When you’re on the road and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head at night can take up a significant portion of the budget. However, don’t fret because there are plenty of ways to find affordable, safe and comfortable accommodations.
Traveling with children isn’t always choosing the most expensive options and we’re looking to get the most value for budget. We’re not as down for roughing it as much as we used to have been, however we still would like to save money.
Where and how you choose to stay will depend on several factors, including:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and comfort level
- The size of your crew
- Your interests
Just remember that getting an offer of 15% off an accommodation you don’t need isn’t as effective as paying the full cost for a room you really want. Therefore, our aim is to help you save money on lodging and to get a place you’re happy with.
As our family, we’ve shifted up our accommodation preferences throughout the years. In the case of longer travel, we’d prefer apartments because they have kitchens, separate bedrooms and laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the costs with other families or friends. But for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in hostels or hotels that are family-friendly.
If you’re planning to take an extended trip across the world, try spending more time in places where your money goes 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 pick a budget hotel if it’s miles away 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 activities, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay more than one night
Many places offer better deals if you stay for two or more nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Go to the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less busy on Sundays, so you may be able to score a good deal. Plus, if you stay on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the crowds at check-in and checkout on Fridays and Mondays.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive during the week than weekends. Therefore, you can avoid the crowds and save some money by going during the week.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper during off-season. If you’re able to travel during shoulder seasons (between peak and off-peak), you can save money, avoid crowds and still enjoy decent weather.
Compare rates across various booking sites
Do not book on the first site you discover. Compare rates across multiple sites to make sure you’re getting the most value for money.
Sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of vacation rental and hotels offer loyalty programs where guests can accumulate points or discounts on future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can get you a better deal or, in other instances waiting to the end of the day could result in a lower rate.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
When you book directly with a hotel , or vacation rental, don’t be scared to request 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 homes, can be an ideal option for groups or families. They can be less expensive than booking more hotel rooms.
Take advantage of credit card rewards
If you have a credit or debit card with travel rewards, utilize these rewards to cover your hotel and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels may charge extra for things such as resort or cleaning fees Be sure to read the fine print before making your booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer discounts or promotions for students, military personnel, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains can be found at smaller hotel chains, or in vacation rentals that aren’t as popular.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re traveling with a furry friend consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These places may offer discounts or special offers for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations have special deals or discounts which they promote via social media. Make sure you be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Housesitting or home swapping is the process of swapping houses with someone else which allows you to live in their home while they reside in yours. This can be a great option to save money on housing while being in your space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with a group or family renting a campervan or RV could be an excellent option to save on accommodations. Additionally, you’ll be able to travel around the world and also have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents are often able to access discounts and offers which aren’t accessible to the general public. Plus, they can conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a flight, hotel, and rental vehicle together as a package deal can occasionally save money on each individual component.
Hostels are a budget-friendly option for solo travelers or groups of travelers. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique, you can often find comfortable, clean, and safe alternatives.
Try home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and unique accommodation options, such as staying in a private room within a local’s home or renting a whole house for a large group.
As a bonus here are some tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage for sale at a discount. Be sure to go through these stores prior to purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Find sales during off-season
Similar to accommodation, you can often get good bargains on luggage in the seasonal sales or the off-season. This is especially true for retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
You should consider purchasing used or recycled luggage. This can be a great method to save on the top brands, and you might be able to locate gently used luggage in near excellent condition. Websites like 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 need to mean you sacrifice the comfort or security. With a little bit of investigation and creativity you can locate a great location to stay within your budget and incredible discounts in luggage to take on your next trip. By comparing prices and signing up for loyalty programs, booking in advance or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, as well as looking at alternative options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals, you can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the maximum.