When you’re on the road, where you lay your head at night can eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. However, don’t fret because there are plenty of options for finding secure, affordable and cozy accommodations.
For us, traveling with kids doesn’t always mean going for the cheapest options – we want to get the most value for our budget. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used do, yet we still want to save some dough.
The place and the way you decide to stay will depend on several factors, including:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and comfort level
- Your size crew
- Your interests
Just remember that getting a 15% discount on an accommodation you don’t want isn’t as good as paying the full cost for a place you do. Our goal is to make it easier for you to save cash on accommodation and find the perfect place to stay.
As our family, we’ve shifted the way we travel over time. When we travel for longer periods, we prefer apartments as they come with kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost 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 around the globe, consider taking a longer trip to places that will make your money go further and lowering your standards in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not logical to pick a budget hotel located far from all amenities and you need to spend extra on transportation. Find hotels in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports and other things to do, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay for more than one night
Some hotels provide better rates when you stay at least two nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights and pay for three nights.
Go to your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less busy on Sundays, so you may be able to score a good deal. If you decide to stay on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
Weekdays are your friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive during the week than weekends. Also, try to avoid the crowds and save some cash by traveling midweek.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you’re able to travel in the shoulder season (between high and low) it is possible to reduce costs as well as avoid crowds, and enjoy decent conditions.
Compare prices across different booking sites
Don’t just book through the first website you find. Compare the prices on multiple websites to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
Many hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs where you can earn points or discount for future stays.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can get you a better deal and other times staying up to the end of the day could result in a lower rate.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
When booking directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be intimidated to ask for more value or amenities. You never know, they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or houses, are an ideal option for families or groups. In many cases, they are less expensive than booking several hotel rooms.
Take advantage of credit card rewards
If you have a credit card with travel rewards, utilize them to pay for your lodging and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites might charge additional fees for things such as resort or cleaning fees Be certain to read the fine print before booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or promotions for things like students, military personnel, or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains are found in smaller hotel chains, or in holiday rentals that aren’t well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re traveling with a furry friend consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These establishments may offer special deals or discounts for pet owners.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer discounts or special offers that they promote through social media. Be sure to be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Try a house-sitting or home-swapping
Home swapping or housesitting is when you exchange houses with someone else and stay in their home while they reside in yours. It can be a wonderful method to save on housing while enjoying your personal space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling with your group or family, renting a campervan or RV can be the best way to save money on lodging. Plus, you’ll be able to explore different places and have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents are often able to access discounts and deals which aren’t accessible to the general people. Additionally, they are able to perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight and rental car together in a bundle deal can often save you money on each of the components.
Search for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly option for solo travelers or groups of travelers. With the rise of boutique hostels, you can often find safe, comfortable, and secure options.
Try home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and distinctive accommodation options, like staying in a private room in a home owned by a local or renting a complete home for a large number of people.
As a bonus here are some helpful tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage at reduced prices. Be sure to look these stores up prior to purchasing from a department store.
Check out sales that are off-season
Like with accommodations You can usually get great deals on luggage in the seasonal sales or the off-season. This is particularly true for outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy used or refurbished
You should consider purchasing used or used luggage. This is a fantastic method to save on top-quality brands and you may be able to find gently used luggage that is in excellent condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice comfort and safety. If you do a little research and creativity, you can find the perfect accommodation within your budget, and also get amazing discounts on luggage for your next journey. By looking at prices by signing up to loyalty programs, making reservations early or last-minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, and exploring other options such as holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms You can increase your spending and enjoy your travels to the maximum.