The first thing to know is that in life there is no such thing as free lunch, and most things that are cheap usually cost you other things. For example, the cheapest hotels will normally be on the outskirts of the city, may not be as clean or do not have all the services you need.
Having said that, you have to be aware that you are both willing to sacrifice in comfort to find a cheap hotel. This does not mean that you actually have to sacrifice it, but at least be aware that you may have to do it.
So if you compare 2 and 4-star hotels and you would like to find a good and cheap hotel you will have to find or sacrifice some of the following things:
The cheapest hotels will usually be located in remote places of the tourist area. In small cities, this may not make a difference but in large cities, where your travel represents a one-way trip of 2 or 3 hours, it may not be so convenient.
Access to Public Transportation
Before you start looking for hotels you must have an idea of what is the most efficient way to move in the city where you will be. If the hotel where you plan to stay does not have a good access to public transport then what you save per night in the hotel will automatically transfer to the cost of transport that you will have to pay to move.
Whether the hotel serves a breakfast or not is another factor to consider to consider in selecting a hotel. The first is the type of food served in the hotel. However, breakfast can be a Russian roulette. Sometimes it will be a buffet and others only cereal, sometimes you will have an excellent breakfast a la carte and in others, you will prefer to skip it because you have no idea what it is. This factor depends on your taste. If you paid it but you do not like it, there is no point in eating it.
Make sure you have a good restaurant for dinner or lunch. There are places where you travel where the best restaurant in that city is the hotel. In big cities finding good restaurants will not be a problem. However, you must always take it into consideration.
Some hotels are cheap because they cut operational costs by employing less staff such as maintenance and cleaning personnel. If you are particular with cleanliness or you are allergic or sensitive to an unclean environment, check the maintenance and cleanliness review of the hotels where you are planning to stay.
If you can’t live without a constant internet connection, check if the hotel offers free and stable internet connection. Some hotels have rooms with LAN cable connection aside from hotel Wi-Fi for guests that requires a constant internet connection for their job. If you only plan to use the internet to check emails and send greetings, you can skip this point.
Size of the Room
There are times when a cheap hotel translates into a large room, you can have an exceptional cleanliness, an amazing breakfast, be in an unbeatable area but chances are that if it is cheap it is because your room is going to be small, very small.
There are hotels where they will never tell you, thank you or they will tell you where the elevator is. For many people, this plays a decisive role in whether to stay there or not.
Broadly speaking these are the factors to consider to find a great hotel with a reasonable price.