While 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 options for finding secure, affordable and cozy accommodation.
Traveling with children doesn’t mean going for the cheapest options – we want to get the most value for dollars. We’re not as down for roughing it as much as we used to be, but we still 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 travel style and level of comfort
- The size of your crew
- Your interests
Just remember that getting an offer of 15% off the room you don’t want isn’t as good as paying full price for a room you really want. Our goal is to help you save money on accommodation and get the perfect place to stay.
As as a family, we’ve changed the way we travel throughout the years. When we travel for longer periods, we’d prefer apartments because they have bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost of our trip with friends or other families. But for shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning to take an extended trip across the globe, consider spending more time in places where your money goes 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 if it’s miles away from everything , and you’ll need to pay more for transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports and activities, like beaches, restaurants, and parks.
Stay for more than one night
Some hotels provide better rates when you stay two or more nights. In some cases, you can stay four nights and only pay for three.
Hit the hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be less busy on Sundays, therefore you might be able to get a bargain. Plus, if you stay on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of 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 more affordable 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 during off-season. If you can travel during the shoulder season (between the peak season and off-peak) you’ll reduce costs while avoiding crowds and have decent weather.
Compare rates across various booking websites
Do not book on the first website you find. Compare rates across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the best price.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs where you can earn points or discount on future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, booking early can get you a better deal, while other times staying up until the last minute may score you a discounted rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you book directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel afraid to ask for an improved rate or additional facilities. There’s no way to know if they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or homes, can be a great option for groups or families. And many times, they can be less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Benefit from credit card rewards
If you own a credit card that has travel rewards, use the rewards for your hotel and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites may charge extra fees for items such as resort or cleaning fees So be sure to read the fine print before making a booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or promotions for things like students, military personnel, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found at smaller, independent hotels or vacation rentals that aren’t as well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re traveling with a furry friend consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These establishments may offer special deals or discounts for pet owners.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer special discounts or deals which they promote via social media. Make sure you follow 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, allowing you to live in their home while they reside in yours. It can be a wonderful method to save on lodging while also being in your space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling with a group of people hiring a campervan, or RV could be the best way to save money on lodging. Additionally, you’ll be able to travel around the world and also have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and special offers that aren’t offered to the general people. They can also perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a hotel, flight and rental car together in a bundle deal can occasionally save money on each of the components.
Search for hostels
Hostels can be a cost-effective option for solo travelers or groups. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique there are often safe, comfortable, and safe options.
Try home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and exclusive accommodation options for example, staying in a room in a home owned by a local or renting a home for a large number of people.
As a bonus here are some tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as 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 from a traditional department store.
Look for off-season sales
Similar to accommodation, you can often get good bargains on luggage during off-season or end-of-season sales. This is particularly true for outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy used or refurbished
Consider buying used or refurbished luggage. This can be a great way to save money on the top brands, and you may be able to find gently used luggage in near perfect condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice security and comfort. With a bit of research and creativity it is possible to find an ideal accommodation within your budget as well as amazing bargains in luggage to take on your next trip. By comparison shopping and signing up for loyalty programs, making reservations late or at the last minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, as well as looking at alternative options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms to stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the fullest.