We've selected the best tips for finding the cheapest hotels during the world's greatest sporting event.
When starting to look for any hotel, it's always best to first compare prices. With room rates during the Olympics on the rise in London, using a comparison site is the best option to check competing rates in order to find the cheapest room. Sites which use wholesalers, for example, will automatically boost your chances of finding a cheaper room. A number of comparison sites also offer the option to filter by lowest price -- which is a great option for anyone looking to find the cheapest rates. Remember that it is also important to shop around and find a site which uses live prices. Some sites use cached prices instead, making it seem as though rooms are still available at discounted rates, when in reality the prices are outdated and no longer available.
Consider Hidden Costs
Although most all comparison sites present their prices very clearly, it is important to remember that the total cost is not always advertised. The easiest way to check is to click through to the booking partner and see if the price goes up. If it happens that taxes and extra fees are not included in the advertised price for one hotel, it is safe to assume that all advertised prices on the site exclude taxes and fees as well. Before setting your sights on one specific property, check to make sure you're booking it for the stated price.
Although not all hotel sites offer filters, having them will always help make finding the ideal hotel much quicker and easier. In the case of the Olympics, not all venues are located directly in the city center, so booking a city center hotel may not be the cheapest or best way to find the ideal option. Instead, use the filters to look for hotels closer to the desired venue. This year we at trivago are working to include a number of the Olympic venues within our filters to help visitors find the ideal hotel in the perfect location. As many city center hotels have skyrocketed in price, filtering by hotels close to the venue will help to both save money initially and on transportation costs later to and from the events.
Check for Wi-Fi
While most believe that savings happens during the booking process, it is important to also remember that finding the ideal hotel will help save you money during your stay. While internet is a common stable in many hotels, finding hotels which include free wifi will help save you money and optimize your Olympic experience. London2012.com will be providing live scores and updates online throughout the Olympics to help visitors stay up-to-date with news surrounding the events. Use the filter options to find a hotel which includes wifi and check to make sure it's free.
Read Reviews and Check Star Ratings
For those looking to travel to London for the Olympics, simply picking a hotel based on price or star rating could leave occupants both disappointed and without an option. In addition, star ratings are not always a reliable or a trustworthy indicator as to the quality of the hotel. Before booking a hotel, make sure to also read reviews from actual visitors. Reviews can help travelers find out more about the surrounding area and thus find a hotel which also fits into their schedule. While the cheapest hotel may seem the most appealing at first, sometimes spending just a little more time searching for a hotel which is located within walking distance to your points of interest, can actually help save you time and money -- and have a better experience in the end.
While finding a cheap hotel during the Olympics may seem stressful and nerve wracking, don't forget that many hotels are preparing for the world's greatest sporting event by making the experience as enjoyable as possible. When picking a hotel, consider how it could help to enhance your experience. While some hotels may show the sporting events on a big screen in the hotel bar -- and include Olympic themed cocktails -- others will be planning shuttle services to and from the venues. If saving is important, choose a hotel which offers an option to help save you money and still provide an enjoyable atmosphere.
Consider Alternative Locations
As hotels in London are going fast and prices are becoming quickly inflated, travelers looking to save money and still experience the Olympic atmosphere may want to consider outside locations. Although it may be assumed that London will be home to all events, as they are hosting the Olympics, this is simply not true. Many events will be held outside of London city lines and span across the U.K. to neighboring cities such as Newcastle, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and more. A good rule to keep in mind is that not all metasearch sites work within the same radius. Make sure that when you're looking to be close to a venue, the hotel isn't 40 miles away.
Whether you're planning to travel with friends, family, even pets or instead take on the Olympics alone, finding the ideal hotel is not always so easy. To save money, it's best to look at hotels which fit your group size as well as your wallet. This is where the using filters again come in handy, by helping to find a hotel which not only accommodates everyone in your party but also is exactly what you were hoping for.