While traveling, where you lay your head in the night can consume a large portion from your spending budget. But worry not, there’s plenty of options for finding budget-friendly, comfortable and safe accommodations.
For us, traveling with children doesn’t mean choosing the most expensive options and we’re looking to get the most price for our money. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used have been, however we still want to save some dough.
Where and how you choose to stay will depend on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and level of comfort
- How big is your crew
- Your interests
Remember that getting a 15% discount on an accommodation you don’t like isn’t the same as paying full price for a hotel you want. Our goal is to help you save money on accommodation and get a place you’re happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed the way we travel over the years. When we travel for longer periods, we’d prefer apartments as they come with bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost of our trip with our friends or families. But for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning an extended trip across the globe, consider taking a longer trip to places that will make your money go further and lower your standards in countries that are more expensive.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not sensible to find a cheap hotel located far from everything and you have to pay more for transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas near airports, public transportation and activities like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay for more than one night
Some hotels provide better rates If you stay for at least two nights. In some cases, you can stay four nights and only pay for three nights.
Go to your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels are less busy on Sundays, so you may be able to get a bargain. Plus, if you stay on Sunday, you’ll avoid the lines at check-ins and outs on Fridays and Mondays.
Weekdays are your friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper during the week than on weekends. So, stay away from all the tourists and spare money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you’re able to travel in the shoulder season (between high and low) you’ll save money while avoiding crowds and enjoy a pleasant weather.
Compare rates across various booking sites
Do not just book on the first site you come across. Compare prices across multiple sites to make sure you’re getting the best price.
Sign up for loyalty programs
Many vacation rental and hotels have loyalty programs through which guests can accumulate points or discounts for future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will save you money or, in other instances staying up to the end of the day may result in a lower rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you book directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be intimidated to ask for an improved rate or additional features. There’s no way to know if they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or houses, are a great option for families or groups. And many times, they can be cheaper than booking more hotel rooms.
Benefit from credit card rewards
If you own a credit card that has travel rewards, utilize the rewards for your hotel and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels might charge additional fees for things like resort or cleaning charges Be certain to check the fine print prior to making your booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer specials or discounts for things like students, military personnel, as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found in smaller hotel chains, or in rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning to travel with your pet, look for pet-friendly options. Some places provide special discounts or deals for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer discounts or special offers that they promote through social media. So be sure to keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Try a house-sitting or home-swapping
Housesitting or home swapping is when you swap houses with someone else and stay in their home while they live in yours. This can be a great way to save money on lodging while also being in your space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling with your family or group renting a campervan or RV can be the best way to save money on accommodations. Additionally, you’ll be able to visit different locations and even have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and offers which aren’t accessible to the general people. They can also perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a flight, hotel, and rental car as a package deal could occasionally save money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly option for solo travelers or groups of travelers. With the popularity of hostels that are boutique it is possible to find cozy, clean and secure options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and unique accommodation options, like staying in a private room within a local’s home or renting a house for a large group.
In addition, here are some helpful tips to help you find cheap luggage
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls typically have a variety of luggage at discounted prices. Make sure you look these stores up before purchasing from a department store.
Find sales during off-season
Just like with accommodation It is not uncommon to find good deals on luggage during the 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. It’s a great option to save money on top-quality brands and you could find lightly used luggage in excellent condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay are good choices, as are 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 an ideal place to stay within your budget, and also get amazing bargains on luggage for your next trip. By looking at prices by signing up to loyalty programs, booking early or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, and trying alternative options like rental homes and home sharing platforms, you can stretch your budget further and enjoy your trip to the highest degree.