If you’re traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head during the night could eat up a big chunk of your budget. But worry not, there’s many options to locate affordable, safe and comfortable places to stay.
For us, traveling with kids doesn’t always mean taking the cheapest option and we’re looking to get the most value for our budget. We’re not as down for roughing it as much as we used to be, but we need to cut costs.
What you do and where you decide to stay will depend on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and level of comfort
- How big is your team
- Your interests
Just remember that getting an offer of 15% off the room you don’t want isn’t as good as paying full price for a room you really want. Therefore, our aim is to help you save cash on accommodation and find a place you’re happy with.
As our family, we’ve shifted the way we travel throughout the years. When we travel for longer periods, we prefer apartments due to their kitchens, separate bedrooms and laundry facilities. Furthermore, we can share the costs with other families or friends. However, for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re taking an extended trip across the globe, consider taking a longer trip to places where your money goes 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 all amenities and you need to spend extra on transportation. Look for places in central locations near airports, public transportation, and things to do, like restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay for 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 the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less crowded 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 crowds at check-in and checkout on Monday and Friday.
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 on weekends. Also, try to get away from all the tourists and spare money by going during the week.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s not a surprise that hotels are more affordable during the off-season. If you’re able to travel during shoulder seasons (between peak and off-peak), you can reduce costs while avoiding crowds and enjoy decent weather.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Don’t just book through the first website you find. Compare rates across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the best price.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
A lot of resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs where guests can accumulate points or discounts on your next stay.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, booking early can get you a better deal or, in other instances staying up until the last minute may score you a discounted rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When booking directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel scared to request more value or features. There’s no way to know if they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Apartments, such as vacation rentals or homes, can be ideal for groups or families. In many cases, they can be cheaper than booking several hotel rooms.
Take advantage of rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit card that has travel rewards, use them to pay for your lodging and save even more money.
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.
Look for promotions or discounts
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer specials or discounts on items such as military personnel, students or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found at smaller, independent hotels or vacation rentals that aren’t as well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re traveling with a pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These places may provide special discounts or deals for pet owners.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or special offers that they advertise via social media. Be sure to keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You can try a home-sitting job or a house-sitting
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is when you swap houses with another person and stay in their home while they stay in yours. This is a fantastic way to save money on lodging while also being in your space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with a group of people hiring a campervan, or RV could be a great way to save money on lodging. In addition, you’ll have the chance to travel around the world and have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and special offers that aren’t available to the general public. Additionally, they are able to conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight and rental vehicle together as a package deal could often save you money on each of the components.
Search for hostels
Hostels can be a cost-effective choice for solo travellers or groups of travelers. In addition, with the popularity of hostels that are boutique there are often safe, comfortable, and safe alternatives.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and exclusive accommodation options for example, staying in a space in a homeowner’s home or renting a whole house for a large group.
In addition, here are some tips to help you find cheap luggage
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls typically have a variety of luggage at discounted prices. Be sure to go through these stores before purchasing from a department store.
Check out sales that are off-season
Just like with accommodation, you can often get great deals on luggage during the sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is especially true for retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy refurbished or used
You should consider purchasing used or recycled luggage. It’s a great way to save money on top-quality brands and you could find gently used luggage in near perfect condition. 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 accommodations and cheap luggage does not have to mean sacrificing security and comfort. With a bit of investigation and creativity it is possible to find an ideal accommodation within your budget and incredible bargains in luggage to take on your next journey. By comparison shopping by signing up to loyalty programs, booking late or at the last minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, or looking at alternative options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals to extend your budget and enjoy your trip to the fullest.