While traveling, where you lay your head during the night could take up a significant portion from your spending budget. But worry not, there’s plenty of ways to find affordable, safe and comfortable accommodations.
For us, traveling with kids doesn’t always mean taking the cheapest option – we want to get the most price for our budget. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used to have been, however we want to save some dough.
What you do and where you decide to live depends on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and level of comfort
- The size of your team
- Your interests are important to you
Remember that getting a 15% discount on a room you don’t really want isn’t as good as paying full price for a room you really want. So, our goal is to help you save money on accommodation and get the perfect place to stay.
As a family, we’ve switched around our accommodations over the years. In the case of longer travel, we prefer apartments because they have bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Furthermore, we can share the cost of our trip with other families or friends. However, for shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in hostels or hotels that are family-friendly.
If you’re planning to take an extended trip around the globe, consider spending more time in places where you can save more and reduce your expectations in more costly countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not sensible to find a cheap hotel in a location that is miles from everything and you have to pay more for transportation. Find hotels in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports and activities, like beaches, restaurants, and parks.
Stay longer than one night
Many places offer better deals If you stay for at least two nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Stay at the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays which means you’re likely to find a deal. Plus, if you stay on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds at check-in and checkout on Monday and Friday.
Weekdays are your friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper on weekdays than weekends. Also, try to get away from the crowds and save some money by going during the week.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s not a surprise that hotels are cheaper during the off-season. If you can travel in the shoulder season (between high and low) you’ll save money as well as avoid crowds, and enjoy decent weather.
Compare rates across various booking sites
Do not book on the first website you find. Compare rates across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the best deal.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
A lot of hotels and vacation rental companies have loyalty programs through which members earn rewards or discounts for future stays.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will get you a better deal, while other times, waiting till the very last moment can score you a discounted rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
If you are booking directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be intimidated to ask for an improved rate or additional facilities. You never know, they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or homes, can be an ideal option for families or groups. They can be cheaper than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Make use of credit card rewards
If you have a credit or debit card that offers travel rewards, you can use them to pay for your hotel and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra for things such as resort or cleaning fees So be sure to be aware of the fine print before making a booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer promotions or discounts for things like military personnel, students, or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals are found in smaller, independent hotels 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. Some places offer special deals or discounts for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer discounts or special offers that they promote on social media. Be sure to keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is when you swap houses with a different person and reside in their house while they reside in yours. This can be a great way to save money on lodging while also enjoying your personal space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling with a group of people, renting a campervan or RV can be a great way to save money on accommodation. 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 are often able to access discounts and deals that aren’t offered to the general public. Additionally, they are able to conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a flight, hotel, and rental car as a package deal can often save you money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels can be a cost-effective alternative for solo travelers as well as groups of travelers. In addition, with the popularity of hostels that are boutique there are often comfortable, clean, and safe options.
Try home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and unique accommodation options, such as staying in a private room in a home owned by a local or renting a home for a large number of people.
As a bonus here are some helpful 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 go through these stores before purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Look for off-season sales
Like with accommodations You can usually get good bargains on luggage in 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 refurbished luggage. This can be a great method to save on the top brands, and you might be able to locate gently used luggage that is in perfect condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap accommodation and discount luggage doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice the comfort or security. With a bit of research and creativity, you can find a great location to stay within your budget, and also get amazing deals on luggage for your next journey. By looking at prices by signing up to loyalty programs, making reservations late or at the last minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, as well as looking at alternative options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms, you can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the highest degree.