If you’re traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head during the night could take up a significant portion of the budget. However, don’t fret because there are plenty of ways to find affordable, safe and comfortable accommodations.
Traveling with children isn’t always choosing the most expensive options – we want to get the best value for our dollars. We’re not as keen on roughing it as much as we used to do, yet we still need to cut costs.
The place and the way you decide to live depends on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and comfort level
- How big is your team
- Your interests
Remember that getting a 15% discount on a room you don’t really 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 the perfect place to stay.
As our family, we’ve shifted up our accommodation preferences over the years. In the case of longer travel, we’d prefer apartments due to their bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost with other families or friends. For short stays, we’re happy to stay in family-friendly hotels or hostels.
If you’re taking an extended trip across the globe, consider making more time in areas where you can save more and reduce your expectations in countries that are more expensive.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not logical to choose a hotel that is cheap in a location that is miles from everything and you have to pay more for transportation. Look for places in central locations near airports, public transportation and other things to do, 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. Sometimes you can even stay four nights and only pay for three.
Hit in the Hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays, which means you’re likely to get a bargain. Plus, if you stay on Sunday, you’ll avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper during the week than weekends. Therefore, you can avoid tourist crowds, and also save money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s not a surprise that hotels tend to be more expensive during off-season. If you’re able to travel in the shoulder season (between high and low), you can save money as well as avoid crowds, and have decent weather.
Compare the prices of different booking websites
Do not just book on the first site you come across. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the most value for money.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of vacation rental and hotels offer loyalty programs in which you can earn points and discounts for future stays.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will offer a better price, while other times staying up to the end of the day could result in a lower rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
If you are booking directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel intimidated to ask for more value or features. You never know, they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Apartments, such as vacation rentals or homes, can be a great option for families or groups. They can be cheaper than booking more hotel rooms.
Take advantage of rewards on credit cards
If you have a credit card with travel rewards, use the rewards for your hotel and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites might charge additional fees for things like resort or cleaning charges So be sure to check the fine print prior to making a booking.
Find discounts or promotions
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer discounts or promotions for military personnel, students, and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found at smaller hotels, independent establishments or rental properties that aren’t as well-known.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning to travel with your pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These places may provide special discounts or deals for pet owners.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer discounts or special offers which they promote through 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 another person, allowing you to stay in their home while they stay in yours. This is a fantastic method to save on accommodation while still being in your space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling as a group of people hiring a campervan, or RV could be a great way to save money on lodging. Plus, you’ll be able to visit different locations and have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents are often able to access discounts and special offers which aren’t accessible to the general people. They can also perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a flight, hotel, and rental car in a bundle deal can often save you money on each individual component.
Search for hostels
Hostels can be a cost-effective option for solo travelers or groups of travelers. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique it is possible to find cozy, clean and safe options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and unique accommodation options, for example, staying in a space in a homeowner’s home or renting a whole home for a large number of people.
As a bonus here are some helpful tips for finding cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage at discounted prices. Be sure to look these stores up before you buy at a department store that is more traditional.
Check out sales that are off-season
Just like with accommodation, you can often find good deals on luggage during sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is particularly true for retailers of travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
Take a look at buying second-hand or used luggage. It’s a great method to save on top-quality brands and you could find gently used luggage in near perfect quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice comfort and safety. With a little bit of investigation and creativity you can locate an ideal location to stay within your budget, and also get amazing bargains in luggage to take on your next journey. By comparison shopping, signing up for loyalty programs, making reservations early or last-minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, or trying alternative options like rental homes and home sharing platforms to stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the maximum.