If you’re traveling, where you lay your head at night can take up a significant portion of the budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to find affordable, safe and comfortable places to stay.
For us, traveling with children isn’t always going for the cheapest options and we’re looking to get the most value for our dollars. We’re not so keen on roughing it as much as we used to do, yet we need to cut costs.
Where and how you choose to stay depends on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and level of comfort
- The size of your crew
- Your interests
Remember that getting a 15% discount on the room you don’t want isn’t as good as paying full price for a room you really want. So, our goal is to help you save cash on accommodation and find a place you’re happy with.
As a family, we’ve switched up our accommodation preferences over time. For longer trips, we prefer apartments as they come with kitchens, separate bedrooms and laundry facilities. Furthermore, we can share the cost with our friends or families. However, for shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re taking an extended trip around the world, try taking a longer trip to places where you can save more 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 logical to pick a budget hotel located far from everything and you have to shell out more money for transportation. Consider hotels located in central locations near airports, public transportation, and things to do, like restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay more than one night
Many places offer better deals when you stay at least two nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Stay at in the Hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less busy on Sundays, therefore you might be able to get a bargain. If you decide to stay on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds at check-in and checkout on Monday and Friday.
Weekdays are your friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper during the week than weekends. Also, try to get away from tourist crowds, and also save cash by traveling midweek.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s not a surprise that hotels are more affordable during off-season. If you’re able to travel during the shoulder season (between high and low) you’ll cut costs, avoid crowds and still enjoy a pleasant conditions.
Compare the prices of different booking websites
Don’t just book through the first site you discover. Compare the prices on multiple websites to make sure you’re getting the most value for money.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
Many hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs where you can earn points or discounts on future stays.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can save you money and other times waiting until the last minute may result in a lower rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you book directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be scared to request more value or features. There’s no way to know if they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or houses, are ideal for groups or families. And many times, they can be cheaper than booking more hotel rooms.
Benefit from rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit card with travel rewards, utilize the rewards for your hotel and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels might charge additional fees for things like cleaning or resort fees So be sure to check the fine print prior to making a booking.
Find discounts or promotions
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or promotions for students, military personnel, as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found in smaller hotel chains, or in rental properties that aren’t as popular.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re planning to travel with a pet Look for places that cater to pets. Some places provide special discounts or deals for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals have special deals or discounts which they promote on social media. Be sure to be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Home swapping or housesitting is the process of swapping houses with a different person which allows you to stay in their home while they reside in yours. This is a fantastic method to save on housing while having your own space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with your group or family hiring a campervan, or RV can be a great way to save money on accommodations. In addition, you’ll have the chance to travel around the world and even have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and offers which aren’t accessible to the general public. They can also conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a hotel, flight and rental vehicle together in a bundle deal can often save you money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly option for solo travelers or groups of travelers. And with the rise of boutique hostels there are often cozy, clean and safe alternatives.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and distinctive accommodation options, for example, staying in a room within a local’s home 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 typically have a variety of luggage at discounted prices. Make sure to check these stores out prior to purchasing from a traditional department store.
Check out sales that are off-season
Similar to accommodation It is not uncommon to find good deals on luggage during the sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is especially true for the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy refurbished or used
Take a look at buying second-hand or used 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 as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not need to mean you sacrifice security and comfort. With a little bit of research and imagination you can locate a great place to stay within your budget and incredible deals on luggage for your next travels. By comparison shopping and signing up for loyalty programs, making reservations late or at the last minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, as well as looking at alternative options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals You can extend your budget and enjoy your trip to the fullest.