When it comes to hotels, things boil down to a tradeoff between low cost and convenient location. In many cases, especially when traveling to major cities and popular attractions, the closer the hotel to the city or attraction the more you can expect to pay. The best way to save money, particularly in large cities, is often to stay in the suburbs.
Of course, this means that you will spend more time getting to the places you want to visit, and this will mean spending additional money on gasoline, etc. It is important to compute all these costs to make sure that you will really be spending less on a less convenient hotel room.
There are of course a number of ways to save money on hotels and motels without compromising quality. For one thing, a membership in AAA or a similar auto club also entitles you to discounts on hotel rooms, as does military service and senior citizen status. When inquiring about a hotel room, always inquire about discounts that may be available.
In addition, shopping early for a hotel room can often yield the best deals. That is because hotels often reserve a block of low cost rooms, and when they are gone they are gone. Thus the last room at a hotel may be much more costly than the first. Getting the best hotel room deal is often a matter of timing.
Of course getting a great deal on a hotel will mean nothing if the place is a dump. Shopping for a budget hotel should not mean settling for a hotel that is dirty, poorly run or in an unsafe location.
Fortunately, finding a good budget hotel has been made much easier with the help of the internet. What used to take weeks or even months to research can now be done in a matter of hours or even minutes. Many hotels, even budget properties, feature pictures of the property and the surrounding area, so be sure to research the property you are considering if you have never stayed there before.
It is important to research the area in which the hotel is located as well. Be sure to check out things like restaurants and attractions within walking distance of the hotel. Doing some research on the area will help ensure you do not end up staying in a dangerous neighborhood just to save a couple of bucks.
The internet also provides a number of review sites where those who have stayed in various hotels share their experiences and their impressions of the hotel properties. These review sites can be very useful for travelers, particularly those traveling to a new location for the first time.
In addition, the internet hosts a number of comparison web sites where travelers can easily find and compare hotel properties for their individual dates of stay and destinations. These web sites offer a number of ways to search, including distance from a particular tourist attraction, price, star level and more. The only caveat to consider when using such a web site is its independence. Some comparison web sites feature only properties that pay an advertising fee, so using a comparison site does not necessarily guarantee the best price. It is best to use a number of such web sites to get a true picture of the lowest prices available.