If you’re traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head during the night could eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to find affordable, safe and comfortable places to stay.
Traveling with kids doesn’t always mean taking the cheapest option – we want to get the most value for our money. We’re not as down for roughing it as we used to do, yet we need to cut costs.
Where and how you choose to stay depends on several factors, including:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and comfort level
- Your size crew
- Your interests
Be aware that obtaining an offer of 15% off the room you don’t need isn’t as effective as paying full price 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 a family, we’ve switched up our accommodation preferences throughout the years. When we travel for longer periods, we’d prefer apartments because they have kitchens, separate bedrooms , and 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 taking an extended trip across the world, try making more time in areas where you can save more and lower your standards in more expensive countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not logical to pick a budget hotel located far from everything and you have to shell out more money for transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas near public transportation, airports and activities such as restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay longer 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 nights.
Hit the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays, which means you’re likely to get a bargain. Plus, if you stay on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
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. So, get away from the crowds and save money by going during the week.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s no surprise that hotels are more affordable during off-season. If you’re able to travel during shoulder seasons (between high and low) you’ll reduce costs while avoiding crowds and enjoy decent weather.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Don’t just book through the first website you find. Compare the prices on multiple websites to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
Many resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs where guests can accumulate points or discounts on future stays.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can get you a better deal and other times staying up till the very last moment may result in a lower rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you book directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be afraid to ask for a better rate or extra facilities. 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 can be cheaper than booking several hotel rooms.
Make use of rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit or debit card that has travel rewards, use the rewards for your lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels may charge extra for things such as resort or cleaning fees, so be certain to read the fine print before booking.
Check for discounts or offers
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer specials or discounts for things like students, military personnel, or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains are found in smaller hotel chains, or in rental properties that aren’t as popular.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re planning to travel with a furry friend Look for places that cater to pets. Some places offer special deals or discounts for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or special offers that they promote on social media. Make sure you be following 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 and stay in their home while they live in yours. This is a fantastic way to save money on lodging while also having your own space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with a group or family hiring a campervan, or RV could be an excellent option to save on lodging. Plus, you’ll be able to explore different places and have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and special offers that aren’t offered to the general public. They can also perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a flight, hotel, and rental vehicle together as a package deal could occasionally save money on each of the components.
Search for hostels
Hostels are an affordable alternative for solo travelers as well as groups of travelers. With the popularity of hostels that are boutique there are often comfortable, clean, and secure options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and unique accommodation options, like staying in a private room within a local’s home or renting a complete house for a large gathering.
As a bonus here are some helpful tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage at reduced prices. Be sure to go through these stores before you buy from a traditional department store.
Check out sales that are off-season
Similar to accommodation, you can often find good deals on luggage during the sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is particularly true for outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy refurbished or used
Consider buying used or refurbished luggage. It’s a great method to save on the top brands, and you may be able to find gently used luggage in near excellent condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay are good choices, as are 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 the comfort or security. With a bit of research and creativity, you can find the perfect location to stay within your budget as well as amazing deals on luggage for your next trip. By looking at prices, signing up for loyalty programs, booking early or last-minute, taking advantage of promotions and discounts, and exploring other options such as holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms You can stretch your budget further and enjoy your trip to the fullest.