5 Tips for Booking a Cheap Agoda Room

5 Tips for Booking a Cheap Agoda Room #ttot #budgettravel #travelblog

 

Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. –Ayn Rand

Booking a cheap Agoda room

Accommodation costs are a big part of any travel budget, and the majority of us have no option but to pay for a place to rest our head at night.

With so much choice in the accommodation market, it can be hard to know which booking website to choose.

Just do a Google search for your preferred hotel, guesthouse or hostel, and you will see how many of them there are. On the front page alone, names such as Agoda, booking.com, Expedia, hotels.com and lastminute.com will routinely pop up alongside the accommodations official website.

Over the past few years travelling, I have used most of the popular accommodation & hotel booking websites out there.

For me the decision on who to choose is typically based on the following factors:

  • Website informationHow good is the quality of information? Without images and indication on if I’m booking a dorm, single, double or twin room, I will go to another site where the information presented clearly.
  • AvailabilityDo they have the room you want? There’s no point in trying to book the room if one website has no rooms available and yet their competitors have the same type of rooms to book.
  • PriceHow cheap is the room advertised? Price for most of us certainly plays a part.
  • Booking processHow easy is it to book the room? If I need to through a 20 step booking process, then chances are I will look for an easier way to reserve the room.
  • RewardsWhat do you get in return for your loyalty? If all the other factors are all the same, then earning some reward for your business can be a deciding factor.

I first used Agoda to reserve two rooms in the Sawasdee Hotel Sukhumvit Soi 8 back in 2011 because they met all of the above factors. Since my first experience, I have continued to use Agoda over and over again for my accommodation needs.

If you currently use Agoda or are considering using them in the future and looking to save some money by booking a cheap Agoda room, then I suggest using the five tips below:

1) Use them

OK, this might sound like common sense, but you need actually to use Agoda to save money vs. booking directly. Why’s this?

Well, most hotel websites advertise the full RRP per night and not ‘I know the owner, best mate rates’.

I was waiting to check out of a hotel room in Taiwan a while back, and there was a 10-minute delay because a guest in front of me was complaining. While frantically waving his mobile phone screen at the receptionist, I managed to translate something along the lines of ‘the room is $20 a night cheaper on Agoda!!!’

Agoda is a business and like any business that deals in numbers, it will book the rooms at bulk wholesale prices. The hotel (or guesthouses) stance will be if Agoda wants to cut into their profit margin then they can.

Having used Agoda since 2011 there have only been two hotels I have managed to get cheaper by booking direct. Agoda rooms usually are the same price and more often than not cheaper than booking via the hotel’s website.

2) Book in advance

The main method I use to secure a big fat discount is by booking way in advance. I’m a fairly organised traveller and plan months ahead, so I take full advantage when I’m not Couchsurfing or Airbnbing and book a guesthouse or hotel.

In some cases, this has landed me early bird discounts of up to 70% off the listed price. At the very least I would expect 20% discount for booking more than three months ahead.

Doing a quick search for a room in Bangkok six months from now and I was able to come across these deals in a matter of seconds. If I explored in more detail, I’m willing to bet there will be better details to be snapped up.

If you search carefully you can sometimes even find a small discount by booking a few days before.

5 Tips for Booking a Cheap Agoda Room #ttot #budgettravel #travelblog

Agoda early bird discounts

3) Travel during low seasons

Granted this might not always be possible, but I find it’s best trying to avoid public holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Eve and so on. The simple reason is most hotels, hostels and guesthouse start to get full and increase prices. Also, many hotels will pay their staff a higher rate for public holidays and special events.

Even during events like football matches I have seen the price per night of nearby hotel rooms go up by as much as 50%.

It’s true that some countries don’t celebrate Christmas in the same way as Europe, the US and Australia/NZ. For example, I was in Cambodia during Xmas, and there was no price increase but yet in Sydney a few years before I saw room prices triple for Xmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

4) Be loyal

I have used many well known (and less well known) hotel booking websites. Although this can good for trial and error, helping to find which website best deals in a certain area or country, being a returning customer has its benefits too. Because now I can combine those reward points and use them for something.

Do you need Agoda reward points?

Well if you’re a frequent traveller then these points will soon start building up and you can exchange them for discounts, or even a free night off your next trip. Stick with one system and the points will go much further.

Last year alone I used my Agoda points to get over 2 weeks of free hotel stays.

I also have a Virgin Velocity account that is affiliated with Agoda, meaning I can earn points with Virgin if I choose and use them for flight upgrades.

5) Pay via a rewards credit card

I use a Virgin Velocity Amex card (no yearly fee and free to join) which means can I earn one frequent flyer mile per $1AUD spent. It might not sound much but combined with spending on flights and so on, the miles soon add up.

During the past three years, I have traded miles earned on my reward credit cards for:

  • Various hotel room discounts
  • Free hotel room at a sold out Formula 1 weekend
  • Free flight from Manchester to Bangkok
  • Free return flight from Melbourne to Gold Coast
  • Free flight from Australia to New Zealand
  • Paid only taxes for a flight from Da Nang to Siem Reap

I take the stance that I’m paying for the accommodation so I might as well get a reward in return. Most importantly Agoda doesn’t charge any extra for American Express or credit card payments.

It also doesn’t have to be an Amex card or even Virgin Velocity, there are also Visa and Mastercard rewards cards with other banks.

Finally, double up

This is not only specific to using Agoda but for travelling in general; if you book a hotel room for one person then expect to pay more.

I’ve done my fair share of solo travelling and it’s great to have your own space. Somewhere to knuckle down and work on your blog, smash out some freelance work, or just simply catch up on some missed sleep.

The point is you can’t argue with mathematics and a $60 a night hotel room will become $30 a night if shared with a partner, friend or travel buddy (assuming they pay you!).

5 Tips for Booking a Cheap Agoda Room #budgettravel #agoda

Barry Sproston
Barry is a traveller and expat who spends most of his time between Asia and Australia. He has spent 12 months training at a Gung Fu school learning Wing Chun. Explored the island of Taiwan by scooter more than once. Been tricked into eating raw horse meat sushi in Japan. Even tried to overcome the fear of heights by bungee jumping in Thailand. One day he plans to open a guesthouse.
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24 thoughts on “5 Tips for Booking a Cheap Agoda Room

  1. Dean

    I have been communicating via email to a reputable resort overseas as I am about to book with them. But just before i made the confirmation, I made a last minute check to Agoda which indeed posted a price a lot cheaper than the hotel price. I told the hotel that I am booking through Agoda because of how cheaper it is. However, this is the reply I received from them: “sounds very weird that your will get a better rate since Agoda & other online booking engines don’t get any special rates nor are allowed to sell us under published rates. Please be aware also that other online travel agencies are advertising the rates without taxes and only adding them in the final phase before payment.”

    What do you think of this? Should I book with them or go through Agoda? They make it seem sound that Agoda is dodgy.

    Thanks
    Dean

    1. Barry SprostonBarry Sproston Post author

      Hi Dean,

      I will have to disagree with some of what the resort has said as I know for a fact the Agoda advertising base is 15%. So for bookings made through Agoda, they will take a 15% fee (sometimes more), and the resort will get the rest.

      Some establishments would rather not pay this charge and certainly prefer you to book directly through them.

      I’ve had a late night conversation with a guesthouse owner who hated doing business with booking websites but has no choice as it’s a regular source of new customers. Understandably for smaller family run guesthouses even a small reduction in profits can put a strain on things.

      Now the tax issue can be right, but it’s always stated before you book so there shouldn’t be any confusion. Sometimes rooms are advertised with tax and sometimes without. I’m looking on Agoda as we speak to book a hotel in India and all prices I’ve seen do include tax. So it depends on the country and area you plan on visiting

      Finally to answer your question, if you feel some loyalty towards the resort, want to help them out, then, by all means, book direct, and you will be sure all the money you spend will go to them.

      However, for me, I would more than likely book through Agoda and get the better rate. Then if a member of staff (or members) went above and beyond during my stay, I would tip them with the money saved. Only because some so called “luxury resorts” don’t pay their front line staff decent rates anyway.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Becki

    Thanks for the tips, I’m always looking for cheaper and easier ways of booking rooms and travelling in general! Never used agoda before but I’ll definitely check it out!

  3. Vyjay

    I agree with you that it works out cheaper most times when we book hotels through Agoda or other aggregators. It also helps in getting great deals if you book ahead and also travel during the off season.

  4. David

    Some great, straightforward tips here Barry. Would have to agree with a lot of it, and have been surprised how you really can often find cheaper prices online than booking directly with a hotel. #FeetDoTravel

    1. Barry SprostonBarry Sproston Post author

      They are really good if you plan on travelling around Asia. I mostly use Agoda for the majority of my online bookings these days – the point system is handy for rewards off your next stay too.

  5. Travel Lexx

    Thanks for the informative post, Barry. I have used Agoda in the past but I don’t tend to stay in hotels that often, generally choosing hostels. However, they have come in super useful when we were looking for accommodation in Bali and we got some great deals. Some great tips in here!

    1. Barry SprostonBarry Sproston Post author

      No problem Lexx. If i’m travelling solo I normally stay in guesthouses or hostel booked through Agoda also. Hostelbookers are good too and I’ve used them in the past, but I prefer collecting my points through Agoda these days so I can redeem them for free nights.

  6. Leath

    Thanks for sharing. I normally use booking.com but have been told Agoda has the best deals when travelling in Asia. Will have to give them a try and find out next time I’m in Thailand.

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