TOP 7 hacks to get the best hotel prices in Australia in 2024 | + tips for backpackers
Australia is known to be one of the most expensive destinations among travelers. However, there's nothing that can hold us back: we discussed this topic with other experts & locals and gathered the TOP 7 tricks, tips & hacks to help you save when booking hotels in Australia. From tips to scoring the best Holiday deals to backpacking advice - you'll find it all here.
1. Book later for holiday cancellations
While the holidays are already behind us, there’s many more to come, and this hack is the one to keep in mind.
Aiden Higgins, Senior Editor and Writer at The Broke Backpacker, says that one effective strategy for finding lower hotel prices is to avoid booking immediately. Many hotels often have a few rooms available, and during peak times like Christmas in Australia, cancellations are common despite hotels being fully booked.
He emphasizes that for those considering this approach during the holidays, it's wise to have a backup plan, such as a cancelable Airbnb reservation. This allows for flexibility to switch to a hotel if a better deal arises. It's also beneficial to inquire directly at hotels for any available rooms, ensuring they meet your needs without being overly extravagant.
RatePunk Rebooking feature can give you a hand here:
1. Install RatePunk if you don’t have it yet.
2. Book your wanted hotel with a free-cancellation option.
3. Get informed via email if/when the price drops & rebook it for that lower rate!
2. Save with the house-sitting option
“Consider "house-sitting" for a budget-friendly yet delightful spot in Australia,” says Michael Chen from Notta.
Some platforms connect travelers with homeowners who need someone to look after their house or pets while they're away, offering a unique and cost-effective accommodation option.
Some websites we’d recommend to get you started: Trusted Housesitters & Aussie House Sitters.
3. Use the “reverse auction” method
Michael also adds that the "reverse auction" method is also useful.
What “reverse auction” method is? In hotel booking, it’s a process where hotels, instead of guests, bid for the guest's business. Essentially, the guest specifies what they need in a stay, and hotels then offer prices or packages trying to win the booking. This can allow travelers to receive better deals as hotels lower their rates to secure the reservation.
“Contact hotels directly and ask if they can beat the best price you've found online. They'll sometimes offer a lower rate to secure your booking,” he recommends.
4. Explore the “Work for Accommodation” opportunities
“Some hostels offer free or discounted stays in exchange for a few hours of work each day, allowing you to stretch your budget and meet fellow travelers,” says Michael.
To score these opportunities, it’s best if you’re flexible with tasks and locations. The more you do it, the easier it gets: some hostel chains are in multiple locations, so you have a bigger chance to get in.
Some platforms we recommend to search for this: Workaway, Worldpackers, and HelpStay.
5. Budget wisely for backpacking stays
Backpackers, listen up! This one comes from practically a local. Brett Downes, Founder of Haro Helpers, names Australia one of his favorite places in the world and says that one question that he gets asked most is how much money you need to backpack Australia?
“For three months of travel, I would recommend budgeting at least AUD 6,000,” he says. “I would budget at least AUD 30 per night for a hostel or private accommodation. If you're backpacking for three months, as I did, you will need at least $1,500 for accommodations, depending on the season, but it's better to be safe than sorry.”
He also shares a pro backpacker accommodation tip: if you're looking to find cheap accommodation, you can try shared hostels, but he found that Airbnb and bunking with other travelers in more home-like environments are more fiscally efficient. Utilize hotels to build rapport with other travelers and stick by those who are doing the same as you.
Some Airbnb properties are also listed on other booking websites, just cheaper.
RatePunk informs you every time it’s the case by popping out on your Airbnb screen.
6. Plan your backpacking trip carefully
Alex Mastin, the CEO of Home Grounds, is sure that while backpacking is a spur-of-the-moment, inexpensive excursion in which you use your resources and stay in cheap hotels to some extent, it also has to be planned out and budgeted because you won't stay afloat in a foreign country for long if you don't have the money for it.
“For a month-long backpacking trip, I would say to budget around AUD $2,200, especially if you're planning on seeing sites, purchasing good food, and staying in decent lodging. You'll need around $60 per day for food and accommodations, and you may want to budget a little more if you want to go on excursions or partake in scuba diving,” Alex advises.
That being said, he says that there's no shortage of free events in the cities. “When I went to Adelaide, I attended the Fringe Festival. They had free music, theater performances, and all sorts of stalls with different cuisines.” What’s there more to ask, right?
7. Compare deals on booking platforms
Owner of Simify, Mac Steer, has been traveling to Australia for the past five years and learned a few hacks for finding lower hotel prices.
He emphasizes that it's important to check out sites like Expedia and Hotels.com before booking directly through the hotel. “Often, you can get a better deal on those sites than if you book directly with the hotel,” Mac says.
This trick goes for any destination. No matter where you’re traveling - never book your hotel right after checking only one website. The commissions & prices vary on different booking websites, so you must check as many of them as you can.
RatePunk browser extension pops up on the booking website you’re scrolling, and shows how much it costs on other websites in seconds.
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