How to Find Cheap Rooms for Your Next Trip - Bonus Extended Observation

How to find cheap rooms extended observation bonus content - F*ckity bye - funny travel blog

The art of shopping for and booking the best/cheapest rooms is an invaluable skill for those looking to travel on a shoe-string budget.

In this article, I will be writing live as I hunt down and book accommodation for an upcoming two week trip of mine in the hopes that via observing my trials, errors, failures and eventual booking success - you will become fluent in the art of finding cheap rooms for your upcoming adventures.

This article is going to move a little fast and lacks valuable entry-level information on the various types of accommodation available to you. If this is your first foray into finding cheap rooms or if you would like some helpful context as to what’s happening here, I highly suggest you check out "Popular Types of Lodging for Every Budget" and "Intro to Finding Cheap Rooms" before moving on.

Live Room Booking Observation

Here is the two-week itinerary for my upcoming trip I'll be sniffing out cheap rooms for:

  • May 2nd  – May 6th Dublin, Ireland (4 nights)
  • May 6th – May 9th Paris, France (3 nights)
  • May 9th – May 12th San Sebastian, Spain (3 nights)
  • May 12th – May 15th Santorini, Greece (3 nights)

The type of accommodation I will be looking for throughout the article is private rooms in hostels or guesthouses.

Prince Albert Opera small hotel room Paris, France | fckitybye.com | photo by Ryan Somohano
The micro-sized private room in a hostel I stayed in during my last trip to Paris, France

As added caveats, the rooms I'll be looking for will need to accommodate two people since I usually travel with a partner, needs to be within 1-2 miles of city center since I like being within walking distance of major attractions and needs to have an average review score of 7.0 or higher since I don’t like sleeping next to roaches (I’ve had multiple experiences waking up next to roaches, lizards, and large spiders while traveling so this is NOT an exaggeration…)

The process I use when searching for quality private rooms in hostels and guesthouses is as follows:

Go to agoda.com (which in my experience has the best selection of this type of accommodation). Then, after selecting the best room Agoda has to offer, cross-reference my pick with hotels.com and hostelworld.com to ensure I’m getting the best deal.

With that set-up out of the way, I’m off to finding a room for the first destination on my itinerary. 

Booking Accommodation for the First Leg of My Trip - Dublin, Ireland

I’ve just landed on agoda.com and now I’m going to plug in my destination city, travel dates, and ensure that my "location"/"neighborhood" filter is set to “City Center” (since I don't want to accidentally book a room that requires me to hitch-hike to every major attraction). I will then sort prices from lowest to highest by clicking on the "price" tab at the top of the page.

Dublin, Ireland – Checking In on May 2nd, Checking Out on May 6th

Dublin, Ireland May 2nd - May 6th | location filter set to city center and results sorted by price

Ouch… The results look pretty pricey and the first two cheapest options pictured above either have too low of an average review (6.0) or are sold out.

*scrolling*

The first option that's available and meets my criteria is "Oliver St. John Cogarty’s Hostel" and it’s asking $108.00/per night.

Agoda Dublin Ireland May 2nd - May 6th results

I’m going to dig deeper into the details of this room by clicking on the result.

Oliver St. John Cogarty's hostel rooms

Upon clicking, it looks like they’re offering a twin room (a private room with two twin sized beds) with a shared bathroom.

For those of you who haven’t read my accomodation booking foundation articles (last time I'll mention them, I swear) private rooms in hostels and guesthouses usually offer lower cost room options that instead of having a private restroom, have a shared restroom all of the rooms on your floor or in your hallway use.  While you can usually pay extra for a room with a private restroom, I have no problem with shared restrooms having saved money using them without issues many times.

I'm pretty happy with “Oliver St. John Cogarty’s Hostel” (I just had a nervous breakdown trying to say that five times fast) since it meets my standards and is the cheapest room on Agoda that does. Because of that, I’m going to select this room and cross-check it with hotels.com and hostelworld.com to make sure there’s not a better deal to be had.

*hop*

Hopped onto hotels.com, plugged in my destination city and travel dates, hit search, made sure my neighborhood was set to “city center” and arranged hotel prices from lowest to highest…

Dublin Ireland rooms hotels.com May 2nd - May 6th

Looking at the picture above, it Looks like there’s no room that meets my standards and is cheaper then the $108.00 option agoda.com turned up.

Let’s hope "Hostel World" can show us a better deal than what we found on Agoda and save us some money...

I’ve plugged all of my information into hostelworld.com and hit “let’s go”.

Before I analyze the results, I’ll make sure they are filtered and arranged to my liking...

hostelworld.com Dublin results

A problem I've run into on hostelworld.com is that when you sort by price, it sorts the results by the lowest priced single bed in a dormitory, not the lowest priced private room which is what I'm looking for (I've circled in red the lowest price that's showing up when I sorted the results, a $19.37 dorm bed).

A dormitory  is the traditional hostel experience where you have roughly five to twenty bunks in a single room. You pay for a dorm bed (or "bunk") and then share the rest of the room with strangers. I normally don’t do dormitories since me and my partner like our privacy. That's not to say that dorm beds aren't an excellent option if you're on a tight budget and are more a people person than I am.

Since the results are sorting by dorm bed prices, it’s making it difficult to get an idea at a glance of which establishments have the cheapest private rooms… I’ll just have to scroll through the results and manually eyeball who is advertising the best rates for what I'm looking for.

...

After scrolling a bit and being generally horrified by pricing, "Kinlay House Dublin" has caught my eye with a private room advertised at $94.32.

Kinlay House Dublin on hostelworld.com

That would beat the price I found on Agoda by $13.68 so I’m going to click on the orange “view” button to see this room's details and confirm it’s what I’m looking for.

Kinlay House rooms on hoselworld.com

Confirmed! It's a twin private bedroom with a shared bathroom.

That works for me and consequently, this room is my new front-runner since it’s the cheapest room that has met my standards!

I'm going to scroll through the hostelworld.com results a little more and see if I can find another room that can beat that $94.32 price…

NOPE!

I am going to lock in "Kinlay House Dublin" as my accommodation for the first destination on my trip and record it in a nifty format I like to use to stay organized:

Check In to Kinlay House Dublin on May 2nd in Dublin Ireland (94.32/per night OR 47.16/pp when split with companion), Check Out on May 6th *hostelworld.com – booking #*

Onto hunting down accommodation for the Paris portion of my trip!

Booking Accommodation for the Second Leg of My Trip - Paris, France

Heading back to agoda.com.

Paris, France – Checking In on May 6th, Checking Out on May 9th

Rooms in Paris on Agoda.com May 6th - May 9th

After popping in my destination city, travel dates, hitting search, filtering by the location I want, and sorting prices from lowest to highest, I had to scroll down a little bit to bump into the first room on Agoda that looks like it may be a good fit for me - "Vintage Hostel".

Vintage Hostel on agoda.com

"Vintage Hostel" is offering a room for $72.00 per night. Let’s see what we’re getting for that price by clicking on the result...

Vintage Hostel agoda, sign in to save $14.00

Weird... After clicking the result, I’m seeing that this room is advertising a $14.00 discount if I sign in before booking. I’ve never seen that before so just be aware that you should definitely create an account and sign in on Agoda before comparing prices in case this is a special the website offers regularly.

I just signed in and wouldn’t you know it, my price just dropped to $58.00 per night at "Vintage Hostel".

Vintage Hostel Agoda.com

The room is a nice! It’s a basic twin setup that is more than good enough for what I’m looking for.

Let’s do a cross-reference on hotels.com... (I’m going to start moving a little faster now so just be aware that I’m putting in my city, travel dates, hitting search, adding my preferred location filter and sorting my results by price lowest to highest on each site.)

Paris, France rooms May 6th - May 9th on hotels.com

After putting in my information and sorting on hotels.com, I’m not finding anything that’s going to beat my Agoda pick's price and also meets my central location and 7.0 or higher review standards (all of the hotels pictured above are cheap but are also very far from central Paris).

Onto hostelworld.com for my final cross-check…

Paris France hostelworld.com results May 6th - May 9th

I’m not seeing anything here that is going to beat my agoda.com deal either, so I’m locking "Vintage Hostel" in.

Here's my updated accommodation itinerary:

Check In to Kinlay House Dublin on May 2nd in Dublin Ireland (94.32/per night OR 47.16/pp when split with companion), Check Out on May 6th *hostelworld.com – booking #*

Check In to Vintage Hostel on May 6th in Paris France ($58.00/per night OR 29.00/pp when split with companion), Check Out on May 9th *agoda.com – booking #*

Heading back to agoda.com and starting my search for the next destination on my itinerary.

Booking Accommodation for the Third Leg of My Trip - San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian, Spain – Checking In on May 9th, Checking Out on May 12th

The top result Agoda is showing me is a decent looking place called "A Room In The City".

San Sebastian, Spain May 9th - May 12th

Let's click on the result...

A Room In The City on agoda.com May 9th - May 12th

A Room In The City is offering a $45.00 private room with a bunk bed (I CALL TOP BUNK) and a shared bathroom.

Sounds good to me! I’m going to lock that room in for now and cross check it at hotels.com…

Wouldn't you know it... Pictured below, "A Room In The City" is offering the same room at the same price on hotels.com!

A Room In The City hotels.com May 9th - May 12th

It happens sometimes that two websites I'm looking for cheap rooms on offer me identical rooms at identical prices. When this happens, I tend to book with hotels.com because I have the most experience dealing with their customer service and they have a great loyalty program where if you book ten nights, you get one free!

So "A Room In The City" on hotels.com is now my front-runner. Let’s see if hostelworld.com can show us a better deal...

A Room In The City May 9th - May 12th on hotelworld.com

"A ROOM IN THE CITY" WINS AGAIN! This time, at an even better price of $49.49.

Therein lies the value of cross-checking your accommodation picks across different websites!

Looks like we’re booking “A Room In The City” on hostelworld.com.

Locking in that leg… NOW.

Check In to Kinlay House Dublin on May 2nd in Dublin Ireland (94.32/per night OR 47.16/pp when split with companion), Check Out on May 6th *hostelworld.com – booking #*

Check In to Vintage Hostel on May 6th in Paris France ($58.00/per night OR 29.00/pp when split with companion), Check Out on May 9th *agoda.com – booking #*

Check In to A Room In The City on May 9th in San Sebastian Spain ($49.49.per night OR $24.75/pp when split with companion), Check Out on May 12th *hostelworld.com – booking #*

Onto the final leg of my itinerary!

Booking Accommodation for the Final Leg of My Trip - Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece – Checking In on May 12th, Checking Out on May 15th

Agoda is showing me a possible winner - "Romantic Spa Resort" (love the SUPER creative name).

Santorini Greece Agoda.com results May 12th - May 15th

Upon clicking on the result, Agoda is saying that this establishment is offering a twin room that ticks all of my boxes.

I’m going to go with "Romantic Spa Resort" since it's the cheapest room that meets my standards on Agoda and cross-reference it with hotels.com

Santorini Greece results on hotels.com May 12th - May 15th

Pictured above, there are no options on hotels.com that are cheaper than $31.00 and meet my 7.0 or higher review standards. (Goes to show you though that if you’re really trying to pinch pennies, you can opt for hotels with lower reviews to get a cheaper room… just beware of bugs).

Onto my final cross check over at hostelworld.com

hostelworld.com Santorini Greece results May 12th - May 15th

Can’t find anything cheaper than $31.00 that meets my central location standards so we’re locking in "Romantic Spa Resort" on Agoda!

Here’s the final accommodation itinerary for my trip:

Check In to Kinlay House Dublin on May 2nd in Dublin Ireland (94.32/per night OR 47.16/pp when split with companion), Check Out on May 6th *hostelworld.com – booking #*

Check In to Vintage Hostel on May 6th in Paris France ($58.00/per night OR 29.00/pp when split with companion), Check Out on May 9th *agoda.com – booking #*

Check In to A Room In The City on May 9th in San Sebastian Spain ($49.49.per night OR $24.75/pp when split with companion), Check Out on May 12th *hostelworld.com – booking #*

Check In to Romantic Spa Resort on May 12th in Santorini Greece ($31.00 per night OR $15.50pp when split with companion), Check Out on May 15th *agoda.com – booking #*

Wrapping Up How to Find Cheap Rooms for Your Next Trip - Bonus Extended Observation

I know I said I wouldn’t mention it again but if all of this booking action moved a little fast for you and felt like it was lacking the context you needed to really wrap your head around finding the best/cheapest rooms, please check out my booking cheap rooms foundational articles, "Popular Types of Lodging" and "Intro to Finding Cheap Rooms".

Also, if during this practice you looked at the rooms I was booking and were put off by the price tag – KNOW THERE ARE ALWAYS CHEAPER OPTIONS!

If you’re looking for private rooms like I was but want better rates, consider getting a room a little further from city center. Just be mindful of how you’re going to get to the attractions you want to see and the costs involved. You can also compromise your standards on how low you’re willing to go with establishment’s reviews since lower reviews make for lower priced rooms.

Finally, there is always the option of staying in a hostel dormitory to save some serious money. Sure you'll have a bunk bed in a room filled with strangers but for the most part those strangers won’t bother you and it could give you an opportunity to meet new friends which is by far the best experience you can have when traversing the globe!

Dormitory lower bunk hostel Singapore | fckitybye.com | photo by Ryan Somohano
An embarrassingly blurry picture of my bunk in a Singapore Hostel's Dormitory... It was roughly $15.00 per night.

No matter what your budget is for traveling, there is a path for you to get to the places you’ve always dreamed of going and that’s the core message of my free A-Z course on how to travel the world! If you’re interested in getting the tools you need to empower yourself to make your travel dreams your travel reality, click here to get started!

If you’re already following along with the course, kudos on opting into this bonus extended observation on booking rooms! Now give yourself a pat on the back and when you’re finished patting, mosey on over to the next (and most mouthwatering) article in your learning how to travel the world journey – How To Estimate Food Expenses When Traveling!

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