I'm a travel agent. Every day I ask my clients what's important to them while I'm looking for a hotel in New York, London, Rome, anywhere. At least 25% of the time, it's price. I like a deal as much as anyone so I get that. But if price is the key issue you might be missing the big picture and it might be costing you.
Every day people tell me they don't spend any time in the room and all they need is a bed and a shower. The truth is very few people really mean it. If that bed isn't comfortable and the shower is dirty they're not going to be happy.
So what do we really need in a hotel room? It has to be safe. You want it to be clean, in a good location with a bed you can actually get some sleep in. Throw in easy check-in and a helpful staff and you've got the start of a good trip.
What happens when you don't get those things?
If it isn't safe the rest doesn't really matter. I can remember a hotel years ago where I was too afraid to go to sleep! That cost me the next day and the price of the room. Hotel rooms in the iffy parts of town will always cost less, but they're no bargain.
If a room isn't clean it's uncomfortable. No one is going to talk about the good deal they got at the hotel if the room is dirty.
If the hotel is out of the city center you're going to spend some of the money you saved getting into town and worse yet you'll spend your valuable travel time going back and forth. That crew discount at a hotel by the airport isn't such a deal if it takes a $30 cab ride to get to the city. I always feel like an idiot when I think I'm saving money, but I'm actually spending more.
The true price of a cheap hotel is disappointment. And who needs that?
Use a travel, agent. It doesn't cost any more to book with an agent and you can get a wealth of information from one. For example, a hotel near a train station seems like a great convenience but in some cities that's not a safe part of town. There are great affordable hotels in good central locations in almost any city, there's a big market for them, you just have to know where they are.