When you’re on the road, where you lay your head in the night can consume a large portion of your budget. However, don’t fret because there are many options to locate affordable, safe and comfortable accommodations.
For us, traveling with children doesn’t mean taking the cheapest option – we want to get the best value for our dollars. We’re not so keen on 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 stay will depend on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and comfort level
- Your size crew
- Your interests are important to you
Just 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. So, our goal is to help you save money on accommodation and get the perfect place to stay.
As as a family, we’ve changed up our accommodation preferences throughout the years. For longer trips, we’re more comfortable in apartments as they come with bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost of our trip with other families or friends. However, for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning to take an extended journey around the globe, consider taking a longer trip to places where you can save more and reduce your expectations in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not logical to pick a budget hotel located far from everything and you have to pay more for transportation. Find hotels in central areas that are close to airports, public transportation, and things to do like restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay for more than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts If you stay for at least two nights. Sometimes you can even stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less busy on Sundays, which means you’re likely to get a bargain. If you decide to stay on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the lines at check-ins and outs on Monday and Friday.
Weekdays are your friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive on weekdays than weekends. So, 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 during the off-season. If you’re able to travel during shoulder seasons (between the peak season and off-peak) you’ll reduce costs as well as avoid crowds, and have decent weather.
Compare rates across various booking sites
Do not book on the first site you discover. Compare prices across multiple sites to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
Many resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs in which members earn rewards or discount on your next stay.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will save you money, while other times waiting till the very last moment can get you a discount.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
If you are booking directly with a hotel or holiday rental, don’t be afraid to ask for more value or facilities. You never know, they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or houses, are a great option for groups or families. They can be less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Benefit from rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit or debit card with travel rewards, use the rewards for lodging and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels might charge additional fees for things like resort or cleaning charges So be sure to read the fine print before making your booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or promotions for military personnel, students, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains are found in smaller hotel chains, or in holiday rentals that aren’t popular.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re planning a trip with a pet Look for places that cater to pets. These establishments may provide special discounts or deals for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer special discounts or deals that they promote through social media. 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 exchange houses with a different person, allowing you to reside in their house while they stay in yours. This can be a great method to save on housing while being in your space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling with your group or family hiring a campervan, or RV is the best method to save money on accommodation. Plus, you’ll be able to visit different locations and 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 public. Plus, they can perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a hotel, flight, and rental vehicle together as a package deal can occasionally save cash on each component.
Look for hostels
Hostels can be a cost-effective option for solo travelers or groups of travelers. In addition, with the rise of boutique hostels it is possible to find safe, comfortable, and secure options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and unique accommodation options, like staying in a private room within a local’s home 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 stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage at discounted prices. Be sure to go through these stores before purchasing from a department store.
Look for off-season sales
Similar to accommodation You can usually find good deals on luggage during seasonal sales or the off-season. This is especially true of the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
Consider buying used or used luggage. This is a fantastic option to save money on top-quality brands and you could find gently used luggage in near perfect condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not need to mean you sacrifice comfort and safety. With a little bit of investigation and creativity you can locate a great accommodation within your budget, and also get amazing bargains in luggage to take on your next travels. By comparing prices and signing up for loyalty programs, making bookings late or at the last minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, as well as trying alternative options like rental homes and home sharing platforms You can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the fullest.