While 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 plenty of ways to find budget-friendly, comfortable and safe places to stay.
For us, traveling with children doesn’t mean taking the cheapest option and we’re looking to get the best value for our budget. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used do, yet we still would like to save money.
Where and how you choose to stay depends on several factors, including:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and comfort level
- The size of your team
- Your interests are important to you
Be aware that obtaining a 15% discount on an accommodation you don’t need isn’t as effective as paying the full cost for a place you do. Our goal is to help you save money on accommodation and get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As our family, we’ve shifted up our accommodation preferences throughout the years. In the case of longer travel, we’re more comfortable in apartments due to their bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost with our friends or families. But for short stays, we’re happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re taking an extended trip around the globe, consider spending more time in places where your money goes further and lower your standards in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not sensible to choose a hotel that is cheap in a location that is miles from everything and you have to spend extra on transportation. Look for places in central areas near public transportation, airports and activities, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay longer than one night
Some hotels provide better rates If you stay for at least two nights. Sometimes you can even stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Hit the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays therefore you might be able to score a good deal. Also, if you book on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the crowds at check-in and checkout on Monday and Friday.
Weekdays are your friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are more affordable on weekdays than weekends. So, avoid the crowds and save some cash by traveling midweek.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you’re able to travel in the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak) you’ll save money while avoiding crowds and have decent conditions.
Compare prices across different booking sites
Don’t just book through the first website you find. Compare prices across multiple sites to make sure you’re getting the best price.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
A lot of hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs where members earn rewards or discount on your next stay.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, booking early can offer a better price or, in other instances, waiting to the end of the day could result in a lower rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
If you are booking directly with a hotel , or vacation rental, don’t feel intimidated to ask for more value or features. There’s no way to know if they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Apartments, such as vacation rentals or houses, are ideal for families or groups. In many cases, they can be less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Benefit from credit card rewards
If you have a credit card that offers travel rewards, you can use the rewards for lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels might charge additional fees for things like cleaning or resort fees Be sure to check the fine print prior to booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer specials or discounts on items such as students, military personnel, or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found at smaller hotels, independent establishments or holiday rentals that aren’t popular.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re planning to travel with a furry friend Look for places that cater to pets. These establishments may offer discounts or special offers for pet owners.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer special discounts or deals which they promote through social media. So be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Housesitting or home swapping is when you exchange houses with another person and reside in their house while they stay in yours. This can be a great method to save on housing while enjoying your personal space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling with a family or group, renting a campervan or RV can be an excellent option to save on accommodation. Additionally, you’ll be able to visit different locations and also have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and offers which aren’t accessible to the general people. Additionally, they are able to perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A flight, hotel, and rental vehicle together as a package deal could sometimes save you money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly option for solo travelers or groups. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique there are often cozy, clean and safe alternatives.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and distinctive accommodation options, such as staying in a private space in a homeowner’s home or renting a whole house for a large group.
For your convenience, here are some helpful 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 purchasing from a department store.
Look for off-season sales
Similar to accommodation, you can often get great deals on luggage in the seasonal sales or the off-season. This is especially true for the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
Consider buying used or recycled luggage. It’s a great option to save money on high-end brands. You could find gently used luggage in near perfect quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay are good choices, as are also local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodation and discount luggage doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice security and comfort. If you do a little research and creativity it is possible to find a great accommodation within your budget as well as amazing deals in luggage to take on your next journey. By comparison shopping by signing up to loyalty programs, making bookings late or at the last minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, and exploring other options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms, you can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the fullest.