I have accumulated a few tips and tricks throughout my travels over the years on how to save money when staying at hotels. Here are just a few of them as I think many people will be jetting off for their Summer holidays in the next few weeks so hopefully I can save you some money too if that’s what you’re doing.
Firstly I always ensure that I take cash with me on my holidays. Even if it involves drawing it out of an ATM when I get to the hotel. Be aware that there amy be an extra charge for doing this, though. Never ever use your credit or debit card for everyday spending when on holiday and staying in a hotel. The transactions will soon mount up and you will have no way of keeping track of how much you’ve spent if you can’t physically see – especially those drinks you buy when you’re a bit non- compos mentis at 2am at the hotel bar! Also it’s only polite to tip hotel staff and you can’t do this with an atm card. You don’t want to upset the hotel staff when you’re on holiday – even if you don’t mean to.
Take your own travel adaptors. While most hotels have these available to buy or rent, they are seldom included for free in the rooms (because people steal them). You can buy travel adaptors in the pound shop in the UK and they can cost as much as £10 when you’re on holiday so it’s easy to save money there. You can buy multi-regional travel adaptors that you can leave in your suitcase so you’ll always have them to hand – and they don’t take up much space.
When booking your holiday, if it’s not too much more to do so, book all-inclusive if you don’t intend on leaving the hotel much. Even if you’re not a big drinker those Colas and ice creams soon add up especially if you’re in a family or party with children. In some cases you can absorb the extra cost of booking all-inclusive in as little as 2 days.
Using websites such as Lastminute.com can also save you money if you’re flexible on date sand times. You can also get extras to sweaten the deal such as by receiving spending money or credits or free flight transfers etc. Booking direct with hotel websites can also save you money as you can take advantage of the seasonal promotions and discounts that they offer – escpecially at the last minute whent they are desperate to fill those empty rooms that nobody has booked just yet.
I have stayed in a number of hotels in my lifetime, in a number of different countries. As a result I can’t remember a lot of them and some I’ve probably even been to on a couple of different occasions and have not really even noticed. There are however a few that will stick in my mind forever.
The Playa Del Carmen Hotel in Mexico
Situated right on the beach – which is my favourite location for a hotel to be anyway – the Play Del Carmen Hotel is just an absolutely beautiful hotel to look at. With its different huts dotted around for the pool bar and other outbuildings, many palm trees throughout the grounds and lovely golden sand beach leading on to the infinite sky blue sea just a few footsteps away from the hotel building itself it truly is a special place. The service there is second to none as you would expect from a 5star hotel, and the staff there are extremely friendly and polite. I made many friends in the ten days that I stayed there in 2011 and I still keep in touch with a lot of them today via Facebook and Twitter.
The Signature in Las Vegas
You may remember me going on about Vegas hotels in a previous post, and the Signature at MGM Grand in Las Vegas is the Vegas hotel that springs to mind for me. Not only is it ridiculously tall, but there are 3 buildings and just standing near them makes you look up in awe. This sends a tingle down the spine. The rooms do the same thing as they are all absolutely HUGE and very luxurious with all bedrooms having en suite facilities and most rooms having a separate kitchen and lounge area. In fact, if I work out the square footage of the room I stayed in it’s probably bigger than my house. For this reason alone it will always be a memorable hotel for me and as for the location – well there’s only one Las Vegas.
The Tunis Grand Hotel in Tunisia
I have only been to Tunisia once and so I have no other Tunisian hotels to compare this one too, but if someone else who has been to another one could comment on Tunisian hospitality then please let me know if the experiences I had here are normal for Tunisia or I just went to an outstanding hotel.
Every morning when I went to the pool one of the pool staff would physically find and bring me a sunbed. They would also ensure I had something to drink and eat when I wanted to while I was by the pool and so I did not have to move a muscle. Obviously this was one of my relaxing holidays.
My pet hate when travelling As you may know by now I am a keen traveller and it’s something that I like to do as often as I can, finances permitting. Because I consider it a bit of a hobby I suppose you could say that I enjoy doing it. That said as with most people and their hobbies there are aspects of it that I absolutely hate with a growing passion, and for me it is the airport. I don’t hate flying at all. In fact I really enjoy the fact that I am moving as quickly as I can to a destination that would otherwise take a very long time to get to. It’s the actual airport that I hate – in particular the customs area. I appreciate that this is an essential part of travel and that it will always be a part of air travel but the process is an old and outdated one that needs some change. It seems to be worse in the UK and US than many other countries, mainly due to the people. In some countries the customs staff are very polite and respectful but here in the UK they come across as quite rude. Not all of them, but a few of them. Unfortunately it only takes one rude person in customs to put me in a bad mood and it has a slightly negative effect on the beginning of my travels. I understand that for the officials it’s quite a tedious job and that it probably doesn’t pay well but my philosophy is and always has been that if you don’t like your job, LEAVE. Do us all a favour because nobody who’s travelling or going on holiday wants to see your miserable face when they are having their bags screened. Rant over. Riccardo
As a keen traveller I have seen myself in some pretty rough accommodation before. I have literally spent one night in a 4 star luxury hotel with a personal butler and then the next I have slept under a bridge. (The joys of India lol). If I’m travelling for the sake of travelling or seeing sights then this is fine. You can’t really stay everywhere In luxury and in a lot of cases it’s virtually impossible to do this if you wish to really get off of the beaten track. However as much as I love travelling I also like a relaxing holiday, which is why I like places such as Spain, Portugal and Greece.
When I’m staying on one of my so-called relaxing holidays I do tend to explore but only really the local area. I always stay in the same hotel throughout the duration of one of these holidays so I try not to go too far that I can’t get back in time for bed. As a result I look for a hotel that would make me comfortable and enjoy my stay. Some of the things I like in my hotel to make me comfortable are:
A laundry service. I wash and iron my own clothes at home so I don’t expect to do it on my relaxing holiday.
Free Wi-fi. I don’t care how poor the Wi-fi is as long as it’s free, it costs an absolute fortune otherwise. In fact. I’d rather a hotel didn’t have wi-fi than wi-fi that costs money.
A pool bar. An additional bar near the pool so I don’t have to spend too much of my relaxing holiday in the shade. I also check websites such as trip advisor to make sure these bars are open throughout the day.
A cash machine. I try to ensure there’s a cash machine in the hotel or if not, then very close to it. There’s nothing worse than a 2 mile trek just to draw out some Euros only to find out that the machine is completely empty. At least if it’s in or near your hotel then you have a fighting chance of being able to access it when there’s money in it to dispense.
I mentioned in one of my first posts a couple of weeks ago that I absolutely love Spain. In fact it is one of my three top destinations in the world. I didn’t get time in my other post to say why I like Spain so much, or to persuade you readers to stop what you’re doing and start researching your next trip and make sure that it is in Spain. Here are just a few of the things that I love about Spain – in no particular order – and why I think you should definitely go there, whether you have already been or not.
- Spain is will known for the fact that it has so much coastline. If you look at a picture of it on the map, you will see that it’s pretty much an island apart from the small part of the perimeter that connects it to the rest of Europe (already another great thing about Spain – it’s connections with Europe). There are over 5,000 miles of coastline in Spain which means that there are also lots and lots of beaches. Wherever in Spain you go you’re never that far away from the beach.
- Out of the 365 days in any given year, Spain benefits from about 300 days of glorious sunshine. The fact that it is much nearer the equator than we are in the UK means that the sunny weather is actually warm. You don’t need to carry three or four layers with you when the sun is out in Spain.
- The food in Spain is to die for. The fact that there are so many cultural influences means that there are many different kinds of food available. Even if you’re the most fussy of eaters you will find plenty that you like eating and this will no doubt open up your curiosity to try many new foods.
- The people in Spain are very welcoming to visitors. The fact that they have a lot of beaches means that tourists have flocked to Spain throughout the year for many decades. The explosion of budget airlines has made this possible for people even further afield which means they receive even more visitors now than they used to. This has given then a thriving tourism industry which is one of the main things that generates income in Spain.
- Once you’re in Spain it’s cheap and easy to get around, so you can explore the country. Most flights land in Madrid and there are high speed train connections from there to more or less everywhere else in Spain. The fact that it’s easy to travel is great because Spain has a lot of history to enjoy. If you like to explore, you’ll love Spain. For more information on what you will need to visit Spain, check the UK government website.
- Very cheap hotels. I have discussed the ways to stay in Spain on the cheap before so I won’t bore you with the details again. Spain is a very popular tourist destination and it’s for that reason that there are thousands and thousands of hotels there. This, combined with the fact that there is so much coastline means that some of these hotels are in absolutely beautiful locations and they aren’t actually that expensive. It’s a similar story to Las Vegas, which I will write about soon. There are so many hotels there that they are all competing with each other and so 5 star rooms can be had for less than the price of one night in a Premier Inn in the UK.
As a keen traveller, I spend a lot of my time well, travelling. As a result of this I think that it is pretty safe to say that I know a thing or two about travelling in general and I’m getting pretty savvy at it all now. Different airlines and different countries and regions around the world have different allowances for luggage and what you’re actually allowed to bring in and out of the country, so I have a generic list of things that I know I can take with me absolutely anywhere.
The first thing that I always bring with me is my iPod. Whilst I absolutely love the process of travelling, and I rarely need anything to keep me occupied when I’m on the move, sometimes that night flight to Sydney or the all-night train to New Delhi is just TOO boring – particularly when it’s dark and there’s not a lot to look at. Providing I don’t use my iPod on planes when they are ascending or descending I can pretty much use it anywhere else I like.
Another thing I never leave the country without (in fact, I rarely leave my house without it) is my bum bag. For all you American’s reading this, I think you refer to it as a fanny pack but that’s a whole different blog post. This enables you to keep your passport, money and important travel documents on you at all times. In some places I even wear my bum bag when I sleep. That way I know my important things are safe from being lost or stolen.
Wherever I go in the world I always have my Saint Christopher pendant with me at all times. Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travelling and so even if I’m on the bus on my way to work because Herbie has failed me, I will have Saint Christopher around my neck. I only have a cheap pendant to avoid me becoming a target for thieves. I’ve also found that rubbish materials don’t set off the metal detectors in airports either so the cheaper the better.
I like Spain. A lot. I’ve been to Spain probably about 20 times in my life and more or less every time I’ve been I have spent my stay in a different hotel. One of the biggest Hotel chains in Spain is called H10 Hotels. I’ve been using them more recently because not only are they extremely luxurious compared to many other hotels, but there is also not much of a price difference either. Plus, they love people who book online, which suits me to the ground because I love the convenience of shopping around and booking online. H10 Hotels voucher codes are great for making your next stay in a Spanish Hotel even cheaper. If you’re looking to cut the cost of your next stay in a hotel in Spain or if you’re just looking for a great Spanish holiday deal then the best way of doing that is with a discount or promo code for H10 Hotels. The best ways to save the most money on your next holiday are:
- Book directly with a budget airline such as easyJet or Ryanair
- Book your hotel directly with H10 Hotels
- Research the area and book your own airport transfers
Every day thousands of people are booking their holidays online via various comparison and travel agent websites. If you’re looking to save money on your next holiday then the cheapest way to do it is to book directly with the people that you will be giving your custom to. Many travel agents simply make large block bookings in order to secure many seats on airplanes and many rooms in hotels so that they can pretty much name their own price for reselling them. If you book directly with the company then you will be able to avoid the unnecessary cost of doing it this way, and also save a lot more money by cutting out the middle man.
Getting the flights cheap
There are plenty of low cost or budget airlines that fly all over Europe and sometimes even further beyond, so always shop around for cheap flights for your holiday. These budget airlines will fly to the exact same airports as the more expensive airlines, they just have the less-popular slots for takeoff and landing. If you don’t mind flying and arriving during the night then you can save a lot of money by using these airlines.
Use H10 Hotels voucher codes for the hotel
The same principle applies if you’re going to book your hotel online. Rather than using the hotel comparison websites, research the hotels you want using search engines and review websites such as Trip Advisor and book with the hotel directly. Many travel agents use H10 Hotels as their hotels provider, so if you search for them and book directly you will automatically make a huge saving on your holiday. Take the time to look at the various discount code websites in order to find an H10 Hotels voucher code, and you may be able to save even more. If hotel companies have rooms that need filling then they would rather they were occupied than empty, even if it means only making a fraction of the cost that they would usually make on a booking. After all a small amount of money is better than no money at all.
Don’t forget the airport transfers
When booking airport transfers always consider sorting this out yourself. In many cases if you purchase these online in advance it will actually cost you more. It can cost as much as £30 each way for an airport transfer than literally takes 15 minutes or less. If you research the distance between the airport and your hotel and then check out the cost of taxis locally (don’t forget the currency conversion), then you may realise that it’s cheaper to book your own taxi than to use the coaches that are run by tour operators. Doing these simple things, combined with using an H10 Hotels voucher code will almost definitely save you some money on your next holiday.
Hello everyone. As you may have guessed by the title this is in fact my first post on my travel blog. So many of my friends have been pestering me to keep a log of my travels (presumably so that I don’t keep boring them with my tales of woe when we’re out and about). Anyway, that’s what this blog is mainly going to be for – well that and venting about the people at work, home and anyone else who gets on my nerves on any given day.
On my blog I will be posting live travel updates when I’m away as well as the odd story or information about somewhere that I have been previously. If I can figure out how to do it I am also going to add some sort of map where I can shade the areas of the world that I have been to because I’ve been to a lot of places now. So many that I’m getting to the stage where I’m beginning to struggle in remembering them. Or is that just because I’m getting old?
Anyway please follow my blog if you like it, or add me on Twitter (riccardoohh). If you have any comments or questions about any of the places that I’ve been to then please do keep them to yourself. I’m just kidding, let me know and I will post them here. Unless you’re funnier than me and then I probably won’t publish anything.
’til later xx