If you’re traveling, where you lay your head in the night can take up a significant portion of your budget. However, don’t fret because there are plenty of ways to find affordable, safe and comfortable accommodations.
For us, traveling with children doesn’t mean choosing the most expensive options – we want to get the most value for our budget. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used be, but we still want to save some dough.
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 team
- Your interests
Be aware that obtaining a 15% discount on a room you don’t really want isn’t as good as paying the full cost for a hotel you want. Our goal is to make it easier for you to save money on lodging and to get a place you’re happy with.
As our family, we’ve shifted the way we travel over the years. In the case of longer travel, we’re more comfortable in apartments due to their kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost of our trip with our friends or families. For shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re taking an extended trip across the globe, consider spending more time in places where you can save more and lower your standards in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It doesn’t make sense to pick a budget hotel if it’s miles away from all amenities and you need to pay more for transportation. Find hotels in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports and activities such as restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay more than one night
Many places offer better deals if you stay for more than two nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Hit in the Hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays so you may be able to get a bargain. Plus, if you stay on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper during the week than weekends. Also, try to stay away from tourist crowds, and also 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 in the off-season. If you’re able to travel during the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak), you can save money as well as avoid crowds, and enjoy a pleasant weather.
Compare rates across various booking websites
Do not just book on the first website you find. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the best price.
Sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs where guests can accumulate points or discounts for future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will offer a better price or, in other instances staying up till the very last moment may 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 an improved rate or additional facilities. There’s no way to know if they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or homes, can be a great option for groups or families. And many times, 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 even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels may charge extra fees for items like resort or cleaning charges So be certain to read the fine print before booking.
Check for discounts or offers
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer specials or discounts for things like military personnel, students, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains can be found at smaller hotels, independent establishments or holiday rentals that aren’t popular.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re planning a trip with your pet, look for pet-friendly options. Some places provide special discounts or deals for pet owners.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals have special deals or discounts that they advertise on social media. So be sure to be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is the process of swapping houses with someone else which allows you to live in their home while they stay in yours. This can be a great option to save money on accommodation while still having your own 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 is a great way to save money on accommodations. Plus, you’ll be able to explore different places and have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and 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 can often save you cash on each component.
Hostels are a budget-friendly choice for solo travellers or groups. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique, you can often find cozy, clean and safe options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and distinctive accommodation options, such as staying in a private space in a homeowner’s home or renting a complete house for a large group.
In addition, here are some tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage at reduced prices. Make sure you look these stores up before you buy at a department store that is more traditional.
Find sales during off-season
Like with accommodations You can usually get great deals on luggage during the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true for retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
You should consider purchasing used or recycled luggage. It’s a great method to save on top-quality brands and you could find gently used luggage in near excellent condition. Websites such as 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 have to mean sacrificing the comfort or security. With a little bit of research and creativity, you can find the perfect place to stay within your budget and incredible deals on luggage for your next journey. By looking at prices and signing up for loyalty programs, booking in advance or last-minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, or exploring other options such as holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms You can stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the highest degree.