When it comes to booking a holiday, sometimes it can feel like you've blown your budget on hotel prices alone, and that's before you've even planned the rest of your trip!
As for booking last minute, while you can sometimes find brilliant deals, more often than not the sky-high prices that come with a spontaneous long weekend can put you off the idea completely.
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However, travel insiders have a few tricks up their sleeves for bagging some of the best hotel room rates and leaving you to spend your hard-earned cash on the rest of your break - and they've also got hacks for making the most of your time off.
The holiday gurus at LateRooms.com have revealed some of their biggest travel tips to help you find the best deal - check out our favourite ones below...
1. Use your annual leave wisely
Going abroad often requires extra days off work, if only for the travel, so it's worth considering a staycation if you want to save some annual leave.
If you are travelling in the week, consider a Sunday departure.
It's normally one of the cheapest days of the week to book both a beach break or city getaway - a third of Brits choose Sunday as a go-to for an impromptu night away - and you can extend your weekend with an exciting minitrip!
2. Ditch the beach in favour for a city break
Cities including Manchester and London are a bit quieter in the summer due to less people travelling for business so there are often bargains to be had.
See also: 12 luxury hotels with views to die for
With great shopping, plenty of cultural activities and an abundance of local attractions to visit, it is worth considering a city break as an alternative to the traditional seaside getaway.
3. Subscribe to your favourite travel websites
Signing up to newsletters and app notifications will not only get you access to exclusive discounts, but you'll also be the first to hear about the brand's best deals and flash sales so you can bag the biggest bargains ahead of the crowds.
4. Be flexible
If you are travelling for an event but there's a possibility the dates could change, it's worth paying a little bit extra for a flexible rate: this will save you losing your money if you need to cancel and re-book for another date.5. Try to travel off-peak where you can
Once you've chosen your dates and destination, before you book anything check whether there are any events taking place at the same time.
If there are, this will often increase the cost of a room due to demand, so it's worth searching for alternatives nearby.
6. Don't be afraid to ask for an upgrade
If you arrive after 6pm, chances are more rooms will be available and the hotel will have a better idea of which ones will be empty - just don't leave it too late.
Extra tip: don't book the cheapest room and expect a free upgrade - even plumping for the second cheapest is likely to increase your chances.
And of course, don't be afraid to ask - politely of course! As the saying goes, 'Don't ask, don't get'.
7. No need to stay home because of the pets
A recent survey from LateRooms.com found that 33% of respondents saw their pets as the biggest hindrance to having an impromptu getaway.
However, there are plenty of pet-friendly hotels, in fact 15% of LateRooms.com's hotels are, so there's no reason to miss out on some time off - simply use the 'pet-friendly' filter when you search.