If you’re traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head at night can take up a significant portion from your spending budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to find secure, affordable and cozy accommodations.
Traveling with children isn’t always taking the cheapest option – we want to get the most value for budget. We’re not as down for roughing it as we used do, yet we still want to save some dough.
The place and the way you decide 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
Be aware that obtaining a 15% discount on an accommodation you don’t like isn’t the same 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 a place you’re happy with.
As a family, we’ve switched the way we travel over the years. For longer trips, we prefer apartments as they come with kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost of our trip with other families or friends. For short stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning an extended journey around 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’s not logical to pick a budget hotel located far from everything , and you’ll need to spend extra on transportation. Find hotels in central areas that are close to airports, public transportation and activities such as restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay more than one night
Some hotels provide better rates if you stay for two or more nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less busy on Sundays, which means you’re likely to score a good deal. Also, if you book on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the lines at check-ins and outs on Monday and Friday.
Weekdays are your friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper during the week than on weekends. Also, try to stay away from all the tourists and spare money by travelling during the week.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s not a surprise that hotels tend to be more expensive during off-season. If you can travel during shoulder seasons (between peak and off-peak), you can save money as well as avoid crowds, and enjoy decent weather.
Compare the prices of different booking websites
Do not book on the first site you discover. Compare prices across multiple sites to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of vacation rental and hotels have loyalty programs through which members earn rewards and discounts on future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will save you money or, in other instances waiting until the last minute can get you a discount.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you book directly with a hotel , or vacation rental, don’t feel afraid to ask for a better rate or extra amenities. There’s no way to know if they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or houses, are a great option for groups or families. In many cases, they can be less expensive than booking several hotel rooms.
Make use of credit card rewards
If you have a credit card with travel rewards, utilize the rewards for your hotel and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels may charge extra fees for items like cleaning or resort fees So be sure to read the fine print before making your booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer specials or discounts for military personnel, students or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found at smaller, independent hotels or rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re traveling with a furry friend, look for pet-friendly options. Some places provide special discounts or deals for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals have special deals or discounts which they promote via social media. Make sure you follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You can try a home-sitting job or a house-sitting
Home swapping or housesitting is the process of swapping houses with someone else which allows you to stay in their home while they stay in yours. This can be a great way to save money on accommodation while still being in your space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling with a group or family, renting a campervan or RV can be a great way to save money on lodging. In addition, you’ll have the chance 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 offers which aren’t accessible to the general people. Plus, they can conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A flight, hotel, and rental vehicle together as a package deal can sometimes save you cash on each component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are an affordable option for solo travelers or groups of travelers. In addition, with the popularity of hostels that are boutique, you can often find cozy, clean and safe alternatives.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and unique accommodation options, for example, staying in a room within a local’s home or renting a complete house for a large gathering.
As a bonus Here are some suggestions to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls typically have a variety of luggage at reduced prices. Make sure you check these stores out before you buy at a department store that is more traditional.
Check out sales that are off-season
Like with accommodations It is not uncommon to find good deals on luggage in the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is particularly true for the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy refurbished or used
Take a look at buying second-hand or used luggage. This is a fantastic option to save money on the top brands, and you might be able to locate lightly used luggage in excellent condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay have good options and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice comfort and safety. If you do a little research and creativity you can locate a great place to stay within your budget, and also get amazing discounts on luggage for your next journey. By looking at prices by signing up to loyalty programs, making reservations early or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, or exploring other options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals to extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the fullest.