When you’re on the road and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head at night can eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. But don’t worry, there’s many options to locate budget-friendly, comfortable and safe accommodation.
For us, traveling with children doesn’t mean going for the cheapest options and we’re looking to get the best value for dollars. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used do, yet 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
- Your size crew
- Your interests
Remember that getting a 15% discount on an accommodation you don’t like isn’t the same as paying full price for a place you do. So, our goal is to assist you in saving cash on accommodation and find a place you’re happy with.
As our family, we’ve shifted up our accommodation preferences over time. When we travel for longer periods, we’d prefer apartments as they come with kitchens, separate bedrooms and laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost of our trip with our friends or families. But for short stays, we’re happy to stay in hostels or hotels that are family-friendly.
If you’re taking an extended trip around the globe, you should consider making more time in areas 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 located far from everything and you have to pay more for transportation. Look for places in central areas that are close to airports, public transportation and activities like beaches, restaurants, and parks.
Stay longer than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts when you stay more than two nights. There are times when you can stay four nights and only pay for three.
Hit the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays, which means you’re likely to get a bargain. Also, if you book on Sunday, you’ll avoid 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. So, stay away from tourist crowds, and also save money by travelling during the week.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s not a surprise that hotels are more affordable during the off-season. If you can travel during the shoulder season (between the peak season and off-peak), you can save money while avoiding crowds and enjoy a pleasant conditions.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Don’t just book through the first website you find. Compare the prices on multiple websites to make sure you’re getting the best price.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
Many vacation rental and hotels have loyalty programs through which members earn rewards or discounts for future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, booking early can get you a better deal or, in other instances staying up to the end of the day may score you a discounted rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When booking directly with a hotel , or vacation rental, don’t be afraid to ask for a better rate or extra facilities. You never know, they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or homes, can be an ideal option for groups or families. And many times, they can be cheaper than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Take advantage of credit card rewards
If you have a credit or debit card with travel rewards, make use of these rewards to cover lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels may charge extra fees for items like cleaning or resort fees Be sure to check the fine print prior to making your booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer promotions or discounts for military personnel, students as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found in smaller hotel chains, or in holiday rentals that aren’t popular.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re traveling with your pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. Some places offer special deals or discounts for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties have special deals or discounts 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 the process of swapping houses with someone else, allowing you to live in their home while they reside 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 as a family or group renting a campervan or RV is a great option to save on accommodations. Plus, you’ll be able to explore different places and have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and special offers that aren’t offered to the general public. Plus, they can do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight and rental car in a bundle deal can sometimes save you money on each of the components.
Hostels are an affordable choice for solo travellers or groups. In addition, with the rise of boutique hostels there are often cozy, clean and safe options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and distinctive accommodation options, like staying in a private room within a local’s home or renting a whole house for a large group.
As a bonus here are some helpful tips to help you find cheap luggage
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage for sale at a discount. Be sure to go through these stores prior to purchasing from a traditional department store.
Find sales during off-season
Like with accommodations, you can often get great deals on luggage during the seasonal sales or the off-season. This is particularly true for retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
You should consider purchasing used or recycled luggage. It’s a great method to save on the top brands, and you might be able to locate gently used luggage that is in excellent condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding affordable accommodations and cheap luggage does not have to mean sacrificing comfort and safety. With a little bit of research and imagination it is possible to find an ideal place to stay within your budget and incredible bargains on luggage for your next journey. By comparison shopping, signing up for loyalty programs, booking late or at the last minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, as well as looking at alternative options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms You can stretch your budget further and enjoy your trip to the maximum.