If you’re traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head at night can eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of options for finding budget-friendly, comfortable and safe places to stay.
We find that traveling with children doesn’t mean choosing the most expensive options and we’re looking to get the most value for budget. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used to do, yet we still would like to save money.
What you do and where you decide to stay depends on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and level of comfort
- How big is your team
- Your interests
Remember that getting an offer of 15% off an accommodation you don’t want isn’t as good as paying the full cost for a place you do. Our goal 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 the way we travel over time. For longer trips, we’d prefer apartments as they come with kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost of our trip with friends or other families. But for short stays, we’re happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re planning to take an extended trip across the globe, you should consider 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 pick a budget hotel located far from all amenities and you need to shell out more money for transportation. Look for places in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports and activities, like restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay longer than one night
Many places offer better deals when you stay two or more nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights and pay for three nights.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays, so you may be able to score a good deal. Also, if you book on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Monday and Friday.
Weekdays are your friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive during the week than weekends. Also, try to stay away from the crowds and save some money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you’re able to travel during the shoulder season (between the peak season and off-peak) you’ll cut costs as well as avoid crowds, and enjoy decent conditions.
Compare prices across different booking websites
Don’t just book through the first site you come across. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the most value for money.
Sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs in which guests can accumulate points or discounts on your next stay.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will save you money or, in other instances, waiting to the end of the day can score you a discounted rate.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
If you are booking directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel scared to request an improved rate or additional features. You never know, they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or homes, can be a great option for families or groups. They can be less expensive than booking more hotel rooms.
Benefit from credit card rewards
If you have a credit card that has travel rewards, make use of them to pay for your hotel and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels might charge additional fees for things like resort or cleaning charges So be sure to be aware of the fine print before booking.
Find discounts or promotions
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer discounts or promotions for things like military personnel, students and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains are found in smaller hotels, independent establishments or rental properties that aren’t as popular.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning a trip with your pet, look for pet-friendly options. These establishments may offer special deals or discounts for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer discounts or special offers which they promote on social media. So be sure to be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You can try a home-sitting job or a house-sitting
Housesitting or home swapping is when you swap houses with a different person, allowing you to reside in their house while they live in yours. This is a fantastic option to save money on accommodation while still being in your space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with your family or group, renting a campervan or RV could be an excellent option to save on lodging. Additionally, you’ll be able to explore different places and also have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to 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 hotel, flight and rental car in a bundle deal can often save you cash on each component.
Hostels are an affordable choice for solo travellers or groups. With the rise of boutique hostels, you can often find cozy, clean and safe options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and distinctive accommodation options, such as staying in a private room in a home owned by a local 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 like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls typically have a variety of luggage for sale at a discount. Make sure you look these stores up before you buy at a department store that is more traditional.
Find sales during off-season
Just like with accommodation You can usually get great deals on luggage during the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true for retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy refurbished or used
You should consider purchasing used or used luggage. This is a fantastic way to save money on top-quality brands and you may be able to find gently used luggage in near perfect condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not need to mean you sacrifice the comfort or security. With a bit of research and imagination, you can find an ideal place to stay within your budget as well as amazing deals on luggage for your next travels. By looking at prices, signing up for loyalty programs, booking in advance or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, or exploring other options such as holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms, you can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the fullest.