While traveling, where you lay your head in the night can take up a significant portion from your spending budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of options for finding budget-friendly, comfortable and safe accommodations.
For us, traveling with kids doesn’t always mean taking the cheapest option – we want to get the most value for budget. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used be, but we would like to save money.
The place and the way you decide to stay depends on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and level of comfort
- The size of your crew
- Your interests are important to you
Remember that getting a 15% discount on a room you don’t really want isn’t as good as paying full price for a place you do. Therefore, our aim is to make it easier for you to save money on lodging and to get a place you’re happy with.
As a family, we’ve switched the way we travel over the years. When we travel for longer periods, we prefer apartments as they come with kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the costs with friends or other families. However, for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re taking an extended journey around the globe, consider spending more time in places that will make your money go further and reduce your expectations in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It doesn’t make sense to find a cheap hotel if it’s miles away from everything and you have to pay more for transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas near public transportation, airports, and things to do such as restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay for more than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts if you stay for two or more nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights and pay for three.
Stay at the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less busy on Sundays, so you may be able to find a deal. If you decide to stay on Sunday, you’ll avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Monday and Friday.
The weekdays are the best days to be a part of your life.
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive during the week than on weekends. Therefore, you can avoid the crowds and save money by travelling during the week.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you’re able to travel in the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak), you can reduce costs while avoiding crowds and have decent weather.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Do not just book on the first website you find. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the best price.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
Many hotels and vacation rental companies have loyalty programs through which guests can accumulate points or discount on your next stay.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, booking early can get you a better deal or, in other instances waiting to the end of the day could result in a lower rate.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
If you are booking directly with a hotel , or holiday rental, don’t be afraid to ask for more value or facilities. You never know, they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Apartments, such as vacation rentals or homes, can be a great option for groups or families. They can be cheaper than booking more hotel rooms.
Benefit from rewards on credit cards
If you own a credit card with travel rewards, make use of them to pay for your hotel and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites may charge extra fees for items such as resort or cleaning fees So be certain to check the fine print prior to making a booking.
Check for discounts or offers
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer specials or discounts for things like military personnel, students and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains are found in smaller, independent hotels or rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning a trip with a pet, look for pet-friendly options. These places may offer discounts or special offers for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations have special deals or discounts which they promote via social media. Be sure to be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Try a house-sitting or home-swapping
Housesitting or home swapping is the process of swapping houses with another person which allows you to live in their home while they live in yours. This is a fantastic option to save money on accommodation while still enjoying your personal space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with a group or family hiring a campervan, or RV is the best option to save on lodging. Plus, you’ll be able to travel around the world and even have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and deals that aren’t offered to the general people. Plus, they can do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a hotel, flight, and rental vehicle together as a package deal could occasionally save cash on each component.
Hostels are an affordable alternative for solo travelers as well as groups of travelers. With the rise of boutique hostels there are often cozy, clean and safe options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and distinctive accommodation options, like staying in a private room in a home owned by a local or renting a complete house for a large gathering.
As a bonus here are some helpful tips for finding cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls typically have a variety of luggage at reduced prices. Make sure you check these stores out prior to purchasing from a department store.
Look for off-season sales
Like with accommodations You can usually get good bargains on luggage during the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true of outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy refurbished or used
Consider buying used or refurbished luggage. This can be a great method to save on the top brands, and you might be able to locate gently used luggage that is in perfect condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t have to mean sacrificing security and comfort. With a bit of research and imagination, you can find the perfect place to stay within your budget and incredible bargains in luggage to take on your next journey. By looking at prices by signing up to loyalty programs, booking early or last-minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, as well as trying alternative options like rental homes and home sharing platforms, you can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the fullest.