Everyone dreams of waking up on a four-poster bed with a view of the ocean, but for most of us budget constraints unfortunately have to take priority - and that means finding a hotel that is not only fit for purpose, but crucially, affordable too.
A good place to start is to work out exactly what you're looking for from your holiday base.
Those travelling in large groups, for example, may find it cheaper to rent a house or villa instead of going for multiple rooms spread across a hotel. Although that does mean the package won't be all inclusive (and you will, therefore, be forced to do a little housework on your holiday)y ou can make some solid savings - as well as buy yourself some extra privacy.
OwnersDirect.co.uk is a network which connects prospective holidaymakers with people looking to rent out vacant homes (both in the UK and abroad). They are currently listing villas in places like Spain, Portugal, Croatia and Greece for as little as £300 per week. For context, an all-inclusive package at a four star hotel - for an average sized family - may be somewhere in the region of £600 a week. That's food for thought.
By the same token, singletons and young couples can always consider staying at a hostel (which, contrary to popular belief, are not necessarily dangerous and dirty). If you're not afraid to bite the bullet, check out Hostelworld, which profiles some of the best and most affordable rooms around the globe.
There are so many apps and websites which holidaymakers can use to find a hotel, but the catch is that a lot of them are either not up to date with their prices or allow only vague (and ultimately, quite unhelpful) reviews.
That's why we recommend TripAdvisor as a good place to start. It's home to a genuine community of like-minded travellers. Read through enough reviews and you'll get a good sense of your hotel's plus points (and its foibles) and most importantly its prices. Remember that a lot of hotels will advertise the base price for a room without going into the specifics of meals - and sometimes they even neglect to mention booking fees and tax!
Once you're done there, head to Trivago. It's a comparison aggregator site with up-to-the-minute prices, and user testimony suggests the best prices are to be found there (with some rooms advertised at much higher rates elsewhere on the web).
There's lots of ways to put yourself in the running for a discount on your hotel room - whether it be taking advantage of cashback offerings, signing up for loyalty schemes, referring a friend or simply booking with a recently launched hotel looking to entice its first wave of customers.
The easiest way to get yourself a bargain price, though, is to leave things late. Of course, the downside to this is you won't have time to plan, and for all-inclusive packages you may - ironically - find yourself excluded from certain perks. But there are savings to be made for last minute travellers.