When you’re on the road, where you lay your head during the night could take up a significant portion from your spending budget. But worry not, there’s plenty of ways to find budget-friendly, comfortable and safe places to stay.
For us, traveling with children isn’t always going for the cheapest options and we’re looking to get the best value for our money. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used do, yet we still want to save some dough.
Where and how you choose to stay depends on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and level of comfort
- The size of your team
- Your interests
Remember that getting an offer of 15% off an accommodation you don’t need isn’t as effective as paying full price for a place you do. Our goal is to make it easier for you to save money on lodging and to get a place you’re happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed the way we travel throughout the years. In the case of longer travel, we prefer apartments as they come with kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost with friends or other families. However, 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, you should consider spending more time in places where your money goes further and lowering your standards in more costly countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not logical to find a cheap hotel located far from everything and you have to pay more for transportation. Find hotels in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports and activities like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay longer than one night
Many places offer better deals when you stay at least two nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Stay at the hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays so you may be able to score a good deal. Plus, if you stay on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive on weekdays than weekends. Also, try to stay away from tourist crowds, and also save some money by going 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 the shoulder season (between high and low), you can save money, avoid crowds and still enjoy a pleasant conditions.
Compare rates across various booking sites
Do not just book on the first website you find. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the most value for money.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
A lot of hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs where members earn rewards or discount on future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can save you money or, in other instances waiting to the end of the day could get you a discount.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
If you are booking directly with a hotel , or vacation rental, don’t be afraid to ask for a better rate or extra amenities. There’s no way to know if they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or homes, can be an ideal option for groups or families. In many cases, they can be less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Make use of rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit card that has travel rewards, make use of the rewards for your lodging and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels may charge extra fees for items such as resort or cleaning fees Be certain to be aware of the fine print before booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer specials or discounts for things like students, military personnel, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the most affordable deals can be found at smaller hotels, independent establishments or vacation rentals that aren’t as well-known.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re traveling with your pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. Some places provide special discounts or deals for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties have special deals or discounts 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 or home swapping is when you swap houses with someone else and stay in their home while they stay in yours. This can be a great method to save on housing while enjoying your personal space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling as a group or family renting a campervan or RV is an excellent way to save money on lodging. Plus, you’ll be able to explore different places and also have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and deals that aren’t offered to the general people. Additionally, they are able to conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a hotel, flight, and rental car together as a package deal can often save you cash on each component.
Search for hostels
Hostels are an affordable option for solo travelers or groups. And with the rise of boutique hostels it is possible to find comfortable, clean, and safe alternatives.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and exclusive accommodation options like staying in a private room within a local’s home or renting a complete house for a large gathering.
In addition, here are some tips for finding cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage at reduced prices. Make sure to go through these stores before you buy from a department store.
Check out sales that are off-season
Just like with accommodation It is not uncommon to find good deals on luggage in the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true for outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy refurbished or used
Take a look at buying second-hand or refurbished luggage. This can be a great option to save money on high-end brands. You might be able to locate gently used luggage that is in perfect quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In the end, finding affordable accommodations and cheap luggage does not need to mean you sacrifice the comfort or security. With a bit of investigation and creativity it is possible to find the perfect accommodation within your budget and incredible bargains on luggage for your next trip. By comparison shopping, signing up for loyalty programs, making bookings early or last-minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, and trying alternative options like home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals to increase your spending and enjoy your travels to the highest degree.