8 Tips for Finding Cheap Lodging

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Here are eight general ways to shave a few dollars off European accommodations:

1. Go in the offseason (roughly October to March) or shoulder season (September and April).

2. Stay outside the center city. Look for hotels at the end of a subway line or in a suburb with regularly scheduled buses or trams.

3. Share a bathroom. Private bathrooms cost more.

4. Ask about promotions. Chains, independent hotels and B&Bs often discount rates for multiple nights.

5. Don't pay for breakfast. Look for hotels that include it in the room rate.

6. Stay in regional capitals, such as Naples instead of Rome, or Toulouse instead of Paris.

7. Avoid festivals. Check city and country tourist bureau Web sites to steer clear of special events when hotel rates are highest.

8. Choose countries that are not on the euro. Countries that have not adopted the euro, including Switzerland, are generally cheaper than those that have. In Bratislava, Slovakia, for example, a double at three-star Hotel Jurki Dom costs $53 a night ( http://www.bratislavahotels.com). In Tallinn, Estonia, $66 buys a double in Hotel Stroomi ( http://www.estoniahotel-link.com) near the beach. -- S.K.S.

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