If you’re traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head during the night could eat up a big chunk of your budget. But worry not, there’s plenty of options for finding secure, affordable and cozy places to stay.
We find that traveling with children isn’t always going for the cheapest options and we’re looking to get the best value for our dollars. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used have been, however we want to save some dough.
The place and the way you decide to stay depends on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and level of comfort
- How big is your crew
- Your interests are important to you
Be aware that obtaining a 15% discount on an accommodation you don’t need isn’t as effective as paying full price for a place you do. So, our goal is to help you save money on lodging and to get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As a family, we’ve switched the way we travel over the years. For longer trips, we’re more comfortable in apartments due to their bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Furthermore, we can share the costs with our friends or families. For short stays, we’re happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re taking an extended journey around the globe, you should consider making more time in areas 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 doesn’t make sense to pick a budget hotel in a location that is miles from all amenities and you need to pay more for transportation. Find hotels in central areas near public transportation, airports and other things to do like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay longer than one night
Many places offer better deals when you stay two or more nights. Sometimes you can even stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Stay at your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays therefore you might be able to find a deal. Plus, if you stay on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
The weekdays are the best days to be a part of your life.
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are more affordable during the week than weekends. Therefore, you can stay away from all the tourists and spare money by going during the week.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s not a surprise that hotels are cheaper during the off-season. If you can travel during shoulder seasons (between the peak season and off-peak) it is possible to cut costs, avoid crowds and still have decent weather.
Compare prices across different booking websites
Don’t just book through the first site you discover. Compare the prices on multiple websites to ensure that you’re getting the best price.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
Many resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs in which members earn rewards or discount on your next stay.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can get you a better deal and other times staying up till the very last moment could score you a discounted rate.
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 amenities. You never know, they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Apartments, such as vacation rentals or houses, are a great option for groups or families. In many cases, they are less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Benefit from credit card rewards
If you own a credit card that offers travel rewards, you can utilize the rewards for lodging and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels might charge additional fees for things like cleaning or resort fees Be sure to read the fine print before booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer specials or discounts on items such as military personnel, students or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found at smaller hotel chains, or in rental properties that aren’t as popular.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re planning a trip with your pet, look for pet-friendly options. These places may offer special deals or discounts for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer special discounts or deals which they promote through social media. So be sure to keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is when you exchange houses with another person, allowing you to reside in their house while they stay in yours. It can be a wonderful way to save money on housing while having your own space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling with a group of people, renting a campervan or RV can be an excellent option to save 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 can often access discounts and special offers that aren’t offered to the general public. Plus, they can perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight, and rental car together as a package deal could sometimes save you money on each of the components.
Hostels are an affordable choice for solo travellers or groups. With the popularity of hostels that are boutique there are often safe, comfortable, and safe options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and exclusive accommodation options for example, staying in a room within a local’s home or renting a house for a large group.
As a bonus here are some tips to help you find 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. Be sure to go through these stores prior to purchasing from a department store.
Check out sales that are off-season
Similar to accommodation, you can often find good deals on luggage during off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true of outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy refurbished or used
Take a look at buying second-hand or refurbished luggage. This is a fantastic method to save on top-quality brands and you may be able to find gently used luggage in near excellent condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay are good choices, as are there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice comfort and safety. With a little bit of research and creativity, you can find the perfect place to stay within your budget, and also get amazing deals on luggage for your next travels. 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 trying alternative options like home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals, you can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the highest degree.