The Real Costs of Going Cheap: 9 Major Downsides of Staying In A Bargain Hotel

3 mn read

To say that international travel is expensive is an understatement. It’s a luxury not all of us can afford. For most of us, visiting our dream destination means five months’ worth of savings. We take our time planning our travel budget and constantly look for ways to save money. 


One of the expensive travel essentials we tend to scrimp on is accommodation. The price of an average hotel for one night is enough to give you two weeks’ worth of groceries. With this, it’s only wise to settle for less in accommodation since you’d be getting around the city the whole day anyway. 


But do you know the real cost of booking the cheapest hotel you can find? Before deciding to go super cheapskate on your next travel experience, stop to think about what exactly your “hotel savings” may actually be costing you. Here are 9 not-so-good things about cheap hotels that you may not tolerate. 

1. Not-so-comfortable rooms 

If you’re staying in a very low-cost hotel, manage your expectations about comfort. Don’t expect top quality bedding or furnishings. Instead, prepare for the worst, like sleeping on sagging or lumpy mattresses and pillows, in a cramped room. You may also encounter worn upholstery, stained linens, broken A/C units,, and leaking fixtures. 

2. Germs, viruses, and everything nasty

If you’re a germaphobe, do yourself a favor and opt for a mid-range hotel accommodation instead. Don’t attempt to bring a black light and see the mess for yourself. Cheap hotels are less likely to be cleaned as thoroughly as possible.


Your room may be greasy or dusty. Your bed may not be made well and sheets may not be replaced at all during your stay. Your guest room may also stink, which only gives a hint of the gross things lurking in the dark. 


Booking a hotel with strict cleaning and disinfection measures is imperative in today’s pandemic era. Do your research and don’t book filthy hotels at the expense of your health and safety. 

3. Say hello to creepy crawlies

You may also be ready to sleep with not-so-favorable companions: bed bugs, roaches, spiders, and rodents. It’s safe to assume that bargain hotels may put a little neglect on their pest control measures.

4. Undesirable location 

Cheap hotels are usually located on the outskirts of town. While the hotel rate is significantly cheaper than those properties conveniently located in the city center, the transportation to your target destination might cost you higher. 


Also, budget hotels are often situated in some of the shadier parts of the city. If you have to leave the hotel, especially after dark, you may not feel safe. 

5. Security and safety lapses

The most expensive cost of booking a shady, bargain hotel? Your peace of mind… and good night’s sleep. Hotels that don’t charge a lot of money tend to be lax on their safety and security measures. The doors might not lock securely. The security cameras aren’t always visible (or sometimes, they’re not working). They might be short on security guards too. 

6. Worn furnishings and appliances 

It’s just a mistake to book the cheapest accommodation in the city and expect high-end interior design. Okay, we’re not even asking for luxury decor but there are bargain hotels that don’t meet our already-low expectations. 


Worn out upholstery, stuffed up sinks, toilets that don’t flush, broken door locks — these are just some of the unpleasant things that might welcome you as you open the door. Consider yourself lucky if you can request an extra pillow. 

7. Noisy neighbors

The walls of cheap hotels tend to be thinner with little or no insulation. With this, your neighbors, as well as the people above and below, will hear you (and/or you’ll hear them). You could be disrupted by particularly loud hotel guests. Street noises may also be magnified. 

8. Underpaid, insufficient staff

Bargain hotels usually don’t have a lot of money to hire sufficient staff, and this often reflects on the quality of your hotel experience. There may be situations where employees aren’t as helpful as they could. They may not be present 24/7, leaving hotel guests unattended in the middle of the night. In some cases, underpaid cleaning staff may be more inclined to do fraudulent activities, like stealing from guest rooms. 

9. The ugliest room in the house

In some cases, you may get a discounted rate in a renowned hotel property when you book via third-party sites at the last minute. It’s a great deal if you’d ask me, but you should lower your expectations. 

Discounted rates may mean a discounted hotel experience: worn furniture, small spaces, broken appliances, and the likes. They’re often the last rooms to be filled. To avoid having any vacant rooms, hotels pay third-party sites commission for selling these rooms at a discount. They’re the ones left after the hotel gave their best rooms to patrons and guests who booked directly with them.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a foodie and travel blogger who hates being locked up at home. Her fondness for travel, food, and cultural appreciation makes it easy for her to write inspiring pieces of content about them. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit The Hoban Hotel Kilkenny.

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