While traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head in the night can eat up a big chunk of your budget. However, don’t fret because there are plenty of options for finding budget-friendly, comfortable and safe accommodations.
We find that traveling with kids doesn’t always mean taking the cheapest option – we want to get the most value for money. We’re not as keen on roughing it as much as we used to do, yet we still want to save some dough.
What you do and where you decide to live depends on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and comfort level
- How big is your crew
- Your interests
Remember that getting an offer of 15% off an accommodation you don’t want isn’t as good as paying full price for a room you really want. Our goal is to make it easier for you to save money on lodging and to get a place you’re happy with.
As a family, we’ve switched around our accommodations over time. For longer trips, we prefer apartments because they have kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost of our trip with our friends or families. However, for shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in hostels or hotels that are family-friendly.
If you’re taking an extended trip across the globe, consider taking a longer trip to places where you can save more and lower 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 find a cheap hotel in a location that is miles from everything and you have to pay more for transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas that are close to airports, public transportation and activities such as restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay for more than one night
Some hotels provide better rates when you stay at least two nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Go to your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays therefore you might be able to score a good deal. If you decide to stay on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid 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 certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper on weekdays than weekends. Therefore, you can stay away from the crowds and save some money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s no surprise that hotels are more affordable in the off-season. If you’re able to travel in the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak) you’ll reduce costs, avoid crowds and still have decent conditions.
Compare rates across various booking websites
Don’t just book through the first site you discover. Compare rates across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the best deal.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs where members earn rewards or discount for future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can offer a better price and other times staying up to the end of the day may score you a discounted rate.
Do not be afraid to bargain
If you are booking directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be afraid to ask for more value or facilities. You never know, they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or homes, can be a great option for families or groups. And many times, they can be cheaper than booking several hotel rooms.
Take advantage of rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit card that has travel rewards, utilize them to pay for lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites may charge extra fees for items like cleaning or resort fees, so be certain to check the fine print prior to booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer discounts or promotions on items such as military personnel, students and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains can be found in smaller hotels, independent establishments or vacation rentals that aren’t as popular.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re traveling with a pet Look for places that cater to pets. These places may offer discounts or special offers for pet owners.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or special offers which they promote via social media. Make sure you be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You can try a home-sitting job or a house-sitting
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is the process of swapping houses with a different person, allowing you to reside in their house while they stay in yours. It can be a wonderful method to save on housing while enjoying your personal space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with your group of people renting a campervan or RV is the best method to save money on accommodations. In addition, you’ll have the chance to visit different locations and even have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and deals which aren’t accessible to the general public. Additionally, they are able to do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight and rental car together in a bundle deal can often save you money on each of the components.
Look for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly alternative for solo travelers as well as groups. And with the rise of boutique hostels, you can often find cozy, clean and safe alternatives.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and distinctive accommodation options, for example, staying in a room in a home owned by a local or renting a house for a large gathering.
As a bonus here are some tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls typically have a variety of luggage at reduced prices. Make sure to go through these stores prior to purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Look for off-season sales
Just like with accommodation, you can often get good bargains on luggage during the seasonal sales or the off-season. This is especially true of retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
Take a look at buying second-hand or used luggage. It’s a great option to save money on the top brands, and you could find gently used luggage that is in perfect quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding affordable lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice the comfort or security. With a bit of investigation and creativity it is possible to find a great place to stay within your budget, and also get amazing discounts in luggage to take on your next journey. By comparison shopping by signing up to loyalty programs, making reservations early or last-minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, or trying alternative options like rental homes and home sharing platforms You can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the maximum.