You don't need to have a lot of money to check off all the destinations on your travel bucket list. Whether you are traveling by car or with a two-wheeler, two things end up eating away all of your money: fuel expense and hotel rents! There isn’t much you can do about fuel costs other than driving economically, but when it comes to saving on hotel expenses, there are a few smart hacks that we want to share with you today.
Use Local Search Engines
Most business establishments come out with offers and deals that are reflected only in the local geographical forums, notice boards and advertisement platforms and for that, you need to search using the local search engines which are designed with algorithms for highlighting search local businesses only. So next time you make a search on google for a cheap hotel make sure to include the name of the definition along with your search to get more pinpointed and accurate results that are more relevant for you. If you are traveling to China or any other destination where Google is not the primary search, then find out what they usually depend on and use it search engine to get good results. Nowadays there are also a ton of mobile phone applications that show and list hotel and restaurant deals that you can find out by installing those applications because their search engine is localized within the application only and you cannot use it unless you have that app installed on your mobile phone. A few reputable and reliable mobile phone applications to find and affordable accommodation are OYO, Airbnb, Yatra, Trivago & Goibibo.
Sign Up For Corporate Deals
Find out if your workplace has a corporate affiliation with any travel accommodation company because this is a great way of reducing your accommodation costs by being a part of a corporate deal where you get discounts on staying in company-affiliated hotels. In India, many corporations have deals with search travel companies that make it possible for the replies to enjoy special discounts while booking hotel rooms within India or even abroad.
Use Your Credit Card Points / Air Miles
Credit cards and air miles accumulated during your traveling over the last several years can be redeemed for a discount on your hotel expenses. Talk to your credit card company or if you have a membership with a certain airline find out what discounts they have to offer when it comes to booking accommodation. One thing to keep in mind while using credit card points and air miles is to check whether the bank/airline is affiliated with the hotel you want to stay in, and also for how long the points are valid for redemption before they expire.
Try Membership Discounts
Mobile phone apps that aggregate information and deals on affordable hotels also offer memberships, using which you can get good deals for both accommodation and meals in a foreign destination or within India by paying a certain amount of money upfront and then enjoying the benefits for over a year or more depending on the company you sign up with. Usually, this amount is very small and you can get back the value of your money after a couple of bookings so even if you do not intend to keep on traveling the entire year around you do not lose out on anything instead you save a lot of money on expensive hotel rooms.
Old Fashion Haggling!
Last but not the least, old fashion haggling for discounts still works today! But the word of caution here many of the hotels that are affiliated with aggregation companies or other apps are not very interested in entertaining guests who want to bargain for discounts because they already have all of the rooms booked and do not need to accommodate any discounts. Depending on the hotel and location speak to the cashier/ manager at the front desk to find out if they can give you a discount, but be prepared to have a ‘no’ for an answer!
PRO-TIP: Outdoor security at budget hotels might be iffy at best, so make sure to park your two-wheeler as safely as you can, and carry your motorcycle helmet, riding gear, and luggage bags indoor.