While traveling the place you rest your head during the night could take up a significant portion of the budget. But worry not, there’s many options to locate affordable, safe and comfortable accommodation.
We find that traveling with kids doesn’t always mean going for the cheapest options We want to get the best price for our dollars. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used be, but we want to save some dough.
The place and the way you decide to stay depends on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and level of comfort
- The size of your crew
- Your interests
Just remember that getting 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 cash on accommodation and find a place you’re happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed up our accommodation preferences 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 with friends or other families. For shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re planning an extended journey around the world, try taking a longer trip to places where your money goes further and lowering your standards in countries that are more expensive.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It doesn’t make sense to find a cheap hotel in a location that is miles from all amenities and you need to pay more for transportation. Look for places in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports and activities, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay more than one night
Many places offer better deals if you stay for more than two nights. Sometimes you can even stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Hit the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays, therefore you might be able to find a deal. Plus, if you stay 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 more affordable during the week than on weekends. Therefore, you can avoid the crowds and save money by going during the week.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s not a surprise that hotels are more affordable during the off-season. If you’re able to travel during the shoulder season (between the peak season and off-peak) you’ll save money while avoiding crowds and enjoy decent conditions.
Compare prices across different booking websites
Do not book on the first website you find. Compare rates across multiple sites to make sure you’re getting the most value for money.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs where you can earn points or discount for future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will get you a better deal or, in other instances staying up to the end of the day may get you a discount.
Do not be afraid to bargain
If you are booking directly through a hotel or holiday rental, don’t be scared to request more value or facilities. You never know, they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or homes, can be ideal for groups or families. They can be cheaper than booking several hotel rooms.
Make use of credit card rewards
If you have a credit card that offers travel rewards, you can make use of these rewards to cover your hotel and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra for things like cleaning or resort fees Be sure to read the fine print before making a booking.
Check for discounts or offers
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer specials or discounts for things like students, military personnel, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains are found in smaller hotel chains, or in rental properties that aren’t as popular.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re planning to travel with a furry friend, look for pet-friendly options. Some places provide special discounts or deals for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer special discounts or deals that they promote on social media. Make sure you keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Try a house-sitting or home-swapping
Housesitting or home swapping is when you exchange houses with someone else which allows you to live in their home while they reside in yours. It can be a wonderful option to save money on housing while enjoying your personal space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with your group or family, renting a campervan or RV is the best option to save on accommodation. In addition, you’ll have the chance to visit different locations and also have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and special offers which aren’t accessible to the general people. They can also perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A flight, hotel, and rental car together as a package deal could often save you money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly choice for solo travellers or groups of travelers. And with the rise of boutique hostels it is possible to find comfortable, clean, and secure options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable 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 typically have a variety of luggage for sale at a discount. Make sure to check these stores out before purchasing from a traditional department store.
Find sales during off-season
Similar to accommodation, you can often find good deals on luggage during the sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is particularly true for the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
Take a look at buying second-hand or used luggage. This is a fantastic option to save money on high-end brands. You may be able to find gently used luggage that is in perfect condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding affordable lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice comfort and safety. With a little bit of research and creativity it is possible to find a great accommodation within your budget, and also get amazing discounts in luggage to take on your next trip. By comparing prices by signing up to loyalty programs, making bookings late or at the last minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, as well as exploring other options such as holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms You can stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the fullest.