If you’re traveling, where you lay your head in the night can eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to find budget-friendly, comfortable and safe accommodations.
For us, traveling with children isn’t always taking the cheapest option – we want to get the best value for our dollars. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used to do, yet we still want to save some dough.
What you do and where you decide to live depends on several factors, including:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and level of comfort
- How big is your team
- Your interests
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. So, our goal is to make it easier for you to save money on lodging and to get a place you’re happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed the way we travel over the years. For longer trips, we’d prefer apartments due to their bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost of our trip with other families or friends. However, for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re planning to take an extended journey around the globe, you should consider making more time in areas that will make your money go further and reduce your expectations in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not sensible to choose a hotel that is cheap located far from everything and you have to spend extra on transportation. Look for places in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports and other things to do, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay for more than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts when you stay two or more nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights and pay for three.
Stay at your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less busy on Sundays, therefore you might be able to find a deal. If you decide to stay on Sunday, you’ll avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Monday and Friday.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are more affordable during the week than on weekends. Therefore, you can avoid all the tourists and spare cash by traveling midweek.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s not a surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you can travel during shoulder seasons (between peak and off-peak), you can save money as well as avoid crowds, and have decent conditions.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Do not book on the first site you come across. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the best deal.
Sign up for loyalty programs
Many resorts and hotels have loyalty programs through which guests can accumulate points or discounts on future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can get you a better deal and other times, waiting to the end of the day could result in a lower rate.
Do not be afraid to bargain
If you are booking directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel 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 houses, are a great option for groups or families. In many cases, they can be less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Take advantage of credit card rewards
If you have a credit card that has travel rewards, use them to pay for lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites may charge extra fees for items like resort or cleaning charges So be sure to read the fine print before booking.
Check for discounts or offers
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or promotions for students, military personnel, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals are found in smaller hotels, independent establishments or rental properties that aren’t as popular.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning a trip with a furry friend, look for pet-friendly options. These establishments may offer discounts or special offers for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or special offers which they promote on social media. Be sure to be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Try a house-sitting or home-swapping
Home swapping or housesitting is when you swap houses with someone else which allows you to reside in their house while they stay in yours. This is a fantastic method to save on housing while enjoying your personal space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with your family or group hiring a campervan, or RV can be an excellent method to save money on lodging. Plus, you’ll be able to explore different places and even have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and special offers which aren’t accessible to the general public. Plus, they can do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A flight, hotel, and rental car in a bundle deal can sometimes save you cash on each component.
Hostels are a budget-friendly choice for solo travellers or groups of travelers. With the popularity of hostels that are boutique there are often comfortable, clean, and secure options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and unique accommodation options, such as staying in a private room in a home owned by a local or renting a house for a large group.
In addition, here are some tips to help you find cheap luggage
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage at discounted prices. Make sure to look these stores up before purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Check out sales that are off-season
Similar to accommodation It is not uncommon to find good deals on luggage in the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true of outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy used or refurbished
Consider buying used or recycled luggage. This is a fantastic option to save money on high-end brands. You could find lightly used luggage in perfect condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not have to mean sacrificing the comfort or security. If you do a little research and imagination it is possible to find a great location to stay within your budget and incredible discounts on luggage for your next journey. By comparison shopping and signing up for loyalty programs, making reservations in advance or last-minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, and exploring other options such as holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms to increase your spending and enjoy your trip to the maximum.