While traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head at night can eat up a big chunk of your budget. But worry not, there’s many options to locate secure, affordable and cozy places to stay.
For us, traveling with kids doesn’t always mean taking the cheapest option – we want to get the best value for money. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used to be, but we would like to save money.
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
- Your size crew
- Your interests
Just remember that getting 15% off a room you don’t really like isn’t the same as paying the full cost for a place you do. Therefore, our aim is to make it easier for you to save money on lodging and to get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed up our accommodation preferences over the years. When we travel for longer periods, we’re more comfortable in apartments as they come with kitchens, separate bedrooms and laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the costs with other families or friends. However, for short stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning an extended trip around the globe, you should consider taking a longer trip to places that will make your money go further and reduce your expectations in more costly countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not logical to find a cheap hotel located far from everything , and you’ll need to pay more for transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas near airports, public transportation and activities, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay longer than one night
Some hotels provide better rates if you stay for more than two nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights and pay for three nights.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less busy on Sundays, so you may be able to find a deal. Also, if you book on Sunday, you’ll avoid the lines at check-ins and outs on Fridays and Mondays.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper during the week than weekends. Also, try to avoid the crowds and save some cash by traveling midweek.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s not a surprise that hotels are more affordable during the off-season. If you’re able to travel during shoulder seasons (between the peak season and off-peak) you’ll cut costs as well as avoid crowds, and enjoy decent conditions.
Compare prices across different booking sites
Do not just book on the first website you find. Compare rates across multiple sites to make sure you’re getting the most value for money.
Sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of vacation rental and hotels offer loyalty programs in which guests can accumulate points and discounts 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 waiting until the last minute could score you a discounted rate.
Do not be afraid to bargain
When you book directly with a hotel , or holiday rental, don’t be afraid to ask for a better rate or extra facilities. There’s no way to know if they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Apartments, such as vacation rentals or homes, can be a great option for groups or families. In many cases, they are less expensive than booking more hotel rooms.
Make use of credit card rewards
If you have a credit or debit card that offers travel rewards, you can utilize these rewards to cover your lodging and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra for things like resort or cleaning charges So be sure to be aware of the fine print before making a booking.
Check for discounts or offers
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 bargains can be found at smaller, independent hotels or vacation rentals that aren’t as popular.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re planning a trip with your pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. Some places provide special discounts or deals for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer special discounts or deals that they promote via social media. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is when you swap houses with someone else and live in their home while they reside in yours. This can be a great method to save on lodging while also having your own space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling as a group or family, renting a campervan or RV could be a great way to save money on accommodations. Plus, you’ll be able to explore different places and also have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents are often able to access discounts and special offers that aren’t offered to the general public. Plus, they can do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a flight, hotel, and rental vehicle together as a package deal could often save you cash on each component.
Search for hostels
Hostels are an affordable option for solo travelers or groups. In addition, with the rise of boutique hostels it is possible to find safe, comfortable, and safe alternatives.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and distinctive accommodation options, for example, staying in a room within a local’s home or renting a complete house for a large gathering.
In addition, here are some helpful tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage for sale at a discount. Make sure to check these stores out before purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Look for off-season sales
Similar to accommodation It is not uncommon to get great deals on luggage during the sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is particularly true for retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
Take a look at buying second-hand or refurbished luggage. This can be a great method to save on the top brands, and you could find gently used luggage that is in perfect condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice security and comfort. With a bit of research and creativity it is possible to find a great location to stay within your budget, and also get amazing discounts in luggage to take on your next trip. By looking at prices and signing up for loyalty programs, making reservations early or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, or exploring other options such as holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms to extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the maximum.