While traveling, where you lay your head at night can eat up a big chunk of the budget. However, don’t fret because there are many options to locate budget-friendly, comfortable and safe places to stay.
We find that traveling with children doesn’t mean choosing the most expensive options – we want to get the best value for our money. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used be, but we still need to cut costs.
Where and how you choose to live depends on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and comfort level
- Your size team
- Your interests
Be aware that obtaining 15% off an accommodation you don’t need isn’t as effective as paying full price for a room you really want. So, our goal is to help you save money on accommodation and get a place you’re happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed the way we travel throughout the years. For longer trips, we’d prefer apartments due to their bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost of our trip 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 world, try spending more time in places where you can save more 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 find a cheap hotel in a location that is miles from everything and you have to spend extra on transportation. Look for places in central locations near public transportation, airports and activities, like restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay longer than one night
Some hotels provide better rates when you stay more than two nights. There are times when you can stay four nights and only pay for three nights.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays which means you’re likely to find a deal. Plus, if you 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 some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive on weekdays than weekends. Therefore, you can get away from all the tourists and spare money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s no surprise that hotels are more affordable during off-season. If you can travel in the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak), you can cut costs as well as avoid crowds, and enjoy decent weather.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Do not just book on the first website you find. Compare the prices on multiple websites to make sure 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 in which you can earn points and discounts on future stays.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can offer a better price or, in other instances, waiting to the end of the day could score you a discounted rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you book directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be afraid to ask for an improved rate or additional facilities. You never know, they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or homes, can be ideal for groups or families. They are less expensive than booking more hotel rooms.
Make use of rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit or debit card that has travel rewards, use these rewards to cover lodging and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra for things like resort or cleaning charges, so be certain to read the fine print before making a booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer specials or discounts for things like military personnel, students, or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains are found in smaller hotel chains, or in rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re traveling with a furry friend, look for pet-friendly options. These establishments may provide special discounts or deals for guests with 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 another person which allows you to live in their home while they stay in yours. This is a fantastic option to save money on housing while enjoying your personal space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling with a group of people renting a campervan or RV can be an excellent way to save money on accommodation. Plus, you’ll be able to visit different locations and also have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and 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 hotel, flight, and rental car as a package deal can often save you cash on each component.
Hostels can be a cost-effective choice for solo travellers or groups of travelers. With the rise of boutique hostels there are often cozy, clean and secure options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and exclusive accommodation options such as staying in a private room in a home owned by a local or renting a 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 typically have a variety of luggage at reduced prices. Make sure to check these stores out before you buy at a department store that is more traditional.
Find sales during off-season
Just like with accommodation, you can often get great deals on luggage during sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is especially true of outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy used or refurbished
You should consider purchasing used or refurbished luggage. This is a fantastic option to save money on top-quality brands and you might be able to locate gently used luggage that is in excellent quality. Websites like Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In the end, finding affordable lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice security and comfort. With a little bit of research and imagination it is possible to find a great place to stay within your budget as well as amazing discounts on luggage for your next travels. By comparison shopping, signing up for loyalty programs, making reservations late or at the last minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, as well as looking at alternative options such as holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms You can stretch your budget further and enjoy your trip to the fullest.