If you’re traveling the place you rest your head in the night can eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. However, don’t fret because there are plenty of options for finding affordable, safe and comfortable accommodation.
We find that traveling with children isn’t always choosing the most expensive options – we want to get the most value for money. 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 travel style and comfort level
- The size of your crew
- Your interests
Just remember that getting a 15% discount on a room you don’t really need isn’t as effective as paying the full cost for a place you do. Therefore, our aim is to help you save money on lodging and to get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As our family, we’ve shifted up our accommodation preferences throughout the years. When we travel for longer periods, we’re more comfortable in apartments as they come with bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Furthermore, we can share the cost with our friends or families. For short stays, we’re happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re taking an extended trip around the world, try taking a longer trip to places that will make your money go further and lower your standards in countries that are more expensive.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not logical to pick a budget 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 activities, like beaches, restaurants, and parks.
Stay more than one night
Some hotels provide better rates if you stay for more than two nights. There are times when you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three.
Go to your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less busy on Sundays, therefore you might be able to find a deal. Plus, if you stay on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the lines at check-ins and outs on Monday and Friday.
The weekdays are the best days to be a part of your life.
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are more affordable on weekdays than weekends. Also, try to stay away from all the tourists and spare some money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you can travel in the shoulder season (between high and low) you’ll save money while avoiding crowds and enjoy a pleasant weather.
Compare rates across various booking sites
Do not book on the first site you come across. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Sign up for loyalty programs
Many vacation rental and hotels have loyalty programs through which guests can accumulate points or discounts for future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can save you money, while other times waiting till the very last moment could score you a discounted rate.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
When booking directly through a hotel or holiday rental, don’t be intimidated to ask for a better rate or extra facilities. You never know, they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or homes, can be an ideal option for groups or families. In many cases, they are less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Take advantage of credit card rewards
If you have a credit or debit card that offers travel rewards, you can use these rewards to cover your lodging and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites may charge extra fees for items like resort or cleaning charges, so be sure to check the fine print prior to making your booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer specials or discounts for things like students, military personnel, or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the most affordable deals are found in smaller hotel chains, or in vacation rentals that aren’t as well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re traveling with a pet, look for pet-friendly options. Some places provide special discounts or deals for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer special discounts or deals which they promote via social media. Make sure you keep up with them via 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 another person and reside in their house while they stay in yours. This is a fantastic way to save money on housing while being in your space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling as a group or family, renting a campervan or RV could be the best method to save money on lodging. In addition, you’ll have the chance to travel around the world and have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and deals that aren’t available to the general public. Plus, they can do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight and rental car together as a package deal can often save you money on each of the components.
Hostels are an affordable alternative for solo travelers as well as groups of travelers. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique it is possible to find cozy, clean and safe alternatives.
Try home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and unique accommodation options, such as staying in a private space in a homeowner’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 retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage for sale at a discount. Make sure you look these stores up prior to purchasing from a traditional department store.
Check out sales that are off-season
Similar to accommodation You can usually get great deals on luggage during off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true of retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
Consider buying used or recycled luggage. This can be a great method to save on top-quality brands and you might be able to locate lightly used luggage in perfect quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay are good choices, as are also local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding affordable accommodations and cheap luggage does not need to mean you sacrifice comfort and safety. If you do a little investigation and creativity it is possible to find the perfect place to stay within your budget and incredible discounts in luggage to take on your next travels. By comparison shopping, signing up for loyalty programs, booking late or at the last minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, and exploring other options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals, you can stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the maximum.