While traveling, where you lay your head in the night can eat up a big chunk of your budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to find secure, affordable and cozy places to stay.
For us, traveling with children doesn’t mean choosing the most expensive options – we want to get the most value for our money. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used to be, but we want to save some dough.
What you do and where you decide to live depends on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and comfort level
- Your size crew
- Your interests are important to you
Be aware that obtaining a 15% discount on an accommodation you don’t like isn’t the same as paying the full cost for a place you do. Therefore, our aim is to assist you in saving money on lodging and to get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As our family, we’ve shifted the way we travel over the years. For longer trips, we’d prefer apartments because they have bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost of our trip with other families or friends. For shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning to take an extended trip around the world, try spending more time in places that will make your money go further and reduce your expectations in countries that are more expensive.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not sensible to find a cheap hotel in a location that is miles from everything and you have to pay more for transportation. Look for places in central areas near airports, public transportation, and things to do like beaches, restaurants, and parks.
Stay for more than one night
Many places offer better deals if you stay for more than two nights. Sometimes you can even stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Stay at the hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays therefore you might be able to find a deal. If you decide to stay on Sunday, you’ll avoid the lines at check-ins and outs on Monday and Friday.
Weekdays are your friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive during the week than weekends. Therefore, you can stay away from all the tourists and spare money by going during the week.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s not a surprise that hotels tend to be more expensive during off-season. If you’re able to travel during shoulder seasons (between the peak season and off-peak) it is possible to save money while avoiding crowds and enjoy decent conditions.
Compare the prices of different booking websites
Don’t just book through the first site you discover. Compare rates across multiple sites to make sure you’re getting the best price.
Sign up for loyalty programs
Many vacation rental and hotels offer loyalty programs in which you can earn points and discounts on your next stay.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can save you money, while other times waiting until the last minute can get you a discount.
Do not be afraid to bargain
If you are booking directly with a hotel , or vacation rental, don’t be afraid to ask for an improved rate or additional features. You never know, they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or homes, can be a great option for groups or families. In many cases, they can be less expensive than booking more hotel rooms.
Make use of rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit or debit card that offers travel rewards, you can make use of them to pay for your lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels might charge additional fees for things like resort or cleaning charges, so be certain to be aware of the fine print before booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer promotions or discounts on items such as students, military personnel, as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the most affordable deals can be found at smaller, independent hotels or rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re traveling with your pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These establishments may offer discounts or special offers for pet owners.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer special discounts or deals which they promote via social media. Be sure to keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You can try a home-sitting job or a house-sitting
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is the process of swapping houses with a different person and live in their home while they stay in yours. This can be a great option to save money on housing while having your own space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling as a group of people renting a campervan or RV is the best option to save on lodging. In addition, you’ll have the chance to travel around the world and even have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and special offers that aren’t available to the general public. Additionally, they are able to do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight and rental vehicle together as a package deal could occasionally save money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are an affordable option for solo travelers or groups. With the rise of boutique hostels, you can often find safe, comfortable, and safe options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and distinctive accommodation options, for example, staying in a space in a homeowner’s home or renting a whole house for a large group.
As a bonus here are some tips to help you find cheap luggage
Shop at discount retailers
Discount stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage at discounted prices. Make sure you go through these stores prior to purchasing from a traditional department store.
Look for off-season sales
Just like with accommodation It is not uncommon to find good deals on luggage in the seasonal sales or the off-season. This is particularly true for the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
You should consider purchasing used or refurbished luggage. This can be a great method to save on the top brands, and you may be able to find gently used luggage that is in excellent quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice the comfort or security. If you do a little investigation and creativity it is possible to find the perfect place to stay within your budget, and also get amazing bargains in luggage to take on your next journey. By comparing prices and signing up for loyalty programs, booking early or last-minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, or trying alternative options like rental homes and home sharing platforms, you can stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the highest degree.