This Budget-Friendly Hotel Tip Will Make Your Early Morning Flight Stress-Free

Choosing a hotel is one of the most important decisions you'll make when planning a trip. A unique themed hotel or luxurious suite with a view can be just as memorable as the activities and sightseeing you add to your itinerary. As such, you probably tend to devote a sizable chunk of your travel budget to the cost of your accommodation.

However, there's one instance when it's best to skip the pricey room and choose a budget-friendly option instead: the evening before an early-morning flight. If you'll be leaving in the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn, save yourself some cash and choose a no-frills hotel for your final evening. Better yet, choose a basic hotel conveniently located near the airport. Not only will this strategy help keep your budget in check, but it'll also make it easier to catch your flight in the morning without stressing over lost sleep or traffic jams.

How to save money on airport hotels

Depending on your destination, you may find that airport hotels aren't much cheaper than those located in desirable neighborhoods or near the city center. In some cases, they may even be more expensive. Still, if you're willing to forgo fancy amenities and modern furnishings, you can snag a deal within steps of your flight terminal.

A travel TikToker known as @carielizabethh posted a video about her experience staying in a hotel near the airport, and to keep costs down, she paid with credit card points. In the clip, the content creator said she spent the final night of her trip at a lower-cost accommodation close to the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and only spent 3,000 points, or around $30, for the stay.

If you don't have credit card rewards to spend, you can still find a competitive rate in a convenient location. First, be willing to downsize on space to save money. If you usually book a room with a king bed, consider one with a double or two twins instead. Also, look for hotels situated slightly further from the airport but that offer a shuttle for early-morning travelers. Finally, if you're still in the beginning stages of trip planning, try to schedule your return flight early in the week. That way, your final night falls on a Sunday or early weekday, and these days tend to be cheaper than staying in a hotel later in the week.

Skip the hotel altogether

If your flight is early enough to significantly disrupt your sleep, booking a bed in a hotel might not be worth it, even if you do find a good deal. To maximize your savings, consider hanging out in the airport overnight.

First, make sure your airport allows overnight visitors, as some locations close up for a few hours in the morning. To stay overnight, you may be required to check in at your terminal the evening before your flight while the airport is still open and operating. If you stay outside the security gates, you could still be asked to present a boarding pass or proof of flight by security officers.

In large airports, you can sometimes find spaces and facilities designed with sleepy travelers in mind. Airports around the world offer sleep pods, where you can get a few hours of shut-eye, often for a fraction of the cost of a traditional hotel. Similarly, some hotels are equipped with 24-hour lounges where you can rest before your flight. When these options aren't available — or if you're low on funds — simply park yourself in a seat or on a bench near the gates, secure your bags to your body (to avoid theft), and drift off the sleep.