7 Accommodation Cost-Saving Tips Every Savvy Traveller Should Know in 2020

7 Accommodation Cost-Saving Tips Every Savvy Traveller Should Know in 2020

Learn to save on accommodation while still having the best stay you can get!

Another decade is coming to a close, and there’s no better time to amp up your travels than now. Make it a resolution to treat yourself to more holistic trips for the coming years. Why? Because you deserve it. Besides, quality does not have to come with a hefty price tag; these accommodation cost-saving tips will allow you to feel like royalty any day — even when your bank account begs to differ.

Live globally for less — book a stay at any serviced apartment properties of The Ascott Limited (Ascott) with an incredible offer. 

Exclusively for TripZilla readers, sign up as an Ascott Star Rewards member for FREE with the referral code ‘ASRTZ’, and you’ll instantly receive 5,000 bonus ASR points*! As an ASR member, you can earn points for each dollar spent on stays and enjoy exclusive rewards and perks.

Learn more about Ascott Star Rewards

*The ‘ASRTZ’ promotion of 5,000 ASR points upon sign-up ends 31 December 2019.
Standard sign-ups will be entitled to 3,000 ASR points.

1. Know your credit card

card holder filled with credit cards

Image credit: Webaroo

If you are a credit card holder, it’s about time you fully understand its benefits and mileage perks. These are, after all, some of the first things a credit card salesperson will charm you with.

Credit card miles are a form of loyalty rewards for its active users. Some credit cards don’t only reward users with free flights — they also offer discounted (or even free!) stays. Beyond miles, you can enjoy all sorts of promotions like discounted meals and spa services, and even bonus points for hospitality loyalty programs!

So know your credit card, and don’t let your swipes go to waste. This is definitely a cost-saving tip you should keep in mind!

2. Have faith in loyalty (programs)

It pays to be loyal, literally. Not only do hospitality loyalty programs reward its members (more on this later), by staying with a hospitality group, you gain access to a global network of member brands and a wide range of accommodation options — of course, not forgetting the assurance that your needs will be well taken care of, with signature services and comfort that you trust and are familiar with.

While loyalty programs seem like too much of a luxury, they’re actually quite the shrewd choice. Nowadays, several hospitality chains offer loyalty programs to their customers without charging any fees. This is cost-saving at its finest!

With loyalty programs, not only will you get stays for less, you’ll also get to enjoy exclusive perks that will ultimately save you more money! (Also note that such brands love spoiling their most loyal guests, so why hesitate to commit?)

If you haven’t found the brand to pledge your loyalty to, then take this holiday period as the perfect time to start the search — just make sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of their loyalty programs. 

Most loyalty programs won’t allow you to use your loyalty points during peak seasons — this definitely puts you at a disadvantage if you typically travel during long weekends or holidays. We recommend that you look for one like Ascott Star Rewards, which is a more flexible loyalty program and allows you to redeem your points at any time — no blackout periods! 

Level up your travel game by becoming an esteemed loyalty program member! 

Sign up as a member of Ascott Star Rewards for free, you have nothing to lose — and plenty to gain! For TripZilla readers like yourself, you’ll even get 5,000 bonus ASR points instantly if you sign up using the referral code ‘ASRTZ’ by 31 December 2019!

Become an ASR member now

3. Splurge on the essentials

woman stretching in bed

Image credit: The Ascott Limited

Skimping on your basic needs is always a bad idea. Some people believe in compromising the comfort of accommodations to make way for a bigger budget on tour activities. But imagine, after a fulfilling yet exhausting day trip, you return to a cosy bed neatly wrapped in fresh sheets, just waiting for you to sink right in — now wouldn’t that be the perfect end of each day!

If you really have to keep your budget tight, prioritise searching for accommodations with a good location than those with impressive amenities or supplementary services. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to book a stay that is within walking distance from the city centre or major tourist spots. You can also look for ones that stand near subway terminals or bus stations that are not as centrally located — it could be just a stop or two away from where you want to visit! Sometimes the difference between a 5-min walk and a 10-min train journey can equate to 20% of your accommodation’s nightly rate.

man standing on rooftop looking out to the city

Image credit: The Ascott Limited

Accommodations in the same area will still vary in prices, usually depending on their facilities. But keep in mind that a good location is an essential feature of a property, as you’ll want to avoid spending too much on taxis.

4. Book early — or late — but never in between

woman on her laptop with a cup of coffee

Image credit: The Ascott Limited

We’ve all heard of the saying “the early bird catches the worm.” This stands true for booking accommodations. Subscribe to the mailing list of your favourite brands or properties, so that you have first dibs on their deals. Once you find one with a great rate, check out its cancellation policy. If it has free cancellation, reserve a room ASAP to secure the deal. 

Still can’t seem to get a good price for accommodation weeks before your trip? Try waiting it out and having a roll of the dice. Properties usually drop their rates for last-minute bookings because they’re more eager to sell a room than to have it go empty at its usual price. On the flip side, you run the risk of ending up with the property fully booked out instead, leaving you with few options, and very little time.

Alternatively — not many know of this relatively new development — but there are mobile-only deals that pop up from time to time. Check the properties’ sites on your mobile often and you might just get lucky!

5. Be aware of peak seasons

There’s a time for everything, including vacations. Property managers understand this, so they maximise peak seasons with higher rates. It’s a simple case of supply and demand — booking rates increase when guests are more likely to book a room, and vice versa. 

Now, most people think that this idea translates into properties automatically having lower rates during the weekdays and higher rates during the weekends. You might be surprised that it’s not always the case. 

Analyse the properties before you choose them. Most tourist-friendly accommodations expect a higher number of guests during the weekends and holidays. But if they cater to business travellers (usually those located near business districts), they’ll most likely be fully booked on weekdays.

6. Land best rates guaranteed through direct booking 

a person typing on a laptop

Image credit: Christin Hume

While booking aggregator sites are handy for allowing you to conveniently compare and contrast prices across your accommodation needs, most of them are, after all, a business in their own rights. This means that, often, there’s a premium on the rates listed, as the sites take a cut for their operations.

On the other hand, if you book directly on the property’s website, you’re cutting out the intermediary. Not only will that unlock the best rates for you, it’s also ensuring that you don’t have to potentially deal with any frustrating cases of third parties mishandling your reservation.

Aside from booking online, there’s another way for you to score the best deals — and, this doesn’t even involve the Internet. (Surprise!) When learning about booking promotions, phone calls are still the most effective way to go. Speaking to an actual person allows you to arrange things more quickly and get more information about the latest deals.

a person on a laptop in a cafe

Image credit: Hannah Wei

When you’re on the phone, ask them for the best promos they can offer you. They might get a little flexible, or have deals that they haven’t advertised yet. If you’re celebrating a special occasion (e.g. reunion, honeymoon), they might even have a pleasant surprise for you!

7. Think of accommodation types outside of hotels

Hotels may probably be the most popular accommodation option, but if you’re looking for something that better provides opportunities for social interactions and even imbues a sense of community, you’d usually be out of luck with those.

Suites and serviced apartments, on the other hand, replicate the workings of a home —  a living room (where you can have movie or game nights) and a kitchen where you can prepare your own meals (not one to cook? hotpot!), topped off with in-room technologies to make your stay a breeze. Not only do you get to enjoy added spacious comfort and the company of those you’re travelling with, staying together in a suite is a lot cheaper than booking multiple hotel rooms. This should be your go-to choice of accommodation when travelling with your family or in a group.

an apartment in lyf funan singapore

Image credit: lyf Funan Singapore

Even if you don’t have enough people to fill out the bedrooms, no matter. In this age, we’re all familiar with the sharing economy, especially in the ride-hailing space. Co-living (think co-working, but for accommodation) is a relatively new and economical accommodation type that is worth every bit of your consideration. 

a group of friends taking a wefie in lyf funan singapore

Image credit: lyf Funan Singapore

Reserve a room in a co-living property like lyf Funan Singapore, and your living areas are transformed into lively social spaces where you can forge friendships with your fellow travellers! Beyond your apartment, a fully-equipped social kitchen, a fun yet functional social gym and co-working spaces are just some of the features that go along with weekly social and networking events. You’ll be making plans with your new buddies and living like a local in no time!

In 2020, and the following years to come, savour all your trips with stays that feel like a home. And with these accommodation cost-saving tips, levelling up your travel game is totally doable! You know you want to — and now that you can, what’s stopping you? 

Make the most of your travels with Ascott!

Becoming a member at this international serviced residence is still one of our favourite cost-savers. The sooner you sign up, the more time you have to start earning and redeeming everything the Ascott Star Rewards offers. TripZilla readers, just use the referral code ‘ASRTZ’ when signing up for 5,000 bonus ASR points!

Become an ASR member now

Brought to you by The Ascott Limited.

About Author

Danielle Uy
Danielle Uy

If Disney were creative enough to let Mulan and Melody procreate, Danielle would be that child. From an early age, she has dreamt of becoming a purposeful revolutionary... and an unruly mermaid. While Danielle hasn't held a sword in her lifetime, she feels powerful enough with her byline. Her creative energy is fueled by many things: the quiet right before the rest of the world wakes up, the orange sky as the sun rises during an uncrowded morning surf, the beautiful bitter taste of black coffee, and the threatening reminder of a pending deadline.