When you’re on the road, where you lay your head at night can take up a significant portion of the budget. But worry not, there’s plenty of ways to find budget-friendly, comfortable and safe accommodations.
For us, traveling with kids doesn’t always mean taking the cheapest option – we want to get the best value for our money. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used to do, yet we would like to save money.
Where and how you choose to stay will depend on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and level of comfort
- Your size crew
- Your interests
Be aware that obtaining an offer of 15% off an accommodation you don’t like isn’t the same as paying the full cost for a hotel you want. So, our goal is to make it easier for you to save money on accommodation and get a place you’re happy with.
As our family, we’ve shifted the way we travel throughout the years. When we travel for longer periods, we’d prefer apartments as they come with kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Furthermore, we can share the cost with our friends or families. But for short stays, we’re happy to stay in hostels or hotels that are family-friendly.
If you’re planning to take an extended trip around the world, try making more time in areas where your money goes further and lowering your standards in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not sensible to pick a budget hotel located far from everything , and you’ll need to shell out more money for transportation. Find hotels in central areas near public transportation, airports and activities, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay longer than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts if you stay for at least two nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Stay at your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays which means you’re likely to score a good deal. Also, if you book on a Sunday, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds at check-in and checkout on Fridays and Mondays.
The weekdays are the best days to be a part of your life.
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper during the week than weekends. Therefore, you can avoid all the tourists and spare money by travelling during the week.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s no surprise that hotels are more affordable during the off-season. If you can travel during shoulder seasons (between high and low) it is possible to reduce costs while avoiding crowds and enjoy decent weather.
Compare rates across various booking websites
Don’t just book through the first site you discover. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the best price.
Sign up for loyalty programs
Many resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs in which you can earn points or discount on future stays.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can save you money and other times waiting until the last minute can score you a discounted rate.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
When booking directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel scared to request more value or features. You never know, they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or houses, are an ideal option for groups or families. And many times, they are less expensive than booking several hotel rooms.
Make use of credit card rewards
If you have a credit or debit card that offers travel rewards, you can utilize these rewards to cover your hotel and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra for things like cleaning or resort fees So be sure to check the fine print prior to making your booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer discounts or promotions for things like military personnel, students as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains can be found in smaller hotel chains, or in rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re planning a trip with your pet Look for places that cater to pets. Some places offer special deals or discounts for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals have special deals or discounts that they promote through social media. So be sure to keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Home swapping or housesitting is when you exchange houses with a different person which allows you to stay in their home while they live in yours. This is a fantastic way to save money on accommodation while still enjoying your personal 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 an excellent method to save money on accommodations. Additionally, you’ll be able to travel around the world and even have your own transportation all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and deals that aren’t offered 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 in a bundle deal can sometimes save you cash on each component.
Search for hostels
Hostels are an affordable alternative for solo travelers as well as groups. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique, you can often find cozy, clean and secure options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and unique accommodation options, for example, staying in a room in a home owned by a local or renting a house for a large group.
For your convenience, here are some helpful tips to find 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. Be sure to go through these stores prior to purchasing from a traditional department store.
Find sales during off-season
Like with accommodations, you can often get great deals on luggage during seasonal sales or the off-season. This is especially true of retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
You should consider purchasing used or refurbished luggage. This can be a great option to save money on the top brands, and you might be able to locate lightly used luggage in perfect quality. Websites like Amazon and Ebay have good options and as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice the comfort or security. If you do a little research and creativity it is possible to find an ideal location to stay within your budget as well as amazing bargains in luggage to take on your next trip. By comparison shopping and signing up for loyalty programs, booking early or last-minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, as well as trying alternative options like rental homes and home sharing platforms to stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the maximum.