Every Saturday morning I make myself a cuppa tea and sit down to read travel articles that I have bookmarked from the last seven days, and this morning a news article from the New York Times caught my attention. The story highlighted an increase in Chinese tourists who are visiting New York City but staying in New Jersey; it’s an interesting read and it reminded me of my last trip to New York City, when rather than paying the ridiculous hotel rates in Manhattan I stayed in an Airbnb apartment in Weehawken, New Jersey; I could see the Manhattan skyscrapers from the end of the street, it was that close.
If you avoid the rush hour traffic it takes 15 minutes to arrive at Port Authority Bus Terminal. For a basic hotel (with decent reviews) in Manhattan it would cost £90-£100 a night, compared with £45 a night to rent a room in a shared apartment.
Save money by choosing an out of town location
When I visited Venice, rather than staying on the main island with hotel rooms at £100+ per night, I stayed in an area called Mestre, a ten minutes bus ride away which cost £40 a night for a large sized room. I spend very little time in the hotel, so, I do not need facilities like a gym, restaurants etc. All I want is a comfy bed, free WiFi, clean room and a shower. When I start my travels round the world I will be staying 10-15 minutes away by bus or train from the main tourist areas because the rates are often 50% cheaper, and since accommodation takes up the majority of my budget, I want to spend money wisely.
Saving Money on Hotel Rooms
If you travel alone then you need to keep a look out for the dreaded single room supplement where the hotel charges per person per night, rather than per room per night. It’s important to look at what type of room you will be allocated too because I have fallen foul where I expected a double room, but was checked in to a single room which is the size of a wardrobe. Book outside peak dates and you’ll save yourself a fortune. When booking a city break, try to avoid staying over on Fridays and Saturdays, by staying over Thursdays and Sundays you could benefit from cheaper nightly rates. Also, check there are no large events taking place where you want to stay as hotel prices may be inflated.
I believe that if you don’t ask, you don’t get, so, when checking in at your hotel try asking for a upgrade or if you’re travelling for a special occasion e.g. honeymoon or birthday, make sure you tell the hotel because you might just be surprised with champagne or chocolates on arrival. Hotels are keen to get repeat custom so these high-value add-ons are often available. Many hotels charge a premium for breakfast and other services you might not want. Room only is the cheapest way to stay, and you can grab breakfast much cheaper at a local café. Keep a look out for those hidden charges like cancellation fees, read the terms and conditions before booking.
Hopefully, you will have found these money saving tips useful.