If you’re traveling the place you rest your head in the night can take up a significant portion from your spending budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of options for finding secure, affordable and cozy accommodations.
Traveling with children doesn’t mean choosing the most expensive options and we’re looking to get the best value for our budget. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used be, but we want to save some dough.
Where and how you choose to stay will depend on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and comfort level
- Your size crew
- Your interests are important to you
Just remember that getting a 15% discount on a room you don’t really like isn’t the same as paying the full cost for a room you really want. So, our goal is to make it easier for you to save money on lodging and to get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed around our accommodations over the years. In the case of longer travel, we’re more comfortable in apartments as they come with bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost of our trip with our friends or families. However, for shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re taking an extended trip across the world, try taking a longer trip to places that will make your money go 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 choose a hotel that is cheap in a location that is miles from all amenities and you need to pay more for transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas that are close to airports, public transportation and activities, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay for more than one night
Many places offer better deals If you stay for at least two nights. Sometimes you can even stay for four nights and pay for three.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays, therefore you might be able to score a good deal. If you decide to stay on Sunday, you’ll avoid the check-in and check-out crowds on Fridays and Mondays.
Weekdays are your friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are more affordable during the week than on weekends. Therefore, you can stay away from tourist crowds, and also save money by going during the week.
The off-season is the most enjoyable season
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you’re able to travel during shoulder seasons (between peak and off-peak) you’ll reduce costs while avoiding crowds and have decent conditions.
Compare the prices of different booking websites
Don’t just book through the first site you discover. Compare rates across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the most value for money.
Sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs where you can earn points or discount for future stays.
Pre-book or book last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will offer a better price, while other times, waiting until the last minute may score you a discounted rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you book directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be afraid to ask for a better rate or extra facilities. There’s no way to know if they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or houses, are an ideal option for families or groups. They are less expensive than booking several hotel rooms.
Benefit from credit card rewards
If you have a credit or debit card that has travel rewards, use the rewards for your hotel and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Certain booking sites or hotels may charge extra fees for items like resort or cleaning charges, so be sure to read the fine print before making your booking.
Look for promotions or discounts
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer discounts or promotions for students, military personnel, or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the most affordable deals can be found in smaller hotel chains, or in holiday rentals that aren’t popular.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning a trip with a furry friend consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. Some places offer special deals or discounts for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer discounts or special offers that they promote on social media. 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 and stay in their home while they live in yours. This is a fantastic way to save money on lodging while also being in your space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with a group or family hiring a campervan, or RV can be an excellent option to save on accommodation. Plus, you’ll be able to visit different locations and also have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and deals that aren’t offered to the general people. Plus, they can do the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a hotel, flight, and rental vehicle together as a package deal could often save you money on each of the components.
Search for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly choice for solo travellers or groups of travelers. And with the rise of boutique hostels there are often cozy, clean and safe alternatives.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing services 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 whole home for a large number of people.
In addition, here are some tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls usually have a range of luggage at discounted prices. Make sure to go through these stores before you buy from a traditional department store.
Find sales during off-season
Like with accommodations, 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 the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy refurbished or used
You should consider purchasing used or used luggage. It’s a great method to save on the top brands, and you may be able to find gently used luggage in near perfect condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and as well as local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding affordable lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice comfort and safety. With a bit of research and creativity it is possible to find the perfect accommodation within your budget and incredible bargains on luggage for your next journey. By comparison shopping, signing up for loyalty programs, making bookings early or last-minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, as well as looking at alternative options such as rental homes and home sharing platforms You can increase your spending and enjoy your travels to the fullest.