When you’re on the road, where you lay your head during the night could eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. But don’t worry, there’s many options to locate affordable, safe and comfortable accommodations.
For us, traveling with children doesn’t mean choosing the most expensive options and we’re looking to get the best price for our budget. We’re not as keen on roughing it as much as we used to have been, however we would like to save money.
The place and the way you decide to stay depends on several factors, including:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and comfort level
- How big is your team
- Your interests
Just remember that getting an offer of 15% off the room you don’t like isn’t the same as paying the full cost for a place you do. Our goal is to help you save money on lodging and to get a place you’re happy with.
As a family, we’ve switched up our accommodation preferences over 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 other families or friends. However, for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning to take an extended trip around the globe, you should consider taking a longer trip to places that will make your money go further and lowering your standards 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 if it’s miles away from all amenities and you need to pay more for transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports and other things to do like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay for more than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts If you stay for more than two nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Stay at your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less busy on Sundays, which means you’re likely to find a deal. If you decide to stay on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Monday and Friday.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper on weekdays than weekends. Also, try to get away from all the tourists and spare cash by traveling midweek.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s not a surprise that hotels tend to be more expensive during the off-season. If you can travel during shoulder seasons (between the peak season and off-peak) it is possible to cut costs, avoid crowds and still have decent conditions.
Compare the prices of different booking websites
Do not just book on the first website you find. Compare rates across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the most value for money.
Sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of vacation rental and hotels have loyalty programs through which members earn rewards and discounts on your next stay.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, booking early can offer a better price or, in other instances waiting till the very last moment could 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 an improved rate or additional facilities. You never know, they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or homes, can be an ideal option for groups or families. In many cases, they are less expensive than booking more hotel rooms.
Benefit from credit card rewards
If you have a credit card that has travel rewards, utilize them to pay for lodging and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites might charge additional fees for things like resort or cleaning charges, so be sure to be aware of the fine print before making your booking.
Find discounts or promotions
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer promotions or discounts for things like military personnel, students and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found at smaller hotels, independent establishments or holiday rentals that aren’t popular.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re planning to travel with a pet, look for pet-friendly options. These establishments may provide special discounts or deals for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations have special deals or discounts that they promote through social media. So 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 exchange houses with another person and stay in their home while they reside in yours. This is a fantastic way to save money on housing while having your own space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling with a group of people, renting a campervan or RV can be a great method to save money on accommodations. Plus, you’ll be able to explore different places and also have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and special offers that aren’t offered to the general public. They can also perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a hotel, flight, and rental vehicle together in a bundle deal can often save you money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are an affordable alternative for solo travelers as well as groups. And with the rise of boutique hostels it is possible to find comfortable, clean, and safe options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and distinctive accommodation options, for example, staying in a room in a home owned by a local or renting a complete home for a large number of people.
In addition, here are some tips 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 discounted prices. Make sure you look these stores up before you buy at a department store that is more traditional.
Look for off-season sales
Just like with accommodation It is not uncommon to find good deals on luggage during seasonal sales or the off-season. This is especially true for retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy refurbished or used
You should consider purchasing used or used luggage. It’s a great option to save money on top-quality brands and you may be able to find gently used luggage that is in perfect condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay are good choices, as are as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodation and discount luggage doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice comfort and safety. With a little bit of research and imagination, you can find an ideal location to stay within your budget, and also get amazing discounts in luggage to take on your next journey. By comparison shopping and signing up for loyalty programs, booking in advance or last-minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, and exploring other options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals, you can increase your spending and enjoy your trip to the maximum.