When you’re on the road the place you rest your head in the night can consume a large 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 isn’t always taking the cheapest option – we want to get the most value for budget. We’re not as down for roughing it as we used do, yet we still need to cut costs.
Where and how you choose to stay will depend on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and comfort level
- The size of your team
- Your interests
Be aware that obtaining an offer of 15% off an accommodation you don’t want isn’t as good as paying the full cost for a hotel you want. So, our goal is to help you save money on lodging and to get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed the way we travel throughout the years. In the case of longer travel, we’d prefer apartments as they come with bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost with friends or other families. But for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning an extended journey around the globe, consider making more time in areas where you can save more and lowering your standards in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It doesn’t make sense to find a cheap hotel located far from everything and you have to shell out more money for transportation. Look for places in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports, and things to do such as restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay for more than one night
Many places offer better deals when you stay at least two nights. Sometimes you can even stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Stay at the hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays which means you’re likely to find a deal. Plus, if you stay on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the check-in and check-out crowds on Monday and Friday.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are more affordable during the week than on weekends. Also, try to stay away from tourist crowds, and also save cash by traveling midweek.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s not a surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you’re able to travel during shoulder seasons (between peak and off-peak) it is possible to reduce costs, avoid crowds and still enjoy decent 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 best price.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of resorts and hotels have loyalty programs through which members earn rewards or discount for future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, booking early can get you a better deal, while other times, waiting till the very last moment may score you a discounted rate.
Do not be afraid to bargain
If you are booking directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel scared to request a better rate or extra amenities. There’s no way to know if they might even say yes!
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 are less expensive than booking several hotel rooms.
Take advantage of rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit or debit card that has travel rewards, make use of these rewards to cover your lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels might charge additional fees for things like cleaning or resort fees So be certain to be aware of the fine print before making a booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer specials or discounts on items such as students, military personnel, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals are found in smaller hotels, independent establishments or vacation rentals that aren’t as well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning a trip with your pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These places may offer special deals or discounts for pet owners.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer special discounts or deals that they promote via social media. Make sure you follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You can try a home-sitting job or a house-sitting
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is when you swap houses with another person, allowing you to stay in their home while they live in yours. This can be a great way to save money on lodging while also enjoying your personal space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling as a group or family hiring a campervan, or RV could be the best way to save money on lodging. Plus, you’ll be able to travel around the world and have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and special offers that aren’t available to the general people. Additionally, they are able to do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A flight, hotel, and rental car as a package deal could often save you cash on each component.
Search for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly alternative for solo travelers as well as groups. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique, you can often find cozy, clean and safe alternatives.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and exclusive accommodation options for example, staying in a room within a local’s home or renting a complete house for a large gathering.
In addition, here are some tips to help you find cheap luggage
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage at discounted prices. Make sure you look these stores up before you buy at a department store that is more traditional.
Look for off-season sales
Similar to accommodation You can usually find good deals on luggage during the seasonal sales or the off-season. This is particularly true for retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy refurbished or used
You should consider purchasing used or refurbished luggage. It’s a great option to save money on the top brands, and you could find lightly used luggage in excellent quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice the comfort or security. With a little bit of research and creativity you can locate a great location to stay within your budget as well as amazing bargains in luggage to take on your next travels. By comparison shopping and signing up for loyalty programs, making reservations early or last-minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, as well as exploring other options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms to increase your spending and enjoy your trip to the maximum.