breaking news about cheap hotels. More
From the Associated Press:
Looking for a hotel bargain? Then check out CheapTickets.com’s ‘‘Cheapometer,’’
which offers month-by-month projections for when hotel rates will be
cheapest in 2008 in popular destinations around the world. For example,
hotels in Athens will be 68 percent cheaper in January than at its peak
tourism period, the Web site said.
Other January bargains include Jackson Hole, Wyo., 64 percent cheaper
than peak, and Paris, 48 percent cheaper. Hotels in California’s wine
country in Napa and Sonoma are 47 percent cheaper in February than peak,
CheapTickets said, and London is 35 percent cheaper in February.
Venice hotels are 55 percent cheaper in March than what you might
pay other times of year, and Montreal is 40 percent cheaper that month.
Hotels in Hawaii are 22 percent less expensive in May than in peak season,
according to CheapTickets.
For Las Vegas, the best time of year for snagging a cheap hotel room
is June, when prices are 26 percent lower than peak. And if you’re looking
for cheap in Miami, Jamaica or Cancun, try September, when prices are
around 50 percent what you might pay otherwise. The tradeoff: hot weather
and the height of hurricane season.
CheapTickets calculated the differential by taking the average price
of three-star hotels by month in each destination, and comparing the
lowest monthly rate with the highest monthly rate over 12 months.
Follow these tips to find cheap hotels:
1. Look online.
Travel sites compete for your business just like brick and mortar. See
what cheap hotel deals they offer for the dates you are interested in
traveling. These Web sites do a lot of the legwork for you. Also, take
a gander at your favorite hotel chain Web sites. You may be able to
discover promotional deals others don't have access to.
2. Go in the off-season.
The supply and demand for cheap hotels could be used to your benefit.
Hotels set the higher room rates (and get it) when demand is high. But,
when occupancy rates are low, prices drop to attract off-season business.
3. Book on weeknights.
Everyone wants cheap hotels on the weekends, so that's a much more difficult
prospect. Hotels take advantage of high demand for rooms on the weekends
in order to stay in business the rest of the week. The same room that
costs $39 on weeknights will likely fetch $54 on the weekends.
4. Look for independently owned hotels.
Supporting a locally-owned hotel provides several travel advantages.
The Shady Pine Hotel might not have a concierge or minibar, but the
owner can tell you where to get the best steak in town, how to avoid
traffic and where you can find cold medication at three in the morning.
Here are some
tips for Europe:
In Europe, many budget hotels and most dorm-style accommodations
don't provide soap. BYOS. Towels, like breakfast and people,
get smaller as you go south. In simple places, you won't get a washcloth,
and bath towels are provided per stay, not per day. Hang to dry and
In France, room prices vary tremendously within a hotel according
to facilities provided. Most hotels have a room list clearly
displayed, showing each room, its bed configuration, facilities, and
maximum price for one and for two people. Also read the breakfast, tax,
and extra-bed policies. By studying this list you'll see that, in many
places, a room with a double bed and shower is often cheaper than a
room with twins and a tub. Be snoopy. Hotels downplay their cheap rooms.
In Europe, hotel ratings and prices are based not on room quality
but hotel amenities: a new building, classy lobby, 24-hour
reception desk, elevator, and shower-to-room ratio. Budget travelers
choose family-run older hotels with hall showers, stairs, and local
When checking in, pick up the hotel's business card.
In the most confusing cities, the cards come with a little map. Even
the best pathfinders get lost in a big city, and not knowing where your
hotel is can be scary. With the card, you can hop into a cab and be
home in minutes.
Half of all the cold showers Americans take in Europe are cold
only because they don't know how to turn the hot on. Study
the particular system, and, before you shiver, ask the receptionist
for help. There are some very peculiar tricks. In Italy and Spain, "C"
is caldo/caliente, or hot. In many British places there's a
"hot" switch at the base of the shower or even in the hallway.
You'll find showers and baths of all kinds. The red knob is hot and
the blue one is cold - or vice versa. Unusual showers normally have
clear instructions posted.
Anywhere in Europe, beat the high cost of hotels by staying
in rooms in private homes. You'll pay about $25-50 a bed. Ask
for a B&B in Britain (includes breakfast), a casa particulare
in Spain, quarto in Portugal, chambre d'hôte
in France, and Zimmer in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Scandinavia's best-kept secret are its luxurious B&Bs.
They're incredibly cheap at about $30 a bed, but they can't advertise.
At tourist information offices in Sweden and Norway, ask for a rom
or hus rum, and in Denmark, a værelse.
Here's the key to keys in European hotels: Always
turn the top of the key away from the door to open it. While you sleep,
leave the key in the door (so you can get out quickly if there's an
emergency). When you go out for the day, leave your key at the reception
desk. Confirm closing time. Some hotels lock up at night and you're
expected to keep the key if you stay out late.
are some tips:
Sometimes it's worth forgoing the pricey mini-bar or extravagant room
service in exchange for a comfortable but more affordable place to lay
your head for the night. And if the hotel you choose exchanges some
amenities for some which are even more useful, such as a kitchen or
laundry facilities, this can be an even more rewarding decision.
...First off, choosing exactly what amenities you need and picking
a hotel that you know can offer these options is a great way to narrow
in on what is important to you without wasting money on what isn't.
Usually, one chain will have similar features at all the properties,
so you have an idea of what to expect no matter where in the country
you're staying. Second, look for special deals. Whether it's a last
minute savings or a special discount for a particular card or membership,
there are lots of discounts to be found and these savings can add up.
Sometimes if you stop at a welcome center they will have coupons for
local hotels as well. One great hotel chain to look for when finding
these deals and picking out the most important amenities is Extended
Stay Hotels. They offers you wireless Internet, great TV channels, and
a spacious suite.
Taschen: "Daisann McLane spent four years on the road, staying
at more than 200 budget hotels and took photographs of her rooms before
she turned down the covers every night. This guide to choosing inexpensive
hotels is aimed at travellers."
Here's a good sentence from that book: "You are where you sleep,
because where you sleep says to the world, ‘This is who I am'."
Daisann McLane writes the “Frugal Traveler” column for The New York
Times and the “Real Travel” column for National Geographic Traveler.
Her photo book Cheap Hotels has just been published. The photos are
intimate and raw, unlike the type usually featured in glossy travel
magazines, and that’s what makes Cheap Hotels memorable. McLane has
captured the images and rhythms that most of us see and feel when we
travel, and her accompanying text—written in English, French and German—reveals
a lively side of her writing that sometimes gets buried under magazine
and newspaper format constraints.
What are some of the things about a cheap room that make you,
as you write in the book's introduction, so "unexpectedly and inexplicably"
It happens when I walk into a new room and sense immediately that someone
has put a piece of their heart into the room, something that reflects
either a proprietor's personality, or local culture, or in the best
case, both. In the book I mention, for instance, the way that in Fiji
or the Cook Islands, even the most modest hotel will have the housekeepers
put fresh ginger or pikake flowers on the pillow or nightstand. The
flowers, as they wilt in the heat, give off the most intoxicating fragrance.
You want to swoon. In Bali, of course, you will wake up and open the
door and find a little banana leaf packet filled with rice and flower
petals-offering to the spirits. I always am touched to think that, so
far away from home, I am being cared for by a stranger concerned with
my spiritual well-being.
In the less remote, more Westernized places, the quirks of a hotel
room may not be so exotic or culturally rich, but they still make a
difference. In the Caribbean, for instance, I've stayed in a few places
(two of them are in the book, one in Panama, and one on the island of
Carriacou) where the owners had clearly fallen in love with the local
styles and customs. They'd created rooms made of local materials, with
fans instead of air conditioning, bright prints and colors. True, high-end
exclusive resorts do this too, but I feel much happier when I can enjoy
really beautiful surroundings without all the pretension and without
worrying every time I order a beer that it will cost $10.
Potts is the author of Vagabonding:
An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel:
I advised preparing a "flophouse hotel survival" kit that
included earplugs (since many flophouses are near noisy areas like discos
or bus stations or mosques), a lightweight cable and padlock (to secure
possessions against opportunist crime) and your own towel, soap and
toilet paper (since many cheap guesthouses don't provide these).
That said, everyone's cheap hotel strategy is slightly different, and
my readers also suggested the following:
* A bag liner or light sleep-sack. Bedding might not always be clean.
* DEET or mosquito netting. In tropical areas, or anyplace, mosquitoes
might be a nuisance.
* Eye-shades. If a room is too bright, or if you want to sleep during
* Some kind of simple door wedge. Just in case the lock on hotel room
door is flimsy or broken.
* Ambien, or a similar sleep aid. This should be used wisely and sparingly,
but sometimes a sleeping pill can spell the difference between fitful
semi-sleep and a full night's rest.
* Tiger Balm or Bengay-style cream. In addition to muscle aches, a
dab under the nostrils can ward off all manner of bad smells.
While looking for cheap hotel rates, keep the following tips in mind.
1. Location is everything – Hotel rates vary from place to place depending
on its location. You will have to ask yourself if where your balance
lies: convenience or price. Most convenient locations in any city will
have hotels sporting rates in the upwards range in any market. Some
less accessible areas will offer lesser rates. However, you will have
to decide for yourself whether the inconvenience is worth the price.
If you are pretty familiar with the area you are traveling to, then
locations with lesser rates in less accessible or attractive locations
will be less of an issue for you. However, if you are traveling to an
area for the first time, you will have to think twice about staying
at a location that is a little inconvenient.
2. Schedule is also everything - The basic law of supply and demands
states that the more the demand, the more expensive the item will be.
The same is true for hotel rates, if demand for a travel destination
is high, then you are bound to spend more money. So if you are planning
to stay away from home, try to make your hotel reservations for off-peak
seasons. Hotel rates during peak season can be as much as three times
more than regular rates. This alone is reason enough to look to reserve
during off-peak seasons.
3. Amenities – Some hotels are pricier because they offer amenities
that, while great for those looking for extravagance, are useless to
some travelers. If you can live without some of these amenities, then
you could consider looking for hotels that are cheaper because they
do not offer these amenities.
Steves writes about cheap hotels and other bargains in Europe:
Given the current weakness of our dollar overseas, the potential price-savings
of an off-season trip are enough to brighten a gray winter day. Airfares
are often hundreds of dollars less. With fewer crowds in Europe, you'll
sleep cheaper. Many fine hotels drop their prices, and budget hotels
have plenty of vacancies. To save some money on hotels in the off-season,
arrive late without a reservation, notice how many empty rooms they
have (look for keys on the rack), and give the receptionist an excuse
to win your business with a deep discount. Explain that you're a senior
(hosteler, student, artist, whatever) with a particular price limit,
and bargain from there.
Note that while tourist-oriented places may be cheaper in the low
season, the opposite is true of big-city business centers (especially
Brussels and the Scandinavian capitals), which are busiest and most
expensive in the off-season. For many travelers, "shoulder season" —
April, May, early June, September, and early October — offers the best
mix of peak-season and off-season pros and cons. In shoulder season
you'll enjoy decent weather, long days, fewer crowds, and a local tourist
industry that is still eager to please and entertain.
To thrive in the winter, you'll need to get the most out of your limited
daylight hours. Start early and eat a quick lunch. Pack for the cold
and wet — layers, rainproof parka, gloves, wool hat, long johns, waterproof
shoes, and an umbrella. Use undershirts to limit the washing of slow-drying
heavy shirts. Dress warmly. Cold weather is colder when you're outdoors
trying to enjoy yourself all day long. And cheap hotels are not always
adequately heated in the off-season.
New York Times William Grimes writes about Chuck Thompson's travel memoir:
In a chapter on the workings of the travel industry, Thompson strongly
recommends lying whenever possible to gain extra discounts on cars,
hotel rooms and air tickets. No one knows that you are not the regional
sales director for Microsoft. If your batteries die midflight, rubbing
them briskly on your leg to generate static electricity can prolong
their life for as much as an hour or two. "This also works in cheap
hotels where they never change the batteries in the remote," he writes.
A cloud of guilt envelops Thompson as he writes, conscious that he
and his travel colleagues have strip-mined the earth of its most precious
resource: pleasant, undiscovered destinations. "We venerate what we
destroy," he writes. "But first we destroy."
By the time he got around to returning to Eastern Europe, travel journalism
had done its work, specifically television travelers like Rick Steves
and the Lonely Planet guides, two of Thompson's favorite targets.
Every description sounded as if it had been lifted from a feminine-hygiene-spray
commercial," he writes of one of Steves' Eastern European video tours.
"Seas glistened. Cities sparkled. Hungary was a 'goulash' of influences.
And, of course, the Croatian city of Split was the usual fascinating
blend of ancient and modern."
How about South America instead? "Second only to the Himalayas for
mountain drama, the turbulent beauty of the Andes" — but wait, could
this description possibly be written by none other than Thompson? As
he duly notes, travel journalists are a little like alcoholics, doomed
to repeat the same story in the same words. Backsliding, apparently,
is always a danger.
* Why is Wi-Fi free at cheap hotels, but $14 a night at expensive
ones? --" Because the people that can afford to stay at expensive hotels
are willing to pay for it. "[Many, many responses like this one.] --""No,
the real question is: Why does the free Wi-Fi at the cheap hotels work
perfectly 99% of the time, while the expensive hookup at the fancy digs
usually fails on the first try?"
* What's the real reason you have to turn off your laptop for takeoff?
--"So the laptops won't go flying around if the plane stops abruptly
during an aborted takeoff, and passengers won't be distracted in case
of an emergency evacuation." --"Security theatre: the illusion that
the airlines are doing all they can to protect you from harm."
Booking your own holiday, however, won’t necessarily get you the best
bargain. Reports in recent summers have told of the desperate measures
taken by package holiday companies to counteract the low demand. As
eleven million Brits chose their own B-I-Y route, Lastminute.com had
a package to Ibiza, including return flights from Gatwick, for just
You would, however, be very lucky to be able to take advantage of this
cheap deal bonanza, and organising everything from booking time off
work to getting friends involved would be very difficult. Despite their
cheapness, there are other disadvantages to a B-I-Y holiday. If you
book a package holiday through a regular tour operator, you’re protected
against mishaps such as cancellation by two schemes – the Association
of British Travel Agents, and the Air Travel Organiser’s Licensing Operation.
When you book a package holiday through an operator your contract is
with them. This means they will be legally obliged to inform you and
arrange a replacement at no extra cost if you suffer a cancellation.
On a B-I-Y holiday therefore, it is essential to get travel insurance
that covers for cancellation as well as ill health.
There are certainly enough cheap insurance deals out there to continue
keeping the costs of your B-I-Y cheaper than many packages offered on
the high street. There is a wide range of internet providers that can
help put your holiday together without travel agents. For cheap flights,
take a look at Monarch Airlines or Cheap Flights.co.uk. There are also
many different hotel directories and suppliers; just type ‘cheap hotels
in (your destination)’ into Google, and have a shop around – you be
able to create your own convenient package in no time!
Cheap flights are extensively available and it is an important development
for discount travelers. Yield management concept is widely used by many
companies and so the price varies wildly. The discount totally depends
on when you book the air ticket. If the ticket is purchased very much
in advance, the cost will be less. Online booking gives you the advantage
of choosing the cheapest price and you can also look for the dates available
for the coming months. There are websites that offer third party rates
with comparison of different airlines for the destination you want to
travel. This benefits you to book your air ticket on the cheapest day
with the cheapest airline with little effort.
Cheap hotels are comfortable and also economical. So even the companies
understand your basic need of rest and they dont charge you more for
all the services they offer. Cheap hotels that have dormitory or a room
with bed are often referred as budget hotels. If you plan for long travel,
this is the cheapest method for saving your expenses on accommodation.
The popularity of budget hotels are increasing all over the world as
it makes your stay abroad cheaper today than the past.
I recommend these links about cheap hotels: