Here's breaking news about cheap hotels. More tips here.

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.

Sid Stetson writes:

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 re-use.

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 character.

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.

Here 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.

From 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'."

From WorldHum:

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" happy?

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.

From WorldHum:

Columnist Rolf 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 daylight hours.

* 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.

Tim Lee writes:

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.

Rick 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.

The 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.

David Pogue writes:

* 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."

From TravelBite:

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 £9!

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!

Lesley Lyon writes:

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:

Cheap Hotels

Cheap Hotels

Cheap Hotels

Cheap Hotels

Cheap Hotels

Cheap Hotels

Cheap Hotels

Cheap Hotels