If you’re traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head in the night can eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. However, don’t fret because there are plenty of ways to find budget-friendly, comfortable and safe places to stay.
For us, traveling with kids doesn’t always mean choosing the most expensive options – we want to get the most value for our dollars. We’re not as down for roughing it as we used to be, but we still need to cut costs.
Where and how you choose to live depends on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and level of comfort
- The size of your team
- Your interests
Be aware that obtaining a 15% discount on an accommodation you don’t need isn’t as effective as paying the full cost for a room you really want. Our goal is to make it easier for you to save money on accommodation and get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As a family, we’ve switched the way we travel over time. For longer trips, we prefer apartments as they come with bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost of our trip with friends or other families. However, for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re planning an extended trip across the world, try making more time in areas that will make your money go further and reduce your expectations in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not sensible to find a cheap hotel if it’s miles away from everything and you have to shell out more money for transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas near public transportation, airports, and things to do, like restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay more than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts if you stay for at least two nights. Sometimes you can even stay four nights and only pay for three.
Stay at in the Hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays, which means you’re likely to get a bargain. Also, if you book on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
Weekdays are your friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are more affordable on weekdays than weekends. Also, try to avoid all the tourists and spare cash by traveling midweek.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you can travel during the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak) you’ll save money, avoid crowds and still enjoy decent conditions.
Compare rates across various booking websites
Do not book on the first website you find. Compare the prices on multiple websites to ensure that you’re getting the most value for money.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
Many hotels and vacation rental companies offer loyalty programs where members earn rewards or discounts on future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will save you money or, in other instances staying up until the last minute may score you a discounted rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you book directly with a hotel , or holiday rental, don’t be afraid to ask for an improved rate or additional features. There’s no way to know if they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or houses, are ideal for groups or families. And many times, they are less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Take advantage of rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit or debit card that has travel rewards, utilize them to pay for your lodging and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites may charge extra for things like cleaning or resort fees, so be certain to read the fine print before booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer specials or discounts for things like students, military personnel, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains are found in smaller hotel chains, or in rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re traveling with a pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These establishments may offer special deals or discounts for pet owners.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer special discounts or deals that they advertise via social media. Make sure you keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Try a house-sitting or home-swapping
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is when you swap houses with a different person which allows you to live in their home while they reside in yours. This can be a great method to save on lodging while also being in your space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling as a group or family hiring a campervan, or RV is an excellent option to save 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 can often access discounts and offers that aren’t available to the general people. They can also conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight and rental vehicle together as a package deal can sometimes save you cash on each component.
Hostels are a budget-friendly choice for solo travellers or groups of travelers. In addition, with the rise of boutique hostels there are often comfortable, clean, and safe alternatives.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and distinctive accommodation options, for example, staying in a space in a homeowner’s home or renting a whole house for a large gathering.
For your convenience, here are some tips to help you find cheap luggage
Shop at discount retailers
Discount stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls typically have a variety of luggage at reduced prices. Make sure you go through these stores before purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Look for off-season sales
Just like with accommodation, you can often get good bargains on luggage during the seasonal sales or the off-season. This is especially true of outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy used or refurbished
Consider buying used or used luggage. This is a fantastic option to save money on top-quality brands and you might be able to locate gently used luggage that is in excellent 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 lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice security and comfort. If you do a little research and imagination, you can find the perfect place to stay within your budget and incredible bargains on luggage for your next trip. By comparing prices, signing up for loyalty programs, booking late or at the last minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, and trying alternative options like holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms to extend your budget and enjoy your trip to the maximum.