After World War II, the hotel industry grew at a phenomenal rate, as commercial travel increased and incomes increased. The success of organized labor and the interstate highway system also helped boost commercial travel. This expansion helped the hotel industry become an important domestic political battleground. Today, hotels play an important role in connecting travelers to attractions and activities.
Alternative accommodations are more affordable
If you’re on a budget but still want to enjoy the comfort of a hotel, alternative accommodations may be the perfect choice for you. Instead of paying top dollar for a hotel, you can rent an apartment for a few nights or even a week for a similar price. These units will often offer more space, a fully equipped kitchen, and a “home away from home” atmosphere, making them an affordable alternative to hotels.
A recent report by Rocketrip found that Airbnb’s average daily rate was 41 percent less than traditional hotels. Savings varied greatly depending on the market, but were as much as $68 per night in Austin, $131 in San Francisco, and $147 in Washington DC. Another benefit of alternative accommodations is that they often offer more inventory than traditional hotels. This means you can get more options for accommodation while visiting a high-demand city.
Off-season travel is a great time to go on a family vacation or getaway, and the low season is a great time to get a bargain. However, it is important to check availability and prices for travel and hotels in your destination, as they can fluctuate. Some factors can increase prices, such as increased staffing costs. In addition, occupancy caps and inflation can drive rates up. High demand and fewer accommodations can also lead to higher hotel prices.
Some hotel chains will lower their rates by up to 50% in the off-season. Some will offer meal credits, free valet parking, or free nights. Many hotels in Europe will have lower rates in November and March. However, you’ll have to contend with the high summer months, which will wipe out any savings.
Cancellation policies for traveling and hotels vary from one hotel to the next, and you should be familiar with them before you book. You should contact the booking platform or accommodation provider to find out if they allow you to change your reservation, or whether cancellation is an option at all. Some policies also allow you to change your date of arrival. In either case, make sure to keep copies of all correspondence. You should also check your travel insurance policy for coverage, which may cover the cost of force majeure and full or partial refunds. However, travel insurance policies don’t cover situations such as pandemic outbreaks, which may require you to cancel your trip.
Some hotels and travel companies have softened their cancellation policies in recent years. Airbnb, for example, offers a six-tier cancellation policy that lets you decide when to cancel your trip. Airbnb also offers an ‘Extenuating Circumstances’ policy to protect travelers from cancellation penalties. For example, if a pandemic of the coronavirus hits the world, Airbnb will cover cancellations in that country as long as you give sufficient notice.