7 Ways To Get A Better Deal On Your Hotel Bookings


7 ways to get a better deal on your hotel bookings

Everyone enjoys getting a break – even if it’s just a couple of days away locally, but the overall cost of accommodation can really put a dampener on your plans. The cost of hotels can be particularly expensive and this might prevent you from getting any kind of holiday. However, you should not despair, there are many ways to get some great deals on your hotel bookings and these are some of the best ways to cut down on your costs.


1. Book in advance

The closer your booking is to the time of travel, the more expensive it will be, so try and book as far in advance as possible. As an example – if I try to book a Premier Inn for a London trip with only a few days’ notice, the cost is £182 for one night. However, when I book it for two months in advance, it is £145 – almost £40 difference. The earlier you book, the cheaper the cost, so try and be organised when you plan your travels.


2. Comparison websites

Always make sure you use price comparison websites before you make a decision on which type of hotel to book. After all, this is why these websites exist; they make your life a lot easier. You will always get the best price if you use price comparison websites and most of these will include some reviews. The good thing about comparison websites is that you can also change the dates to suit, so you know which ones offer the best deal overall for any given date.


3. Get cashback

No matter how much your hotel costs, you should always book it via a cashback website, as you will always make some cash back on your purchase. It may be a flat amount or a percentage, depending on which company you book it through, but any money is better in your pocket. You should always make sure you book accommodation you will want to stay in though, don’t just book it for the sake of getting cashback, as you will probably end up miserable. There are plenty of cashback websites to choose from, including Quidco and Top Cashback. They all pay different amounts, so do a comparison before you commit yourself, so you get the best deal.


4. Choose the right time

As much as booking in advance is important, it is also a good idea to choose your timing wisely. For example, if you are not booking with children, it is wise to avoid school holidays – as the prices tend to shoot up during these times. If there are any specific events running, this can also affect prices and your chances of getting any accommodation. For example, booking a hotel in Edinburgh is impossible at New Year, unless you are super organised! Choosing the right timing will help ensure you get the best possible rate on your hotel.


5. Phone and negotiate

If you are good at haggling, why not give the hotel a phone and see if they can offer you a better deal. You never know what kind of deal you might get if you can take some time to speak to the hotel. Just let them know that you have a budget and they may be able to accommodate you. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!


6. Discount websites

There are lots of discount websites which offer some great deals on accommodation, including Groupon and Itison, so check what offers these have before you make your booking. You can often get your hotels with as much as 50% off the price and there are usually a lot of options to choose from. These websites are popular and constantly updated, so keep checking and you will be sure to pick up a good deal.


7. Get a membership

If you travel quite a lot, it will probably be more beneficial if you sign up to become a member of a specific hotel company, as this way you will gain rewards and save money on your bookings. Companies reward loyalty and this also applies to hotels. An example is the Hilton, who offer several different membership levels with benefits which include discounts, late reservations and bonuses. It often pays to stay committed to companies and this can be a good way to make savings on your accommodation.

Top Tips For Successful Online Selling


Top tips for successful online selling

If you want to improve your earnings, selling online is a great way to do it. Quite simply, you need to buy lower than you sell, so you always make a profit. If you are not sure where to begin, you can start by trying to find some bargains by having a scout through charity stores or by buying in sales and selling on. You may also be able to pick up some great deals if you go to car boot sales or markets. There are various websites to sell your products online, including Amazon and eBay, but to be successful, you need to know how to sell – as well as what to sell. These are some tips to ensure your online selling is a renowned success.


Check before you buy

There is no point in buying items which won’t sell online – so take a look at the product to see if anyone else is selling it and how successful this has been. It will also need to sell at a higher price than you purchased it, so make sure this works out for you. Otherwise, you’ll be at a loss straight away, instead of increasing your income. Always look at trends and make sure you take the season into account. There is no point in selling scarves in the summer, for example, so make sure you sell when your products are likely to be of interest to buyers.


When to sell it

It is important to know your audience and this means being aware of when to sell your products. The weekends are generally a good time to sell, as more people are browsing online. They have more leisurely time on their hands to have a good look. It is reported that Sunday in particular is a good time to sell.


Good photos

You need to be able to entice your audience into buying your products and you can do this through some great photos. If you are selling clothes, for instance, it is more effective to show photographs of someone wearing the items, instead of hanging up – as they will look much better. Whatever you are selling, make sure you use good photographs which show the products off in their most flattering light, as this will improve your sales.


Low bids

Everyone likes a bargain, so make sure you start with a low bid, as this is much more enticing to buyers than a high cost. You need to know the value of your products though, as selling too low is not advisable either. You can always do some research to find out the going rate for your products and make sure you are not starting your bids too high or too low. It is all about getting the price right.


Detailed description

You should write as much information as you can about the product and try and make it sound enticing. You can pick up some details for other descriptions and use some keywords to gain interest. If you don’t have much information, you are unlikely to get a lot of interest. It is also really important, to be honest. If it’s used, then state this on the description. If it’s not a new item, don’t say that it is – as the buyer won’t be too pleased and it will affect your reputation. This will make it more difficult to sell other items.


Be a great seller

It is understandable that people want to buy from a seller who has great feedback and the way to do this is by being a top seller. The way to achieve this is to make sure your products are top quality and that they reach the buyer quickly. You should aim to dispatch your items within 24 hours after the payment has reached you, as buyers will really appreciate this and will be more likely to leave great feedback. You should also keep in touch with your buyer through regular communication. If they ask a question, reply straight away. If there are any delays with their products, let them know. Great communication is the best way to ensure your buyers are happy and they will be more likely to return to you again. The better your feedback, the more buyers you will have and the easier it will be to sell your products.

How To Deal With Your Debt


How to deal with your debt


These days, most people have some kind of debt – but if you are getting to the point of being scared to open letters or pick up the phone, it is time to take control of your debt. It doesn’t matter how much you owe, you need to deal with it sooner or later and it may as well be sooner than later. A pile of threatening letters is not nice for anyone to deal with and it can lead to a lot of stress and even depression. It is far better to take matters into your own hands and deal with your debts head on. You will feel so much better if you start taking control and do it now. These are some ways to deal with your debt.


Work out what you owe

The first step you need to take is to understand how much you owe and who you owe to. It is a good idea to start with priority debts, as these should always be paid first. For example any rent/mortgage arrears you may have or council tax, gas and electricity. The greater your understanding of how much you owe, the easier it will be to get started on paying it off.


Contact your debtors

Now that you understand who you owe money to, it’s time to start getting in touch with your creditors. You may find that you can negotiate with some of them to reduce your payments, but either way, you can reach an agreement of what to pay each month. Most creditors will be willing to take small payments; they will just be happy to start getting their money back. The minimum payment will usually be enough to get your creditors off your back.


Start making payments

The sooner you start making payments to your creditors, the better – so now that you have reached an agreement, it is a good idea to start setting up direct debits or standing orders, so the money comes out automatically and you don’t need to think about it anymore. Even better if you arrange it for your pay day, as the money will be debited from your account and will be gone before you even get a chance to think about it. A little depressing, but it will make your life much easier in the long run when your debt is all paid off.


Stop taking credit

You may be paying off your debt, but this is not an excuse to start taking out more credit. In fact – this is the last thing you should do. It is time to say goodbye to credit, at least until you have made a dent in your debt, but it would be advisable to stop taking out credit full stop. If you can’t manage your finances with credit and many people can’t, it is best just to avoid it completely. Save up for anything you need or just do without it.


Start budgeting

The better your finances are, the more money you will be able to save to pay off your debt – so if you don’t budget, this is the time to do it. When you start budgeting you’ll probably find that you are wasting money on a lot of things you really don’t need and this could be going towards paying off your debt. It may feel a little boring to budget, but once you actually start doing it, you’ll quickly understand how beneficial it can be for saving money and getting yourself out of debt.


Emergency funds

You should also start working your way towards creating an emergency fund, so you don’t end up in this situation again. You ideally want to have at least a few months’ worth of salary saved up as an emergency fund, although this is easy to say but much more difficult to put into practice. The last thing you want is to get out of debt, only to start getting into debt again. You need to change your whole way of managing your finances to get into a better situation overall.


Get help

It is really important to know when you need help and support for managing your finances. If you find yourself getting stressed about your debt or there is just too much to pay off, you might be able to get some support. There are lots of financial institutions available to provide support to those who need it, so whatever you do – don’t be afraid to ask for help.