When you’re on the road the place you rest your head in the night can take up a significant portion from your spending budget. But worry not, there’s plenty of options for finding secure, affordable and cozy accommodation.
For us, traveling with kids doesn’t always mean going for the cheapest options and we’re looking to get the best value for money. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used be, but we need to cut costs.
What you do and where you decide to stay will depend on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and comfort level
- The size of your crew
- Your interests
Just remember that getting 15% off a room you don’t really like isn’t the same as paying full price for a place you do. Therefore, our aim is to help you save money on lodging and to get an accommodation that you are happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed the way we travel throughout the years. In the case of longer travel, we’d prefer apartments due to their kitchens, separate bedrooms and laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the cost with friends or other families. But for shorter stays, we’re more than happy to stay in hostels or hotels that are family-friendly.
If you’re taking an extended trip across the world, try taking a longer trip to places where you can save more and lowering your standards in countries that are more expensive.
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 everything and you have to pay more for transportation. Consider hotels located in central locations near airports, public transportation, and things to do like beaches, restaurants, and parks.
Stay for more than one night
Many places offer better deals when you stay more than two nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays therefore you might be able to find a deal. Plus, if you stay on Sunday, you’ll avoid the lines at check-ins and outs on Fridays and Mondays.
Weekdays are your friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are less expensive on weekdays than weekends. Therefore, you can get away from tourist crowds, and also save some cash by traveling midweek.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s no surprise that hotels tend to be more expensive during the off-season. If you’re able to travel during shoulder seasons (between peak and off-peak) you’ll save money as well as avoid crowds, and have decent conditions.
Compare prices across different booking websites
Don’t just book through the first website you find. Compare the prices on multiple websites to ensure you’re getting the best price.
Sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs in which members earn rewards and discounts on future stays.
Make reservations early or at the last minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will get you a better deal, while other times staying up until the last minute can score you a discounted rate.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you book directly through a hotel or holiday rental, don’t be scared to request an improved rate or additional facilities. There’s no way to know if they may just agree!
Look for vacation rental deals
Apartments, such as vacation rentals or homes, can be a great option for groups or families. In many cases, they can be less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms.
Benefit from credit card rewards
If you have a credit card that offers travel rewards, you can use these rewards to cover your hotel and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels might charge additional fees for things like cleaning or resort fees, so be sure to check the fine print prior to making a booking.
Find discounts or promotions
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer specials or discounts on items such as military personnel, students or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains can be found in smaller, independent hotels or holiday rentals that aren’t well-known.
Make sure you find pet-friendly accommodations
If you’re traveling with your pet Look for places that cater to pets. Some places provide special discounts or deals for guests who have pets.
Utilize social media
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer special discounts or deals that they promote via social media. So be sure to keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You can try a home-sitting job or a house-sitting
Housesitting or home swapping is the process of swapping houses with someone else and live in their home while they reside in yours. This can be a great option to save money on accommodation while still being in your space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling with a group or family hiring a campervan, or RV is a great way to save money on accommodation. Plus, you’ll be able to visit different locations and have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and deals that aren’t offered to the general people. Additionally, they are able to perform the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
Booking a hotel, flight and rental vehicle together as a package deal can occasionally save cash on each component.
Look for hostels
Hostels are an affordable option for solo travelers or groups of travelers. And with the popularity of hostels that are boutique there are often safe, comfortable, and safe options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo are able to provide cheaper and exclusive accommodation options such as staying in a private room in a home owned by a local or renting a home for a large number of people.
For your convenience, here are some tips for finding cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage for sale at a discount. Be sure to check these stores out prior to purchasing from a department store.
Find sales during off-season
Like with accommodations, you can often find good deals on luggage during the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true for outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy used or refurbished
Take a look at buying second-hand or recycled luggage. This can be a great option to save money on top-quality brands and you might be able to locate lightly used luggage in perfect condition. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay have good options and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In conclusion, finding cheap accommodation and discount luggage doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice comfort and safety. If you do a little investigation and creativity it is possible to find a great accommodation within your budget, and also get amazing bargains on luggage for 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, or exploring other options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals, you can stretch your budget further and enjoy your travels to the fullest.