How to find cheap hotels? That’s a question that I’ve heard quite a bit during my years as a traveler, expediter, and adventurer. Flashy, I know.
When going on vacation, I make it a priority to find hotels that have my preferred balance of affordability and desirability – in other words, I like hotels that keep both me and my wallet satisfied. For some people, this may seem like a difficult task – after all, what constitutes “cheap”? Getting a good deal for one person may be a very different kind of deal for another. Taking into account that all things in this world are relative, it can be comprehensively agreed upon that the earlier you start booking your hotels, the better of a deal you get.
So how early do most people start reserving their rooms?
When I ask that question to my friends, their answer, unfailingly, is “three days before the start of my vacation”. That, in my opinion, is not nearly enough time to come to a well-informed decision as to where to stay during your vacation. If your vacation is 2 weeks long and you decide to start booking your rooms three days before, you’re going to end up with a room that may be affordable but isn’t desirable, and vice-versa.
The question then becomes – when SHOULD you start booking your rooms?
Two to three months before. It may SEEM erratic at first, but think about it – the sooner you start, the more time you have to do a little research, read some reviews, look at the prices, the availabilities, and then come to a decision. Taking three days to do so is just ludicrous.
Let’s take an example – suppose you’re planning an epic trip to Toronto and you’re looking for Toronto hotels with a picturesque view of the Toronto skyline – the CN Tower, Rogers’ Centre, you know the deal. If you start looking for hotels three days before, you might end up on a website searching for Mississauga hotels. Why? You didn’t allocate enough time to actually RESEARCH potential hotels in the downtown area. Instead, you’re left with a “filler” hotel – accommodations that have been booked due to sheer desperation.
So how do you keep up with the rapidly changing industry trends and the constantly varying prices? Simple – you visit various hotel resource websites which provide you with the necessary information to make well-informed choices. From providing information on hotel development all the way to hotel realty, these resources can really make your vacation special because of the amount of objectivity they can provide.
Therefore, to eloquently sum up – to travel smart, find accommodations that are both affordable and desirable. Start early and don’t look back – a bit of punctuality can make a world of difference.