Cheap holidays: Expert tips to find the best deal 'savings can jump to 50%'
BOOKING A HOLIDAY at the lowest rate can be challenging, but there are tricks you can use to guarantee a better deal. Express.co.uk spoke to experts to find out what impacts the variation in hotel rates and tips to get the best one.
Finding the best and lowest hotel rate amongst the sea of online travel agency deals can be overwhelming at the best of times, and it can be hard to decide which route to go for and stick with. The internet is awash with different tips and tricks to help you get the lowest rate possible, so Express.co.uk spoke to experts at RatePunk to separate fact from fiction to get the best hotel deals.
It’s no secret that hotel prices vary a lot on different booking websites, and you most likely check at least a few before booking.
There are a fair few reasons for this - some in and out of your control - so it’s important to be aware of why prices change so you can use this to your advantage to get better deals.
Justin Albertynas, CEO and co-founder of RatePunk, said: “By gathering information for RatePunk technology and searching for ways to improve it, we noticed some significant tendencies that fate the price that reaches the user.”
However, he continued: “From what we found, it seems like it’s nearly impossible to find the lowest hotel rate only by researching.”
Here are a few of the aspects that impact prices significantly and can’t be influenced simply through researching different hotels in a search engine.
❗ Your location and IP address
Your current location and IP address have been found to significantly impact the hotel rates that appear for you after searching.
For example, those searching for hotels in the UK from a location in India often pay more than any European country does.
Mr Albertynas said: “Only because it’s statistically known that travellers from there splash less during the vacation itself (hotel restaurants, souvenirs, SPAs, etc.).”
❗ Countless booking websites
The sheer number of booking websites also largely impacts holidaymaker’s experience in finding the best rate.
Mr Albertynas said: “Because of the different contracts that hotels make with the booking websites, the price difference between them is often huge. Really huge.
“From our experience, savings can jump to 50 percent (or even more) just by comparing different suppliers for the same room.
❗ Hidden taxes and fees
Various taxes and fees are included in the price of your stay, which isn’t a problem. It’s the sites that don’t always include this in the whole price displayed on the website.
Mr Albertynas said: “Expedia, as an example, shows prices without taxes, and that’s why they seem lower than on competitors' websites.”
❗ Random price increases
This tip has been known for longer, but if you keep searching for the same flights and hotels from the same device, the price increases.
However, the solution often provided, which is to browse with the incognito mode on, is more like a placebo effect.
Mr Albertynas said: “We tested out a bunch of hotels with and without incognito mode and on different devices, but there was no noticeable tendency, so we dare to go out on a limb and say that it’s a bit fake news.”
So, what can you do to beat the algorithm and find the best deal available for your budget?
Mr Albertynas told Express.co.uk five tips to finding a better deal:
- Check as many different websites as possible. The more you check, the bigger the chances are you’ll find a lower price.
- Try downloading VPN and connecting to IP addresses of different countries.
- After choosing your desired hotel, check the prices on both mobile and desktop versions.
- Even if you’re a loyal client of one booking website, check the prices after signing out before confirming the booking.
- You can give RatePunk a try by installing it for free on Chrome, Safari, or your iOS system.