When you’re on the road, where you lay your head at night can eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. However, don’t fret because there are plenty of options for finding affordable, safe and comfortable accommodation.
For us, traveling with children isn’t always going for the cheapest options – we want to get the most value for budget. We’re not as down for roughing it as much as we used to be, but we want to save some dough.
Where and how you choose to stay will depend on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and comfort level
- The size of your team
- Your interests
Remember that getting a 15% discount on a room you don’t really want isn’t as good as paying the full cost for a room you really want. Our goal is to help you save money on accommodation and get a place you’re happy with.
As our family, we’ve shifted the way we travel over the years. When we travel for longer periods, we’d prefer apartments as they come with bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the costs with friends or other families. For shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in hostels or hotels that are family-friendly.
If you’re planning an extended trip around the globe, 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 pick a budget hotel if it’s miles away from everything and you have to spend extra on transportation. Find hotels in central locations near airports, public transportation 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 at least two nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights and pay for three.
Go to your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays which means you’re likely to get a bargain. Also, if you book on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds at check-in and checkout 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 cheaper during the week than on weekends. Therefore, you can avoid all the tourists and spare money by travelling during the week.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s no surprise that hotels are more affordable during off-season. If you’re able to travel in the shoulder season (between the peak season and off-peak), you can reduce costs as well as avoid crowds, and enjoy decent weather.
Compare the prices of different booking websites
Don’t just book through the first website you find. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the best deal.
Sign up for loyalty programs
Many vacation rental and hotels have loyalty programs through which guests can accumulate points or discount for future stays.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will get you a better deal and other times waiting to the end of the day can get you a discount.
Do not be afraid to bargain
If you are booking directly through a hotel or holiday rental, don’t be scared to request more value or amenities. You never know, they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or homes, can be ideal for groups or families. And many times, they can be less expensive than booking several hotel rooms.
Make use of credit card rewards
If you own a credit card that has travel rewards, use these rewards to cover your hotel and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra for things such as resort or cleaning fees Be sure to be aware of the fine print before booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer discounts or promotions for military personnel, students and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the most affordable deals can be found at smaller hotels, independent establishments or vacation rentals that aren’t as well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning to travel with your pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These establishments may provide special discounts or deals for pet owners.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer special discounts or deals which they promote through social media. Make sure you be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Home swapping or housesitting is when you swap houses with a different person which allows you to reside in their house while they stay in yours. This is a fantastic way to save money on housing while having your own space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling with a family or group renting a campervan or RV is a great option to save on accommodations. Plus, you’ll be able to travel around the world and also have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents are often able to access discounts and offers which aren’t accessible to the general people. They can also conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight, and rental car together as a package deal could often save you money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are an affordable option for solo travelers or groups. And with the rise of boutique hostels it is possible to find comfortable, clean, and safe alternatives.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing services like 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.
As a bonus Here are some suggestions for finding cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls typically have a variety of luggage at discounted prices. Make sure to look these stores up prior to purchasing from a department store.
Check out sales that are off-season
Just like with accommodation You can usually get good bargains on luggage during off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true of the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
Consider buying used or recycled luggage. It’s a great method to save on top-quality brands and you might be able to locate gently used luggage in near excellent condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay are good choices, as are as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice comfort and safety. If you do a little investigation and creativity, you can find an ideal place to stay within your budget as well as amazing bargains on luggage for your next trip. By comparing prices and signing up for loyalty programs, booking early or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, or looking at alternative options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals, you can stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the maximum.