When you’re on the road and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head during the night could eat up a big chunk of your budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of options for finding affordable, safe and comfortable places to stay.
We find that traveling with children isn’t always choosing the most expensive options – we want to get the most value for our budget. We’re not as down for roughing it as we used to be, but we would like to save money.
What you do and where you decide to stay depends on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and comfort level
- How big is your crew
- Your interests are important to you
Remember that getting a 15% discount on an accommodation you don’t need isn’t as effective as paying full price for a hotel you want. Therefore, our aim is to assist you in saving money on lodging and to get the perfect place to stay.
As as a family, we’ve changed around our accommodations over time. When we travel for longer periods, we’re more comfortable in apartments because they have kitchens, separate bedrooms and laundry facilities. Furthermore, we can share the cost of our trip with other families or friends. For shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re taking an extended journey around the globe, you should consider spending more time in places that will make your money go further and lowering your standards in countries that are more expensive.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not sensible to pick a budget hotel located far from all amenities and you need to shell out more money for transportation. Consider hotels located 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. Sometimes you can even stay four nights and only pay for three nights.
Go to in 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 lines at check-ins and outs 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 more affordable during the week than weekends. Therefore, you can get away from all the tourists and spare some money by travelling during the week.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s no surprise that hotels tend to be more expensive during off-season. If you’re able to travel during the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak), you can save money as well as avoid crowds, and enjoy a pleasant weather.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Do not just book on the first website you find. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the best deal.
Sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs where you can earn points or discounts on future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will save you money or, in other instances, waiting until the last minute could get you a discount.
Do not be afraid to bargain
When booking directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be afraid to ask for a better rate or extra facilities. There’s no way to know if they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or houses, are ideal for families or groups. They are less expensive than booking several hotel rooms.
Benefit from rewards on credit cards
If you own a credit card with travel rewards, utilize them to pay for your lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels may charge extra for things such as resort or cleaning fees Be certain to be aware of the fine print before booking.
Find discounts or promotions
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer promotions or discounts for military personnel, students, as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the most affordable deals are found in smaller hotel chains, or in rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning to travel with a pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These places may offer special deals or discounts for pet owners.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer special discounts or deals that they advertise through social media. Be sure to be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Try a house-sitting or home-swapping
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is when you swap houses with a different person which allows you to stay in their home while they live in yours. This can be a great option to save money on accommodation while still enjoying your personal space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling with a group of people hiring a campervan, or RV could be the best method to save money on accommodations. Additionally, you’ll be able to explore different places and even have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and offers which aren’t accessible to the general people. Plus, they can conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight and rental car as a package deal could often save you cash on each component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are an affordable alternative for solo travelers as well as groups of travelers. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique, you can often find safe, comfortable, and secure options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and exclusive accommodation options for example, staying in a space in a homeowner’s home or renting a whole home for a large number of people.
As a bonus 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 discounted prices. Make sure you go through these stores prior to purchasing from a traditional department store.
Find sales during off-season
Like with accommodations, you can often get good bargains on luggage during seasonal sales or the off-season. This is especially true for outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy refurbished or used
Take a look at buying second-hand or refurbished luggage. It’s a great option to save money on top-quality brands and you may be able to find gently used luggage in near perfect condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and 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 investigation and creativity, you can find an ideal location to stay within your budget, and also get amazing bargains in luggage to take on your next trip. By comparing prices by signing up to loyalty programs, making reservations early or last-minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, or looking at alternative options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms, you can increase your spending and enjoy your travels to the fullest.