Cutting accommodation costs

2 March 2012
When it comes to reducing the cost of accommodation, here are five things to bear in mind: 1.  Location is everything Staying slightly out of the city centre can save a fortune, even once you factor in travel costs. In London, nightly rents can drop by as much as £100 with a move from zone 1 to zone 3, while for anyone working in New York, areas such as Jersey City and Brooklyn offer much better value. You also often get more space for your money the further out you go.    2.   Don’t waste money on longer lets A recent report showed that the police haemorrhage money by placing police officers in long-term lets even when they only stay in a city for sporadic intervals. Paying for an apartment that’s vacant for weeks on end rarely makes good financial sense. If travellers are worried about storing their belongings, some serviced apartment buildings allow guests to store them between stays. 3.  Choose transparent billing structures More and more accommodation providers are following the budget airline model of unbundled rates. Make sure you know all the prices at the outset to make it easier to keep track of finances – something particularly pertinent if rent and occasional charges (such as laundry or internet) are handled by different departments. Unfortunately in some cities, such as Sydney, it’s rare to find this even in serviced apartment buildings, but all good operators will provide details of the rates in advance. 4.  Be self-sufficient Laundry and room service costs can easily escalate and are difficult to monitor. Business travellers who have their own laundry and cooking facilities will save substantial amounts of money; they’re also likely to work better with fewer irritating interruptions from on-site staff. 5.   Don’t scrimp and save in the wrong areas Successful business travel budgeting relies on co-operation, so don’t scrimp on comfort for long-term business travellers. For longer stays, spend a little extra on more spacious accommodation, such as a one-bedroom apartment, and make savings in other areas, for example by cutting down on shorter trips in favour of longer stays more likely to build relationships. ☛ Sam Cox is web content co-ordinator for SilverDoor
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