STYLE WITHOUT THE PRICETAG Budget hotels don't need to be style-free. Case in point: Ibis Styles hotels, which combine design elements with money-saving practicality. One of the best is the Ibis Styles Liverpool Centre in England. It's a Beatles-themed bolthole in the heart of the Beatles' homeland in northern England, which offers unlimited Wi-Fi and breakfast, along with rates that started at around $90 a night. See accorhotels.com.au.
EXTRAS, EXTRAS: READ ALL ABOUT IT Added extras such as spa treatments, tours, meals and shopping can blow out a budget quick-smart. If you're open to options when planning a holiday, subscribe to the Luxury Escapes email newsletter. The company bundles often heavily discounted multi-night accommodation in top-notch properties with a raft of bonuses and freebies. They have date flexibility and an incredible spread of holiday ideas. See luxuryescapes.com.
The world is catching on to what the Japanese have known for years: you don't need a whole lot of space for sleeping.
PLAINLY, IT'S JANE New York is known for its glam, high-end hotels at eye-watering prices. But the Jane Hotel is an affordable gem. A former seaman's lodgings built in the early 1900s on the Hudson, it was where the Titanic survivors were billeted during the American inquiry into the sinking. This quirky West Village property is also hipster heaven, with great bars and a unique "cabin" accommodation offering. A standard cabin, with shared bathroom facilities, starts at $140 a night. See thejanenyc.com.
HARBOURING INTENT Scrimp on room size, but not on style or extras, at Hong Kong's cool Ovolo Aberdeen Harbour. In the southern district of Hong Kong Island, the working harbour is home to Hong Kong's Tanka People, traditional fishers who live on their boats. The central city's attractions are easily accessible by bus and MTR, but you pay a lot less than you might staying closer. Find rates as low as $140 with breakfast and Wi-Fi included, through the various booking engines. See ovolohotels.com.
DON'T BE POOR IN SINGAPORE Local Singaporean budget chain Hotel 81 has 24 properties throughout Singapore, each planned with proximity to public transport and attractions in mind. Find them near Gardens by the Bay, Singapore National Museum, Kampong Glam, Orchard Road, and the hip enclave of Tiong Bahru. Rooms from $93. See hotel81.com.sg.
NAME THAT TUNE Big capital accommodation is notorious for ripping gaping holes in holiday budgets. But if you're prepared to strip it down to the comfortable basics in London and other cities in Britain, Tune Hotels are for you. You only pay for what you use – so things like TV usage are extras. And if you bring your own towel, that's even more savings. These amazingly well positioned, clean and comfortable central hotel rooms start at $120 a night in London, $55 elsewhere. Find them in Melbourne, India, Indonesia and Malaysia as well. See tunehotels.com.
MODERNE TIMES IN PARIS When visiting Paris, preparedness to stay outside the more touristy arrondissement can reward a traveller in more ways than one. Not only do you save euros on both accommodation and eating options in the area, you can see the Paris of the regular Parisians. For example, Hotel Home Moderne in the 15th is a traditional-style, simple hotel with outstanding reviews on TripAdvisor and rooms start from as little as $70 a night. See homemoderne.com
BANG FOR YOUR BANGKOK BUCK A short walk to a BTS Station and with the kind of rooftop pool and bar you find at the bigger, glam Bangkok hotels, Hotel Icon is an accessible, smart and affordable option for those who have a transit night in the Thai capital, that time-wise warrants leaving the airport for a bit of sightseeing. Book in advance and get more than 50 per cent off its already excellent rates plus a free BTS pass. See hoteliconbangkok.com.
ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYERS Italy is full of beautiful, historic cloisters. You can be welcomed behind the walls as a paying guest. Some have curfews but many don't. Even in premium locations such as Venice, find beautiful, welcoming and inexpensive lodgings dating back to the 1500s and beyond from lower than $60 a night.
IN POD WE TRUST The world is catching on to what the Japanese have known for years: you don't need a whole lot of space for sleeping. Enter the micro hotel, such as the Pod Hotels in New York City which offer "clean, efficient accommodation with an emphasis on lively communal spaces … bringing guests out of their rooms and into a social atmosphere". Find ping pong, board games, free Wi-Fi, guest walking tours and other experiences. From $135 a night. See thepodhotel.com.