which location has the best price. With this feature, you may notice a difference of a couple hundred dollars in your booking price!

9. Rebook Your Hotel

Image credits: Vojtech Bruzek (not the actual photo)

Imagine you’ve already booked a hotel for your upcoming holiday, but you stumble upon an even better deal. Don’t hesitate to rebook. Many booking websites offer flexible cancellation policies. This means you can cancel your original booking (if allowed) and rebook at the lower rate, without any penalty or extra fees.

If RatePunk notices a price drop after the hotel is already booked, you’ll receive a notification to cancel your reservation and rebook the same hotel at a lower rate. This only goes for free-cancellation reservations.

10. Get An Insider Rate

There are several deals out there that make you feel like a VIP traveler without breaking the bank. With the RatePunk browser extension and app, you get exclusive access to the booking website. You can save big on your hotel bookings – up to a whopping 42% off the final price by using this extension!

Image credits: The Anam (not the actual photo)

Finding the cheapest hotel deals doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little bit of planning and resourcefulness, you’ll be amazed at how much you can stretch your travel budget and enjoy incredible accommodations at unbeatable prices. 

With RatePunk, you can compare prices, check a hotel’s reputation, safety, and quality, and find the best last-minute deals for rebooking your stay. So if you’re tired of paying sky-high prices and want to pocket some extra cash for souvenirs or fancy dinners, download the RatePunk browser extension here.

Know any other useful hacks for booking a cheaper vacation? Share with us in the comments below.

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