If you’re traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head at night can eat up a big chunk of your budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of options for finding affordable, safe and comfortable accommodation.
For us, traveling with kids doesn’t always mean taking the cheapest option – we want to get the best value for our budget. We’re not as keen on roughing it as much as we used to be, but we want to save some dough.
Where and how you choose to live depends on several factors, including:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and level of comfort
- How big is your team
- Your interests are important to you
Be aware that obtaining a 15% discount on a room you don’t really want isn’t as good as paying the full cost for a place you do. So, our goal is to make it easier for you to save cash on accommodation and find an accommodation that you are happy with.
As our family, we’ve shifted around our accommodations throughout the years. For longer trips, we’re more comfortable in apartments as they come with bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the costs with friends or other families. However, for short stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning to take an extended journey 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 doesn’t make sense to pick a budget hotel in a location that is miles from everything and you have to shell out more money for transportation. Look for places in central areas that are close to airports, public transportation and activities such as beaches, restaurants, and parks.
Stay for more than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts if you stay for at least two nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Go to your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays so you may be able to get a bargain. Plus, if you stay on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the crowds at check-in and checkout on Fridays and Mondays.
The weekdays are the best days to be a part of your life.
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive during the week than weekends. So, get away from the crowds and save money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s no surprise that hotels are more affordable in the off-season. If you can travel during shoulder seasons (between high and low) it is possible to save money while avoiding crowds and enjoy a pleasant weather.
Compare prices across different booking websites
Do not just book on the first site you come across. Compare the prices on multiple websites to ensure that you’re getting the most value for money.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
Many vacation rental and hotels offer loyalty programs where you can earn points or discounts on future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, booking early can get you a better deal and other times waiting till the very last moment may score you a discounted rate.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
If you are booking directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel intimidated to ask for a better rate or extra features. 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 an ideal option for groups or families. They are less expensive than booking several hotel rooms.
Make use of rewards on credit cards
If you own a credit card that has travel rewards, utilize these rewards to cover lodging and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites 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 vacation and hotel accommodations offer promotions or discounts for military personnel, students as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals are found in smaller, independent hotels or holiday rentals that aren’t popular.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re planning a trip with your pet, look for pet-friendly options. These establishments may offer special deals or discounts for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer discounts or special offers which they promote on social media. Make sure you follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is the process of swapping houses with another person and reside in their house while they live in yours. It can be a wonderful way to save money on housing while enjoying your personal space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling with your family or group, renting a campervan or RV is an excellent option to save on accommodation. In addition, you’ll have the chance to travel around the world and even have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents are often able to access discounts and offers that aren’t offered to the general people. They can also conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight, and rental car together as a package deal can sometimes save you money on each of the components.
Look for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly alternative for solo travelers as well as groups of travelers. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique, you can often find cozy, clean and safe options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and unique accommodation options, like staying in a private room in a home owned by a local or renting a whole house for a large group.
As a bonus here are some tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage at discounted prices. Be sure to look these stores up prior to purchasing from a traditional department store.
Find sales during off-season
Just like with accommodation It is not uncommon to get good bargains on luggage during seasonal sales or the off-season. This is especially true of outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy refurbished or used
Consider buying used or recycled luggage. It’s a great method to save on the top brands, and you may be able to find gently used luggage that is in perfect condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodation and discount luggage doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort and safety. If you do a little research and creativity it is possible to find the perfect location to stay within your budget as well as amazing bargains regarding luggage and luggage options for the next travels. By comparing prices, signing up for loyalty programs, making bookings in advance or last-minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, as well as exploring other options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms You can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the maximum.