We’ve never had more choice when it comes to planning a holiday, but that hasn’t made booking a hotel any easier.
In fact, with so many sites and deals available, finding the best rates can be completely overwhelming. You start on one site, and before you know you’ve gone down a rabbit hole of reviews and rates, and end up with 45 tabs open in your browser.
But before you give up in a huff and resign yourself to a staycation, try these eight easy tricks for getting a great rate on your accommodation. Bon voyage!
Bundle your flights and hotels
If you're booking flights through a travel agent, ask the agent to quote you some prices on hotels as booking these together can lead to cost savings.
You can also bundle flights and hotels when you book online - airlines usually have partner hotels in destinations around the world and offer special deals if you book through their website.
Sign up for loyalty or rewards programs
Find a hotel chain you like and stick to it - regularly staying with the same hotel group will earn you points and lead to better prices.
Luxury hotel booking service Mr & Mrs Smith offer their members up to 50% off their hotels year-round, while Hotels.com's rewards programme gives you one free night for every ten nights you book in their hotels around the world.
Find newly-opened hotels
Once you've decided where to stay, scope out the newest hotel openings in the area. Even the swankiest hotels offer special discounts for guests during their opening weeks or month, making their usually expensive room prices more affordable - you just need to keep your finger on the pulse.
Get price alerts
If you're flexible with dates or have a long time before you need to book your accommodation, we recommend setting up a price alert on hotel comparison websites. Hotels Combined and Kayak have handy price alert tools, so once you've found your dream hotel, you'll get notifications when the price goes up or down.
Check out business hotels
Business trips are less likely to take place during summer or holiday seasons, leaving some hotels aimed at business travellers with plenty of rooms to spare. While leisure hotels will be raising their costs during these periods, you're likely to get a better price on business hotels.
Follow the market
According to Waylo, hotel prices fluctuate, like stocks. Their app predicts when hotel prices will rise or drop, enabling users to get the very best price on their hotel stay. You can either book there and then, or get alerts to notify you when it's the best time to book.
Think about when the droves of tourists will be travelling to your planned holiday destination and book around them. Trips to Europe in August or Japan during cherry blossom season are always going to cost you more money, so plan to visit popular destinations at off-peak times. The weather in southern Europe can still be gorgeous in October and you can spend the money you save on sunset cocktails overlooking the water.
Book a secret hotel
Many hotel comparison websites offer special deals on 'mystery hotels'. You'll be able to see the accommodation's ratings, reviews, neighbourhood, cost and amenities, but the hotel's identity won't be revealed until you've confirmed your booking.
By remaining anonymous, hotels can offer guests great discounts without alerting competitors or damaging the brand.
For more insider knowledge on the world of hotels, tune into the new series of The Hotel Inspector - Mondays at 9.45pm on Lifestyle.