When you’re on the road the place you rest your head in the night can take up a significant portion from your spending budget. However, don’t fret because there are many options to locate budget-friendly, comfortable and safe accommodation.
For us, traveling with kids doesn’t always mean going for the cheapest options – we want to get the most value for our budget. We’re not as down for roughing it as much as we used to do, yet we want to save some dough.
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 crew
- Your interests are important to you
Remember that getting an offer of 15% off a room you don’t really need isn’t as effective as paying full price for a room you really want. Our goal is to make it easier for you to save money on accommodation and get the perfect place to stay.
As as a family, we’ve changed around our accommodations over the years. When we travel for longer periods, we’d prefer apartments because they have bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Furthermore, we can share the cost with our friends or families. But for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re taking an extended trip across the globe, you should consider spending more time in places that will make your money go further 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 find a cheap hotel in a location that is miles from all amenities and you need to pay more for transportation. Find hotels in central locations near public transportation, airports and activities, like restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay for more than one night
Many places offer better deals If you stay for at least two nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays so you may be able to score a good deal. If you decide to stay on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
The weekdays are the best days to be a part of your life.
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper during the week than weekends. Therefore, you can avoid the crowds and save money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s no surprise that hotels tend to be more expensive during the off-season. If you’re able to travel during the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak) it is possible to cut costs as well as avoid crowds, and enjoy decent weather.
Compare rates across various booking sites
Don’t just book through the first website you find. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the best price.
Sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of vacation rental and hotels offer loyalty programs where members earn rewards and discounts on your next stay.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, booking early can offer a better price and other times, waiting to the end of the day may result in a lower rate.
Do not be afraid to bargain
When you book directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel scared to request a better rate or extra amenities. You never know, they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or houses, are ideal for groups or families. And many times, they are less expensive than booking more hotel rooms.
Take advantage of credit card rewards
If you have a credit or debit card that has travel rewards, use these rewards to cover your hotel and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra for things such as resort or cleaning fees, so be certain to read the fine print before making a booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer promotions or discounts for military personnel, students as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found at smaller hotels, independent establishments or rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re planning to travel with a pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These establishments may provide special discounts or deals for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or special offers 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, also known as home swapping, is when you exchange houses with a different person and reside in their house while they live in yours. This can be a great option to save money on accommodation while still enjoying your personal space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling with a group or family, renting a campervan or RV can be the best way to save money on accommodations. Additionally, you’ll be able to visit different locations and even have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and special offers that aren’t available to the general public. They can also conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A flight, hotel, and rental car together as a package deal could occasionally save money on each of the components.
Hostels can be a cost-effective choice for solo travellers or groups of travelers. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique it is possible to find cozy, clean and safe alternatives.
Try home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and distinctive accommodation options, for example, staying in a room in a home owned by a local or renting a whole house for a large group.
As a bonus here are some tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage at reduced prices. Be sure to look these stores up prior to purchasing from a traditional department store.
Check out sales that are off-season
Just like with accommodation You can usually get good bargains on luggage during the seasonal sales or the off-season. This is especially true for outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy used or refurbished
Take a look at buying second-hand or used luggage. This can be a great way to save money on the top brands, and you could find gently used luggage that is in excellent quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice the comfort or security. With a little bit of research and creativity, you can find a great location to stay within your budget and incredible bargains in luggage to take on your next travels. By looking at prices by signing up to loyalty programs, making reservations late or at the last minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, or trying alternative options like holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms You can stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the maximum.