If you’re traveling, where you lay your head in the night can eat up a big chunk of the budget. However, don’t fret because there are plenty of ways to find budget-friendly, comfortable and safe accommodations.
For us, traveling with children isn’t always taking the cheapest option and we’re looking to get the most value for our dollars. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used have been, however we still want to save some dough.
Where and how you choose to stay depends on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and level of comfort
- How big is your crew
- Your interests are important to you
Just remember that getting 15% off an accommodation you don’t need isn’t as effective as paying full price for a hotel you want. 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 our family, we’ve shifted up our accommodation preferences over time. In the case of longer travel, we prefer apartments because they have kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Plus, we can split 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 journey around the world, try making more time in areas that will make your money go further and reduce your expectations in more expensive countries.
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 all amenities and you need to spend extra on transportation. Look for places in central areas that are close to airports, public transportation and other things to do, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay more than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts If you stay for more than two nights. In some cases, you can stay four nights and only pay for three nights.
Hit in the Hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays, so you may be able to get a bargain. Also, if you book on Sunday, you’ll avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper during the week than on weekends. Also, try to stay away from the crowds and save some money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper during off-season. If you’re able to travel in the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak), you can reduce costs, avoid crowds and still enjoy decent weather.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Don’t just book through the first site you come across. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the most value for money.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
Many resorts and hotels have loyalty programs through which guests can accumulate points or discount on your next stay.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can save you money or, in other instances waiting to the end of the day can result in a lower rate.
Do not be afraid to bargain
When booking directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel scared to request more value or amenities. You never know, they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or houses, are ideal for groups or families. They can be less expensive than booking several hotel rooms.
Take advantage of rewards on credit cards
If you own a credit card that has travel rewards, use the rewards for your lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra fees for items such as resort or cleaning fees, so be sure to check the fine print prior to making a booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer specials or discounts on items such as military personnel, students as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the most affordable deals can be found in smaller hotel chains, or in rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re traveling with a pet, look for pet-friendly options. These places may offer discounts or special offers for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations have special deals or discounts that they advertise via social media. Be sure to keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Try a house-sitting or home-swapping
Home swapping or housesitting is when you swap houses with someone else which allows you to reside in their house while they stay in yours. This is a fantastic method to save on housing while enjoying your personal space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with your family or group hiring a campervan, or RV is an excellent way to save money on accommodation. In addition, you’ll have the chance to explore different places and even have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents are often able to access discounts and deals that aren’t available to the general people. Additionally, they are able to perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A flight, hotel, and rental car as a package deal could sometimes save you money on each individual component.
Search for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly choice for solo travellers or groups of travelers. And with the rise of boutique hostels, you can often find comfortable, clean, and safe alternatives.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and exclusive accommodation options such as staying in a private space in a homeowner’s home or renting a complete home for a large number of people.
As a bonus here are some tips for finding cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage at reduced prices. Be sure to go through these stores before purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Check out sales that are off-season
Like with accommodations, you can often get good bargains on luggage during the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is particularly true for the stores that sell 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 might be able to locate lightly used luggage in perfect quality. Websites like Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap accommodation and discount luggage doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice the comfort or security. With a bit of research and creativity you can locate a great location to stay within your budget and incredible bargains on luggage for your next travels. By comparing prices, signing up for loyalty programs, booking in advance or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, and trying alternative options like home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals, you can increase your spending and enjoy your trip to the maximum.