– Hey travel tribe, Kristen Sarah here of Hopscotch the Globe. And in this video we’re gonna be talking about accommodation hacks. (light music) If you haven’t already seen
my packing hacks video, my solo travel hacks video
and my airport and airplane hacks video, be sure to check those out. In this video we’re gonna be talking about the ways that I’ve learned
over my years of travel how to save and upgrade
and get the best experience when it comes to accommodations. If you’re checking into a hotel
and don’t have a reservation and you wanna beat the line,
but you also wanna get there and have a room available for you, it’s good to get there
between 4:45 and six o’clock, right after the rooms
have all been made up and are ready for people to check in, but also that’s before the
rush where everyone else who’s reserved is coming through. When you’re checking in
or if you’re at the hotel making a reservation, ask to
see all of the rooms available ’cause sometimes larger rooms, rooms with a bigger
bed with more amenities are the same price as a
room that’s a little smaller maybe has two double beds
instead of one king size bed. One of my favorite apps when
it comes to booking hotels last minute is Hotels Tonight. How it works is you put in
the city where you wanna stay and it lists the hotels that
have rooms still available for that night. Now the longer you wait that
day before you have to check in the better deal you’ll get. So what happens is any
hotels who have rooms that haven’t been booked that
night will list the rooms that are still available
and make them really cheap, sometimes more than half
the price as the normal rate because they wanna fill those rooms. Third party sites are
great for booking hotels because a lot of times you
can get some deals, right? But there is a way of even
getting a better deal. So how these third party
sites work is the hotel pays them a commission for
advertising them on their site. Say you find a hotel at the
Hilton in New York let’s say for $350 on one of the third party sites. Leave that window open
and open up another window and go to the official
website for that hotel, for that Hilton and check
to see what the rates are for that exact same room. Now say on the official site
that same room you found on the third party site, is $400 so that’s a $50 difference. Now before you do anything,
read the terms and conditions for booking on the official site and if there is like a
certain time frame where you can cancel after booking
and get all your money back, say 24 hours, 48 hours, book
through the official website. So pay that $400 and I’ll tell you why. Most hotels have a best rate guarantee so they’ll match the
lower price that you found on the third party site
and they’ll also give you extra perks so you could
even get free breakfast. Sometimes you might even get an upgrade. Now if it turns out that
they don’t have the best rate guarantee then you can always just cancel, get your money back and then book through
the third party site. Where hotel prices seem to be set, Airbnb prices are flexible. You can actually contact the Airbnb owner and offer a lower rate, you
can negotiate with them. Hosts wanna make money
so if you’re booking the night before and
their place is available, they’ll most likely give you a discount. If you want a luxurious
five star experience but you don’t have the
budget to back it up, stay at destinations where
your money goes a longer way. Places like Vietnam or
Thailand, India, Belize where you can stay at a five star hotel for the same price as if you
were staying in Paris, France at a one star, two star hotel. Vacation rentals are great,
especially if you’re a family or you are on holidays with your friends. Then getting a vacation
rental you can sometimes save 50% of what you would
pay at a hotel or resort. A lot of the times these
vacation rentals have pools and they have full
kitchens so you can cook and save money that way. And it feels like a home away from home, which I always prefer when I’m traveling. There are also ways to stay
for free using websites like Hospitality Club, Global
Freeloaders and Couchsurfing. Bring an HDMI cable with
you so you can hook up your computer to the TV in
your hotel and get Netflix. So you don’t have to pay for any movies through the hotel, you
can just have access to your Netflix account on the big screen. Laundry in hotels costs a billion dollars. Okay maybe not that much money,
but paying $5 for one sock to be washed, no. So what I do is I wash my
clothes in the tub or the shower or if you have a jacuzzi, it’s the best because you just put all
of your clothes in there with some water, a little bit of soap, turn on the jacuzzi and it works like a washing machine, it’s incredible. And then if you have a heated towel rack, you can use that to dry your clothes. If you’re staying in a
hotel, hostel, guesthouse, doesn’t matter, and
you’re having a room party and you wanna turn it
up and you don’t have a bluetooth speaker, but
you have a cell phone, well get a glass or a
vase or an empty water jug and put your phone inside of it. Turn on the music first of course, and it will increase the phone’s volume. If you don’t believe
me, go try it right now and you’ll hear a difference. Work for your stay. Many hostels will allow you to stay there if you are working there,
and you can negotiate the amount of hours, but
it’s a pretty sweet deal. Housesitting, it’s a great
way to not just stay for free but to really immerse
yourself in the culture because you’ll be living in a neighborhood surrounded by locals. There are several different
housesitting websites and I’ll leave a link to those
in the description box below. WWOOFING, you’re working on a farm in exchange for accommodations. It’s a great way to live
and work and gain new skills and there’s so many different locations you can do it around the world. Get an AAA membership,
even if you don’t own a car because it will give
you discounts on hotels all around the world as
well as more flexibility when booking and late cancellations. There are hotel rewards cards,
so you’re basically spending money as you normally
would do on a daily basis but you’re racking up
points that you can use for hotel rooms. If you’re staying at any
type of accommodation for a long period of time,
you can always negotiate or try to negotiate a cheaper rate because you’re staying longer. Even if the hotel won’t
give you an upgrade, if you are celebrating a special occasion like a honeymoon or a
birthday or an anniversary, let the hotel know because
a lot of the times, most of the times, they will
have something special for you. Some of the treats they may
offer is decorating your room and leaving you something
special in there, sometimes a bottle of champagne. And they also offer sometimes
dinner for two for free at the hotel restaurant. They might offer an
hour massage at the spa. There’s a lot of perks just
because you’re celebrating a special day and they want to help you have the best day possible. Dedicate yourself to one hotel chain and you can get elite
status which gives you free upgrades, free stays, free breakfast and a lot of other perks. If the hotel is charging for
WiFi which is very common, tell them that you will
give them a review, a good review on Trip Advisor
in exchange for free WiFi. Sometimes you just gotta
bribe and sometimes it works. If you want an upgrade, ask for it. Sometimes they will do it. Check sites like Yelp and
Foursquare for the hotel you’re staying in and
many times other people who have stayed there
will leave the password for the WiFi for you. If you’re in a new place
and you’re looking for things to see, things
to do, places to eat, hostels are the place
to find out all of this. Not only are they great to stay in ’cause they’re super
fun and you meet lots of other travelers, but there’s
also events always happening. They have food tours, walking
tours, parties, pub crawls. So much that will allow
you to really start to experience the place you’re in and get to know the local hang outs. When you’re checking in, ask
for a room on the top floor. Not only will you get a better view, but there’s usually less people
if it’s not fully booked, the hotel, and quieter. And those are some of my
favorite accommodation hacks. I hope that you learned something and that it helps you
during your next trip to get the best of your stay. If you have an accommodation
hack that I haven’t mentioned, I wanna hear, I always
like learning new hacks and I’m sure everyone else
here would love to hear from you as well. Before you go anywhere,
don’t forget to check out my other travel hacks videos. I’ll leave one here in this end slate and you can check it out. And also I’ve left a playlist
in the video description of way more travel hack
videos, travel tip videos, advice, everything that’s
gonna help you plan your trip to save money, to become a better traveler and just get an overall better experience.