If you’re traveling, where you lay your head at night can consume a large portion of your budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to find budget-friendly, comfortable and safe accommodations.
We find that traveling with children doesn’t mean taking the cheapest option and we’re looking to get the best price for our dollars. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used to be, but we still would like to save money.
What you do and where you decide to stay depends on several factors, including:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and comfort level
- The size of your crew
- Your interests
Be aware that obtaining 15% off the room you don’t need isn’t as effective as paying full price for a place you do. Our goal is to assist you in saving cash on accommodation and find the perfect place to stay.
As our family, we’ve shifted up our accommodation preferences over the years. When we travel for longer periods, we prefer apartments because they have kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Furthermore, we can share the cost of our trip with friends or other families. For shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re planning an extended trip across the world, try spending more time in places where your money goes further and reduce your expectations in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not logical to choose a hotel that is cheap if it’s miles away from all amenities and you need to spend extra on 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 more than two nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Stay at the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays, which means you’re likely to score a good deal. Plus, if you stay on Sunday, you’ll avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
Weekdays are your friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive during the week than on weekends. Also, try to stay away from all the tourists and spare cash by traveling midweek.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s no surprise that hotels tend to be more expensive during the off-season. If you can travel during shoulder seasons (between peak and off-peak), you can save money as well as avoid crowds, and have decent conditions.
Compare rates across various booking sites
Don’t just book through the first site you come across. Compare rates across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the best price.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
A lot of hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs in which members earn rewards and discounts on future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will get you a better deal and other times waiting till the very last moment may result in a lower rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
If you are booking directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel intimidated to ask for an improved rate or additional amenities. There’s no way to know if they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or homes, can be a great option for families or groups. In many cases, they can be cheaper than booking more hotel rooms.
Benefit from rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit card that offers travel rewards, you can utilize the rewards for your hotel and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra fees for items such as resort or cleaning fees, so be sure to check the fine print prior to booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer specials or discounts for things like students, military personnel, or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals are found in smaller, independent hotels or rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re traveling with a furry friend, look for pet-friendly options. These places may offer discounts or special offers for pet owners.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer special discounts or deals that they promote via social media. So be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Try a house-sitting or home-swapping
Housesitting or home swapping is when you swap houses with another person which allows you to live in their home while they reside in yours. This is a fantastic way to save money on lodging while also enjoying your personal space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling with your group of people renting a campervan or RV is an excellent option to save on lodging. Additionally, you’ll be able to visit different locations and also have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and special offers which aren’t accessible to the general people. They can also perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight and rental car as a package deal can sometimes save you cash on each component.
Search for hostels
Hostels are an affordable option for solo travelers or groups of travelers. In addition, with the popularity of hostels that are boutique, you can often find comfortable, clean, and safe alternatives.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and exclusive accommodation options such as staying in a private space in a homeowner’s home or renting a house for a large gathering.
As a bonus here are some tips to help you find cheap luggage
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage at reduced prices. Make sure to look these stores up before you buy from a department store.
Look for off-season sales
Similar to accommodation You can usually get good bargains on luggage during off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true of the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
You should consider purchasing used or used luggage. It’s a great method to save on high-end brands. You may be able to find lightly used luggage in excellent quality. Websites like Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not have to mean sacrificing the comfort or security. If you do a little research and creativity, you can find a great accommodation within your budget and incredible bargains in luggage to take on your next trip. By comparison shopping and signing up for loyalty programs, making bookings early or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, as well as exploring other options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms You can increase your spending and enjoy your travels to the maximum.