While traveling, where you lay 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 affordable, safe and comfortable accommodations.
For us, traveling with children isn’t always taking the cheapest option – we want to get the most value for dollars. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used to have been, however we need to cut costs.
The place and the way you decide to stay depends on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and level of comfort
- Your size crew
- Your interests are important to you
Be aware that obtaining an offer of 15% off a room you don’t really like isn’t the same as paying the full cost for a room you really want. Our goal is to make it easier for you to save money on accommodation and get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed up our accommodation preferences over the years. When we travel for longer periods, we prefer apartments due to their bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the costs with friends or other families. For short stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning an extended journey around the globe, you should consider taking a longer trip to places where your money goes 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 find a cheap hotel located far from all amenities and you need to spend extra on transportation. Look for places in central areas near public transportation, airports and activities such as restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay more than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts if you stay for at least two nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights and pay for three nights.
Go to the hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays therefore you might be able to score a good deal. If you decide to stay on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the crowds at check-in and checkout on Fridays and Mondays.
The weekdays are the best days to be a part of your life.
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper during the week than weekends. Therefore, you can stay away from all the tourists and spare money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is the best-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’ll cut costs while avoiding crowds and enjoy a pleasant conditions.
Compare rates across various booking websites
Do not book on the first site you discover. Compare rates 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 you can earn points and discounts on future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will save you money, while other times staying up till the very last moment could score you a discounted rate.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
If you are booking directly with a hotel or holiday rental, don’t be scared to request a better rate or extra features. There’s no way to know if they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Apartments, such as vacation rentals or homes, can be ideal for groups or families. In many cases, they can be cheaper than booking several hotel rooms.
Make use of credit card rewards
If you have a credit card with travel rewards, use them to pay for your lodging and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra for things such as resort or cleaning fees So be sure to read the fine print before booking.
Find discounts or promotions
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer discounts or promotions for military personnel, students as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains can be found in smaller hotels, independent establishments or holiday rentals that aren’t well-known.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re traveling with a furry friend, look for pet-friendly options. These places may provide special discounts or deals for pet owners.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or special offers which they promote on social media. Make sure you be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Home swapping or housesitting is the process of swapping houses with another person which allows you to stay in their home while they reside in yours. This is a fantastic method to save on housing while being in your space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling as a family or group, renting a campervan or RV could be an excellent option to save on accommodation. Plus, you’ll be able to visit different locations 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 deals that aren’t offered to the general public. Plus, they can perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a hotel, flight and rental car together as a package deal can occasionally save cash on each component.
Hostels are an affordable alternative for solo travelers as well as groups of travelers. In addition, with the popularity of hostels that are boutique it is possible to find safe, comfortable, and safe options.
Try 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 in a home owned by a local or renting a complete home for a large number of people.
As a bonus here are some tips for finding cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage for sale at a discount. Make sure to check these stores out before you buy from a traditional department store.
Check out sales that are off-season
Just like with accommodation You can usually get great deals 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
Take a look at buying second-hand or refurbished luggage. This is a fantastic method to save on top-quality brands and you could find gently used luggage in near perfect condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice comfort and safety. With a bit of research and imagination, you can find an ideal accommodation within your budget and incredible deals on luggage for your next journey. By looking at prices, signing up for loyalty programs, making reservations late or at the last minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, or exploring other options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals, you can increase your spending and enjoy your trip to the highest degree.