If you travel with the family, my first recommendation is to take a Club Mahindra membership in India. We have stayed in most kinds of hotels from top brands to basic ones. Please read our reviews here as to why should you take Club Mahindra Membership.
One of our all time favorites. We have extensively used this site to specifically to book apartments when traveling abroad. Best is you can make the reservation without paying anything in most cases. You have cheap non refundable fare options as well as refundable options. The flexibility that booking.com provides is great. There are member specific deals as well. Just one caution that you must read the terms and conditions very carefully since the conditions vary as per the supplier and many a times one has to pay separately for the child even if the extra bed is not asked for.
For good and less expensive accommodation alternative, this site is apt. It connects you with owners who rent out their homes/apartments/villas to you. When you want to save , it does make sense to stay with locals even if it is not the city center as long as the local transportation system of your destination city is good or you can hire a vehicle easily at cheaper rates.
Another good option for wallet friendly rates that fits your budget. They have blind booking system meaning you book based on the deal rate without knowing the name of the place. In india, we have OYO rooms based on the similar concept.
My sister who is primarily into backpacking introduced us to this concept.This travelsite lets you stay in people’s houses specifically spare rooms or couches for free. Great no?? Save money , stay with locals and attend meet ups /events at the city.
If you like to book homestays, stay and eat with locals, this is one option. Not many options in India though. However even the sites specific to homestays in India don’t have many options.
Great source for backpacking trips. No booking fees and has options in over 3500 destinations worldwide. The place for youth hostels and cheap hotels for all the backpackers out there.