Hotel rates fluctuate according to a variety of factors, including demands and seasonal changes, so finding a great deal for one trip doesn’t guarantee that you could find the same again on another date.

But you can stack the odds in your favour if you remember a few simple tips.

1. Avoid peak season

Every destination has its own peak tourist seasons. However, travelling at these times of year will often come with expensive hotel rates: higher demand because of more guests means higher prices.

If you can be flexible with your travel dates, consider travelling during the shoulder season; these are the months that are just before or just after peak season, when the weather is still pleasant but the crowds have calmed.

2. Time your booking carefully

Book too early and you’re unlikely to be able to reap the benefits of the hotel reducing its prices to fill up the rooms. Risk booking too late, and you could end up stranded without a hotel room if you can’t find somewhere.

Use the reason for your stay as a guide. If you’re visiting a city for a big event, whether that’s a concert or seasonal celebrations, booking early could mean you’re set before all the rooms are taken. If you’re booking during a shoulder season, with no major events, you could leave the booking until a week or two before you travel, still get a room, and enjoy a big discount.

3. Check comparison sites…

As with many financial deals, comparison sites can save you money. Booking.com, Hotels.com, and Trivago.com are just some of the best known.

They often feature discounts, and you may find some will have short-term sales. You could check regularly in the weeks leading up to the trip to see if your destination has deals available.

4. …but don’t forget to check direct, either

Comparison sites are great for compiling lots of different hotel deals, but sometimes it can also be worthwhile directly contacting a hotel. Hotels must pay to feature on these comparison sites and could bump those prices up a little to cover the cost. However, they might have a cheaper rate if you go direct to them.

A short stay saving a few pounds a night may not much of a discount, but a long holiday could benefit from a little haggling. Contacting the hotel over the phone or email could be the best way to do this, so if you’re confident and friendly, it may be worth a shot.

5. Step out of the mainstream

Sites like Airbnb have risen in popularity, as they offer travellers the chance to stay in someone’s home in the heart of their destination, rather than a tourist-centric hotel. Plus it can mean the benefit of being in a central location without the expense of a central hotel.

To find the best deal, consider both the price and the customer reviews of the property. Carefully check the pictures, and feel free to contact the owner to find out any other details that might affect your stay. You might never want to stay in a hotel again after your first successful trip!

Hotel deals are available for all manner of destinations, from low-price UK getaways to international luxury travel. All you have to do is put in a little legwork, and you may reap the financial rewards throughout your trip.