There are a lot of ways you could be saving money on hotels and flights —it’s just about knowing where to look. From ‘mystery’ flight bargains to last-minute hotel deals, we’ve rounded up the best travel hacks you should try…
1. Get hotel discounts by booking last-minute
Unlike buying plane tickets, the rates on hotel rooms may decline the closer you get to arrival. That’s simply because hotels hate empty rooms so they’re more willing to offer price cuts for last-minute bookings. This is when rooms with dramatic price drops are loaded onto Hotel Tonight, an app that allows you to find a hotel on the same day you to plan to check-in. While users can still book in advance, spontaneous travelers can find the best deals after 4pm when discounts up to 50% can be found.
2. Get cheaper flights by being flexible
Priceline’s Express Deals are made for flyers who can afford to be flexible with their travel timings — but it can be unnerving for most. When searching your route on Priceline, if an Express Deal is available it will pop up on the results page with a reduced rate. But there are a number of drawbacks to consider. Express Deal flights are non-refundable and non-changeable. You also won’t know the airline or full flight itinerary prior to purchase; instead you’re given general timings such as “morning takeoff” or “evening takeoff”, a rough idea of layovers (it might list 0-1), and there may be additional baggage costs (but you won’t know since the airline you’ll be flying is shown only after booking.) If you can handle the uncertainty, it’s a great way to save a bundle on your flight.
3. Play hotel roulette with ‘mystery’ deals
‘Secret’ hotel rooms are a great way to enjoy luxury on the cheap. Because hotels don’t want their empty rooms to go to waste, they offer deep discounts on regular rates. The catch? Customers don’t know which hotel they’re staying at until payment. This method is a way for luxury properties to remain anonymous, thus offering discounts without damaging their brand. Popular sites that offer mystery deals include Expedia, Hotwire and Priceline.
4. Scope out coupon codes online
This is a resourceful way to bag discounts on hotel chains or booking sites using coupon promo codes that can easily be found online. Here’s an example of a quick Google search you can try: “Hotels.com September 2019 coupon/promo code“. Make sure you specify the month and year in order to filter out expired coupons. While it can take a bit of patience, it’s an easy way to take advantage of coupons you’d otherwise be unaware of.