If you’re traveling, where you lay your head in the night can consume a large portion of the budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to find budget-friendly, comfortable and safe places to stay.
We find that traveling with kids doesn’t always mean going for the cheapest options – we want to get the most value for our money. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used to have been, however we still would like to save money.
What you do and where you decide to live 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 15% off an accommodation you don’t want isn’t as good than paying full price for a room you really want. So, our goal is to assist you in saving cash on accommodation and find the perfect place to stay.
As a family, we’ve switched around our accommodations over time. For longer trips, we prefer apartments because they have bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost of our trip with friends or other families. But for shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re planning to take an extended journey around the world, try taking a longer trip to places 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 logical to find a cheap hotel if it’s miles away from everything and you have to spend extra on transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas near airports, public transportation, and things to do like beaches, restaurants, and parks.
Stay longer 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 pay for three nights.
Go to the hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be less busy on Sundays, which means you’re likely to find a deal. If you decide to stay on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the lines at check-ins and outs on Monday and Friday.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are more affordable on weekdays than weekends. Also, try to stay away from all the tourists and spare money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s not a surprise that hotels are more affordable during off-season. If you’re able to travel during shoulder seasons (between high and low) it is possible to save money, avoid crowds and still enjoy decent conditions.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Do not just book on the first site you discover. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the most value for money.
Sign up for loyalty programs
Many resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs in which guests can accumulate points or discount for future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can offer a better price or, in other instances waiting to the end of the day may get you a discount.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you book directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be intimidated to ask for more value or features. You never know, they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or homes, can be an ideal option for families or groups. And many times, they are less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Take advantage of credit card rewards
If you own a credit card that has travel rewards, make use of these rewards to cover your hotel and save more.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites might charge additional fees for things like cleaning or resort fees, so be sure to be aware of the fine print before making your booking.
Find discounts or promotions
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer promotions or discounts for things like military personnel, students 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 popular.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re planning a trip with your pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These establishments may offer special deals or discounts for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer special discounts or deals which they promote through social media. Be sure to be following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Try a house-sitting or home-swapping
Home swapping or housesitting is when you swap houses with another person, allowing you to reside in their house while they reside in yours. This is a fantastic way to save money on accommodation while still enjoying your personal space.
Consider renting a campervan or RV
If you’re traveling with a group or family, renting a campervan or RV is an excellent method to save money on accommodations. Additionally, you’ll be able to explore different places and even have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and offers which aren’t accessible to the general public. Plus, they can conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a hotel, flight, and rental car as a package deal could occasionally save cash on each component.
Search for hostels
Hostels are an affordable alternative for solo travelers as well as groups of travelers. 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 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 gathering.
For your convenience, 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. Be sure to go through these stores prior to purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Look for off-season sales
Like with accommodations You can usually get good bargains on luggage in the sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is particularly true for outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy used or refurbished
Consider buying used or used luggage. This can be a great way to save money on high-end brands. You might be able to locate gently used luggage that is in excellent condition. Websites like Amazon and Ebay have good options and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodations and cheap luggage does not necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice the comfort or security. With a little bit of research and imagination you can locate the perfect place to stay within your budget and incredible bargains in luggage to take on your next trip. By looking at prices by signing up to loyalty programs, making bookings early or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, and exploring other options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals to stretch your budget further and enjoy your trip to the maximum.