If you’re traveling, where you lay your head at night can eat up a big chunk of your budget. But worry not, there’s plenty of ways to find affordable, safe and comfortable accommodations.
We find that traveling with kids doesn’t always mean taking the cheapest option and we’re looking to get the best price for our budget. We’re not as down for roughing it as much as we used to do, yet we still 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 style of travel and comfort level
- The size of your crew
- Your interests
Remember that getting an offer of 15% off a room you don’t really want isn’t as good than paying full price for a place you do. Our goal is to help you save cash on accommodation and find the perfect place to stay.
As a family, we’ve switched the way we travel over time. When we travel for longer periods, we prefer apartments as they come with kitchens, separate bedrooms and laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost with other families or friends. 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 world, try taking a longer trip to places that will make your money go further and lowering your standards in more costly countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not logical to choose a hotel that is cheap located far from everything , and you’ll need to shell out more money for transportation. Look for places in central areas near airports, public transportation and other things to do such as restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay more than one night
Some hotels provide better rates if you stay for more than two nights. Sometimes you can even stay for four nights and pay for three nights.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays which means you’re likely to find a deal. Also, if you book on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the lines at check-ins and outs on Monday and Friday.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive during the week than weekends. Also, try to stay away from the crowds and save some money by going during the week.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s not a surprise that hotels tend to be more expensive in the off-season. If you’re able to travel in the shoulder season (between the peak season and off-peak), you can reduce costs while avoiding crowds and enjoy a pleasant conditions.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Don’t just book through the first site you discover. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the most value for money.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
A lot of hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs where guests can accumulate points and discounts on future stays.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can save you money and other times staying up till the very last moment can get you a discount.
Do not be afraid to bargain
If you are booking directly with a hotel or holiday rental, don’t be intimidated to ask for an improved rate or additional facilities. You never know, they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or homes, can be an ideal option for groups or families. In many cases, they can be less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Take advantage of rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit card that has travel rewards, make use of these rewards to cover lodging and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels may charge extra fees for items like resort or cleaning charges, so be certain to check the fine print prior to making a booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer discounts or promotions for military personnel, students, or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the most affordable deals are found in smaller, independent hotels or vacation rentals that aren’t as popular.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re planning to travel with your pet Look for places that cater to pets. Some places offer discounts or special offers for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations have special deals or discounts that they advertise through social media. Make sure you keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You can try a home-sitting job or a house-sitting
Home swapping or housesitting is the process of swapping houses with someone else and stay in their home while they live in yours. This can be a great method to save on lodging while also 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 a great way to save money on lodging. Additionally, you’ll be able to explore different places and also have your own transportation 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. Additionally, they are able to do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a flight, hotel, and rental car in a bundle deal can occasionally save money on each of the components.
Search for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly alternative for solo travelers as well as groups. And with the rise of boutique hostels, you can often find safe, comfortable, and safe alternatives.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and exclusive accommodation options like staying in a private space in a homeowner’s home or renting a whole home for a large number of people.
As a bonus here are some tips to help you find cheap luggage
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage at reduced prices. Make sure you go through these stores before purchasing from a traditional department store.
Find sales during off-season
Like with accommodations It is not uncommon to get good bargains on luggage during sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is especially true for the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy refurbished or used
Consider buying used or refurbished luggage. This can be a great method to save on top-quality brands and you might be able to locate lightly used luggage in excellent quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding affordable accommodations and cheap luggage does not have to mean sacrificing comfort and safety. With a little bit of research and imagination, you can find the perfect accommodation within your budget, and also get amazing discounts in luggage to take on your next journey. By looking at prices, signing up for loyalty programs, booking late or at the last minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, or exploring other options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms to stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the maximum.