While traveling the place you rest your head in the night can eat up a big chunk of the budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to find secure, affordable and cozy accommodations.
We find that traveling with children doesn’t mean taking the cheapest option – we want to get the most value for dollars. We’re not as down for roughing it as we used do, yet we want to save some dough.
What you do and where you decide to stay will depend on several factors, including:
- 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 15% off the room you don’t want isn’t as good as paying the full cost for a room you really want. So, our goal is to help you save money on accommodation and get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As a family, we’ve switched around our accommodations over time. For longer trips, we prefer apartments as they come with bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost with other families or friends. But for short stays, we’re happy to stay in hostels or hotels that are family-friendly.
If you’re planning an extended journey around the world, try making more time in areas where you can save more and reduce your expectations in countries that are more expensive.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It doesn’t make sense to pick a budget hotel if it’s miles away from everything , and you’ll need to pay more for transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas that are close to airports, public transportation, and things to do such as restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay longer than one night
Some hotels provide better rates If you stay for two or more nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Go to the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less busy on Sundays, therefore you might be able to find a deal. 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 some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive during the week than on weekends. Also, try to stay away from tourist crowds, and also save money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s no surprise that hotels tend to be more expensive in the off-season. If you can travel during shoulder seasons (between peak and off-peak) it is possible to reduce costs while avoiding crowds and enjoy a pleasant conditions.
Compare prices across different booking sites
Do not 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.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
A lot of vacation rental and hotels offer loyalty programs where you can earn points or discount on future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can get you a better deal, while other times waiting till the very last moment may score you a discounted rate.
Do not be afraid to bargain
When booking directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be intimidated to ask for more value or features. There’s no way to know if they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or houses, are ideal for groups or families. They are less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Take advantage of credit card rewards
If you own a credit card that has travel rewards, use them to pay for your lodging and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites may charge extra fees for items like cleaning or resort fees, so be sure to check the fine print prior to making your booking.
Find discounts or promotions
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer specials or discounts for students, military personnel, as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains can be found in smaller hotel chains, or in holiday rentals that aren’t well-known.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re traveling with your pet, look for pet-friendly options. These places may offer special deals or discounts for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer discounts or special offers that they promote on social media. So be sure to be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Home swapping or housesitting is when you exchange houses with a different person, allowing you to live in their home while they reside in yours. This can be a great method to save on accommodation while still enjoying your personal space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling as a 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 have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents are often able to access discounts and special offers that aren’t offered to the general public. Additionally, they are able to do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a flight, hotel, and rental car as a package deal can occasionally save money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels can be a cost-effective choice for solo travellers or groups. With the rise of boutique hostels it is possible to find safe, comfortable, and secure options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and unique accommodation options, for example, staying in a room in a home owned by a local 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 discounted prices. Make sure to look these stores up before purchasing from a department store.
Find sales during off-season
Just like with accommodation It is not uncommon to get good bargains on luggage during the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true for retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
Take a look at buying second-hand or refurbished luggage. This is a fantastic method to save on top-quality brands and you may be able to find gently used luggage in near perfect condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay have good options and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap accommodation and discount luggage doesn’t have to mean sacrificing security and comfort. With a little bit of research and imagination it is possible to find an ideal place to stay within your budget, and also get amazing discounts on luggage for your next trip. By comparing prices and signing up for loyalty programs, booking late or at the last minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, or looking at alternative options such as holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms to extend your budget and enjoy your trip to the maximum.