While traveling the place you rest your head in the night can eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to find affordable, safe and comfortable places to stay.
For us, traveling with children isn’t always taking the cheapest option – we want to get the most value for our dollars. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used have been, however we want to save some dough.
What you do and where you decide to stay depends on several factors, including:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and comfort level
- Your size crew
- Your interests
Remember that getting 15% off an accommodation you don’t want isn’t as good as paying the full cost for a place you do. Therefore, our aim is to make it easier for you to save money on lodging and to get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed the way we travel over the years. For longer trips, we’re more comfortable in apartments due to their kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost of our trip with friends or other families. For shorter stays, we’re 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 you can save more and lower your standards in more costly countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It doesn’t make sense to find a cheap hotel located far from all amenities and you need to spend extra on transportation. Look for places in central areas that are close to airports, public transportation, and things to do like restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay more than one night
Many places offer better deals when you stay at least two nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Stay at in the Hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be less busy on Sundays, therefore you might be able to find a deal. If you decide to stay on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the lines at check-ins and outs on Fridays and Mondays.
The weekdays are the best days to be a part of your life.
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are more affordable during the week than weekends. So, get away from tourist crowds, and also save money by going during the week.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper during off-season. If you’re able to travel during the shoulder season (between the peak season and off-peak) you’ll reduce costs, avoid crowds and still have decent weather.
Compare rates across various booking websites
Don’t just book through the first site you discover. Compare prices across multiple sites to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
Many hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs in which members earn rewards or discount for future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will save you money, while other times waiting till the very last moment could get you a discount.
Do not be afraid to bargain
When booking directly with a hotel , or holiday rental, don’t be scared to request more value or amenities. 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 families or groups. In many cases, they can be cheaper than booking several hotel rooms.
Make use of credit card rewards
If you have a credit card that has travel rewards, make use of them to pay for your lodging and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels may charge extra for things like cleaning or resort fees, so be certain to check the fine print prior to making your booking.
Find discounts or promotions
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer promotions or discounts on items such as military personnel, students, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found in smaller hotel chains, or in vacation rentals that aren’t as popular.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning a trip with a pet, look for pet-friendly options. Some places provide special discounts or deals for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer special discounts or deals which they promote via social media. Make sure you 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 a different person, allowing you to live in their home while they reside in yours. It can be a wonderful option to save money on lodging while also being in your space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling as a group or family, renting a campervan or RV could be a great method to save money on accommodations. In addition, you’ll have the chance to visit different locations and also have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and deals which aren’t accessible 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 car in a bundle deal can occasionally save money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are an affordable choice for solo travellers or groups of travelers. In addition, with the popularity of hostels that are boutique there are often cozy, clean and secure options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and unique accommodation options, for example, staying in a space in a homeowner’s home or renting a whole house for a large gathering.
As a bonus here are some tips for finding cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage at discounted prices. Make sure you look these stores up prior to purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Find sales during off-season
Like with accommodations, you can often get good bargains on luggage in the sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is especially true for outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy used or refurbished
You should consider purchasing used or recycled luggage. This is a fantastic 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 offer a variety of options, and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the comfort or security. With a little bit of research and imagination you can locate a great accommodation within your budget as well as amazing discounts in luggage to take on your next trip. By looking at prices by signing up to loyalty programs, booking in advance or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, or looking at alternative options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms You can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the maximum.