Home Travel Beach Holidays: 5 Tricks To Find The Cheapest Accommodation

Beach Holidays: 5 Tricks To Find The Cheapest Accommodation

by LaurettaCWright
5 tricks to find the cheapest accommodation

I won’t lie. Since giving up my full time career as a travel journalist in August 2018, the last six months have been tough financially.

I wouldn’t change a thing of course – and I don’t regret my decision one bit, but when you have to get accustomed to living by fewer means, you start looking at innovative means of saving money. And this includes holidays and downtime away from home.

I love the beach and I’ve got my sights set on a few days away in Margate this year. The kids love playing in the sand (give me a sandy beach over a pebble one any day!) and I love sitting on a deck chair, magazine in hand, preferably an ice cream in the other hand watching the kids have fun. It’s my kind of bliss. Until I get bored and want to start exploring again.

But when it comes to actually making plans to go away, the biggest single cost (certainly for a staycation holiday), has got to be where you stay. So it got me thinking – what's the best means of bagging the cheapest accommodation?

Here’s 5 handy tips to ensure you won’t be digging too deeply into those pockets…

1. Choose travel dates wisely & use comparator tools

If you’ve got tweens and teens like me, it’s difficult to be flexible on travel dates given the school restrictions. And even if I did get ‘special permission’ to take the kids out of school, as a secondary school teacher VIP wouldn’t be allowed to take days off during term time.

However, my advice if your kids are young enough to remove from school – or have flown the nest so to speak and are not reliant on you being around to look after then, then choose periods outside of high season. It’s better to travel in July or September than August for example.

Big festivals and events are also worth taking into account as they can bump up the price of a holiday considerably. Plus you wouldn’t exactly want overcrowded public transport and restaurants you couldn’t book just because 10,000 fans decided to book Elton John’s concert at the same time you’re there. A quick Google search will ensure you find out which events are on the agenda – and therefore avoid spending more than you need to when booking a hotel.

Another piece of advice would be to take advantage of the internet and online portals to compare flights and the cheapest accommodation for the dates you’re looking at travelling.

2. Choose apartments over hotels

It’s typically cheaper to book apartments over hotels when it comes to sourcing the cheapest accommodation; it means you won’t have to fork out for all your meals. You can choose to have breakfast and dinner in the apartment – and eat out for lunch every day.

Another plus point holiday apartments offer is that you maintain your privacy and autonomy; you can do what you want without being subject to set times for meal times, entertainment etc.. as is usually the case when you’re in a hotel.

3. Buy someone else's reservations!

Were you aware that there are some websites that allow you to purchase unwanted hotel room reservations of other travellers at a reduced rate?

These websites link you with travellers who have been lumbered with a booking that they are unable to cancel. However, the good news for you is that they are willing to offer and transfer the booking at a discounted price. With discounts of up to 74% on some websites, it’s not to be sniffed at and will ensure you get the cheapest accommodation for your booking.

5 tricks to find the cheapest accommodation

4. Say farewell to Friday 

Avoid spending Friday nights in hotels, as this can be one of the most expensive nights of the week due to its popularity. Instead, try to rock up early on a Saturday morning. You can leave your bags at reception if your room is not ready – and go and explore the beach and enjoy a spot of retail therapy with the money you saved the night before. 😉

5. The rule of refundable rooms

Although booking a refundable room costs between 5%-10% more, it could save you a lot more in the long run. You'll have more flexibility on dates, of course, but you can also use it as an insurance policy. This is quite important for someone like me who may need to cancel at the last minute due to medical reasons.

Plus, there’s another advantage…if you continue to look for other hotels after booking and find another room at a lower price (even in the same hotel), you can book the new one, cancel the refundable room and enjoy the extra savings!

Some hotels accept cancellations up to the same day, so you have plenty of time to find a better offer, but remember to check the cancellation policy carefully to make sure you get back on time! Hey presto!

So that pretty much sums up advice on getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to finding the cheapest accommodation.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share on what’s worked for you in getting the cheapest accommodation?

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33 comments

Zena's Suitcase 16th July 2019 - 6:49 pm

I had not thought about trying to buy other people’s bookings. Now you’ve said it it makes perfect sense and I’ll be looking out for deals like this for some of our trips

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LaurettaCWright 17th July 2019 - 4:51 pm

Thanks Zena – It’s definitely worth considering – especially if you’re anything like me – really love travelling but sometimes restricted by budgets! Glad you were inspired x

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Crystal 27th June 2019 - 5:15 pm

I can’t wait for our next beach vacation, I’ll have to remember these tips and tricks.

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LaurettaCWright 30th June 2019 - 12:01 pm

I hope some of them come in handy Crystal – there are plenty more but these are just a few to get your started – good luck!

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stephanie 26th June 2019 - 7:38 am

These are such good tips – I always feel like I need to stay at a hotel on a Friday night when I could just rock up early on a Saturday! x

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LaurettaCWright 26th June 2019 - 4:14 pm

Ha ha! I think most people do Stephanie! 🙂

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Anosa 25th June 2019 - 9:16 am

I must admit most of us fall in the trap of Friday night stays, this is handy thanks.

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LaurettaCWright 25th June 2019 - 11:34 am

We do – and it’s one of the most logical things to do – but better to get up early on a Saturday and check in that day to save a bit of £££

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Playdays and Runways 24th June 2019 - 8:21 pm

I’ve never thought of staying in a apartment – great tips

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Kara Guppy 24th June 2019 - 4:54 pm

Fab tips here, we always go for apartments or cottages

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LaurettaCWright 25th June 2019 - 7:28 am

Ever since I stayed in an apartment in Hamburg – we’ve been (largely) converted….as long as I don’t have to cook! lol

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fashionandstylepolice 24th June 2019 - 4:19 pm

I love your travel tips here. Apartments are definitely a lot cheaper.

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LaurettaCWright 25th June 2019 - 7:29 am

Thanks Stella – good to hear that you’re also a fan! x

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Brianne 24th June 2019 - 11:36 am

I’ll have to look into this here in the States! Buying someone’s unwanted holiday sounds like a great affordable way to spend some vacation time.

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LaurettaCWright 25th June 2019 - 7:31 am

It’s a fab idea isn’t it? If only I had thought of this first! ha ha….but definitely worth a look.

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Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too 24th June 2019 - 8:52 am

It’s really surprising just how much extra a hotel on a Friday night can cost compared to a Saturday.

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LaurettaCWright 25th June 2019 - 7:30 am

The same applies to flying too – studies have shown that the cheapest day to fly is on a Tuesday after 6pm….interesting!

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Rhian westbury 24th June 2019 - 7:22 am

You’re so right about avoiding hotels, it might be a little more money to get an apartment to begin with but being able to prepare/ cook some of your own food will help save money x

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LaurettaCWright 25th June 2019 - 7:30 am

Absolutely Rhian – especially if you shop where the locals shop (usually the markets!)

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Alex Ryder 23rd June 2019 - 8:54 pm

There are some super useful tips here, thank you! We don’t have kids but even so, thre are things we can use here such as buying other peoples reservations and avoiding Fridays!

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2019 - 11:08 pm

Great to hear you’ve picked up some tips Alex – there are plenty more ways of saving money of course, but these are some of the main ways…

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michelle twin mum 23rd June 2019 - 6:28 pm

I had no idea about buying other peopels reservatiosn that they no longer want, I’ll check that out more.

We’re off to Whitstable in July for a few days, so we shoudl get that sandy beach too. we’ve not been there before. Mich x

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2019 - 11:09 pm

Oooh it’s gorgeous there – we have friends who live there. Very quaint place. Take a long walk along the boardwalk – it’s gorgeous! xx

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Hayley Warren 23rd June 2019 - 5:27 pm

I always make sure I look for a while before picking somewhere to stay to ensure I get a good deal!

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2019 - 11:09 pm

Great idea Hayley – it’s definitely worth taking the time to search and not rush to make sure you’re not settling for second best. xx

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kerry 23rd June 2019 - 3:41 pm

Well, I did not know that you could buy peoples unwanted holidays. What a great idea! Im lucky that I don’t need to go in school holidays now, but avoiding them if yo can is a great idea. They are so inflated price wise! Fab tips Lauretta xx

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2019 - 11:11 pm

Thanks Kerry – and great to hear you’ve learned something about being able to buy unwanted holidays – waste not, want not as they say! And it would be a shame to see a paid for holiday go to waste!

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Jon 23rd June 2019 - 1:50 pm

Great advice here! You are spot on when you say to use apartments instead of reports to keep the price down! It’s amazing the deal you can get!

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2019 - 11:10 pm

Certainly is Jon… it’s worth considering other accommodation options but sometimes people don’t think about doing this.

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Ella @ Typical Mummy 23rd June 2019 - 9:46 am

Great tips here, thank you! I didn’t realise that there were sites where you could buy/sell unwanted reservations/ that’s useful information!!

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2019 - 11:12 pm

Thanks for commenting Ella and I’m glad you’ve got some useful tips from the post x

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Isabella 23rd June 2019 - 2:45 am

I’m not aware you can purchase unwanted reservations at a cheaper price. I would love to check out those kinds of sites. Booking a refundable room surely is a wiser choice.

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2019 - 11:12 pm

Thanks Isabella – seek and ye shall find as they say. It’s a great idea that saves people money and ensures the original buyer isn’t totally out of pocket.

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