While traveling, where you lay your head during the night could consume a large portion of your budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of options for finding budget-friendly, comfortable and safe accommodations.
We find that traveling with children doesn’t mean going for the cheapest options – we want to get the most value for our dollars. We’re not so keen on roughing it as much as we used to have been, however we still would like to save money.
Where and how you choose to stay depends on several factors, including:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and comfort level
- The size of your team
- Your interests
Remember that getting 15% off the room you don’t want isn’t as good as paying full price for a place you do. Our goal is to make it easier for you to save cash on accommodation and find a place you’re happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed the way we travel over the years. For longer trips, we prefer apartments due to their bedrooms that are separate from the kitchen, as well as laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the cost with friends or other families. For shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re planning to take an extended journey around the globe, consider 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 doesn’t make sense to choose a hotel that is cheap located far from all amenities and you need to shell out more money for transportation. Find hotels in central locations near public transportation, airports and activities such as restaurants, the beach, and parks.
Stay 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 only pay for three nights.
Go to the hotel on Sunday
Hotels tend to be 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 crowds at check-in and checkout on Fridays and Mondays.
Your weekdays can be your best friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive during the week than on weekends. Also, try to stay away from tourist crowds, and also save some money by travelling during the week.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper in the off-season. If you can travel in the shoulder season (between high and low) it is possible to cut costs while avoiding crowds and have decent weather.
Compare the prices of different booking sites
Do not book on the first site you come across. Compare the prices on multiple websites to ensure you’re getting the most value for money.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
A lot of vacation rental and hotels have loyalty programs through which members earn rewards and discounts on future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will save you money and other times staying up to the end of the day could get you a discount.
Do not be afraid to bargain
When you book directly with 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 might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or homes, can be ideal for groups or families. And many times, they can be less expensive than booking more hotel rooms.
Make use of rewards on credit cards
If you own a credit card with travel rewards, utilize the rewards for lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites 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.
Check for discounts or offers
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer discounts or promotions for students, military personnel, as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found in smaller hotels, independent establishments or vacation rentals that aren’t as popular.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re traveling with a pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These places may offer special deals or discounts for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer discounts or special offers that they advertise on social media. Make sure you keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Home swapping or housesitting is when you swap houses with another person which allows you to reside in their house while they stay in yours. It can be a wonderful way to save money on housing while having your own space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with a group of people hiring a campervan, or RV could be the best method to save money on accommodations. In addition, you’ll have the chance to travel around the world and even have your own transportation all 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 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 of the components.
Search for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly option for solo travelers or groups. With the rise of boutique hostels, you can often find comfortable, clean, and safe alternatives.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and exclusive accommodation options like staying in a private room in a home owned by a local or renting a whole 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 for sale at a discount. Make sure you go through these stores before purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Look for off-season sales
Similar to accommodation It is not uncommon to get good bargains on luggage in the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true for the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
Take a look at buying second-hand or refurbished luggage. This can be a great option to save money on high-end brands. You may be able to find gently used luggage in near perfect condition. Websites like 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 security and comfort. With a bit of research and imagination it is possible to find a great location to stay within your budget, and also get amazing deals on luggage for your next journey. By looking at prices by signing up to loyalty programs, making bookings in advance or last-minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, or exploring other options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals to extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the maximum.