With airplane ticket prices through the roof, it’s becoming more important to keep hotel costs down- especially when you’re traveling abroad. And there are plenty of places to turn other than booking the cheapest deal on Orbitz.com (STOCK QUOTE: OWW) or Expedia.com (STOCK QUOTE: EXPE).
From staying in neighborhoods slightly off-the-beaten path to using international search sites, here are some ways to score a great hotel deal abroad (and help offset those fuel prices).
Use Local Websites
Regional sites around the world often have better deals, and many offer English translations for easy booking, says Tom Meyers, editor in chief of EuroCheapo.com, a website devoted to European budget lodging. U.S. based sites offer “steep hotel rates” because they mostly deal with well-known international hotel chains, explains Meyers. But with some research on sites such as Venere.com (based in Rome) or Booking.com (based in Amsterdam), it’s likely you’ll come across some lesser known, and just as comfortable, options.
Opt for a B&B
Staying at a bed and breakfast is a great way to personalize your trip. B&B owners often go out of their way to help guests feel more comfortable, and provide an authentic experience in your country of choice. And with lower overhead costs it’s also a more economical option, often running half the price of a hotel room. Visit tripadvisor.com to search by city and country.
Consider the Neighborhood
Avoid touristy parts of town to save money and gain a more true-to-life experience. Just make sure public transportation is still at your disposal. “Everyone wants to be near the Eiffel Tower,” explains Meyers, who instead prefers the area around the Bastille, a major Paris Metro stop.
Compare Prices Online
Online services like hotelscombined.com help consumers instantly compare different travel websites and find quotes on the same hotel. Found a good deal on another site? Do a comparison search to make sure it’s the best option.
Book Business Hotels on Weekends
Many hotels catering to business travelers fill up on Monday nights, leaving bargains for long weekend travelers. Travel writer Sheila Scarborough says extending your stay through Sunday night is good way to experience a hotel that’s usually out of your price range. “Weekend traffic has checked out by late Sunday, but Monday's customers haven't arrived yet,” she explains.
Consider a Combo Deal
Booking hotels along with plane fare and car rentals can help lower the overall price. But it can be difficult to find the exactly right fit. There are “better prices in exchange for a loss of flexibility…so be ready for that,” says Scarborough. Check sites like Travelzoo.com http://www.travelzoo.com for packages deals.
Google Blog Search
Travel bloggers are often up-to-date on possible bargains, says Scarborough who uses the Google (STOCK QUOTE: GOOG) blog search application to find great hotel deals and unexpected travel advice. But be patient, as “it can be hard to find the gems,” she cautions. If you really like what the blogger had to say and have more questions, leave a comment asking for more details.