If you’re traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head at night can eat up a big chunk from your spending budget. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of options for finding budget-friendly, comfortable and safe places to stay.
For us, traveling with children isn’t always taking the cheapest option and we’re looking to get the best value for our budget. We’re not so keen on roughing it as we used do, yet we need to cut costs.
The place and the way you decide to stay will depend on a number of factors like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your style of travel and level of comfort
- How big is your team
- Your interests
Just remember that getting a 15% discount on a room you don’t really like isn’t the same as paying full price for a place you do. Our goal is to help you save money on accommodation and get a place you’re happy with.
As as a family, we’ve changed up our accommodation preferences throughout the years. In the case of longer travel, we prefer apartments because they have kitchens, separate bedrooms , and laundry facilities. Additionally, we can share the costs with friends or other families. For shorter stays, we’re happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re planning an extended trip around the world, try spending more time in places where your money goes further and lower your standards in more costly countries.
Here are 18 tips for scoring great lodging deals:
Location, location, location!
It’s not logical to find a cheap hotel if it’s miles away from everything , and you’ll need to spend extra on transportation. Consider hotels located in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports, and things to do, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay more than one night
Some hotels provide better rates if you stay for more than two nights. Sometimes you can even stay for four nights and pay for three nights.
Hit the hotel on Sunday
Hotels are less crowded on Sundays which means you’re likely to find a deal. Also, if you book on Sunday, you’ll avoid the crowds at check-in and checkout on Monday and Friday.
Weekdays are your friend
In some cities, like Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper on weekdays than weekends. So, avoid tourist crowds, and also save some cash by traveling midweek.
Off-season is when the best season is
It’s not a surprise that hotels are more affordable during the off-season. If you can travel in the shoulder season (between high and low) it is possible to cut costs, avoid crowds and still have decent weather.
Compare rates across various booking websites
Don’t just book through the first website you find. Compare prices across multiple sites to ensure that you’re getting the best price.
Make sure you sign up for loyalty programs
A lot of hotels and vacation rental companies have loyalty programs through which you can earn points or discounts on future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations earlier can offer a better price and other times staying up until the last minute could result in a lower rate.
Do not be afraid to bargain
When booking directly with a hotel , or holiday rental, don’t be afraid to ask for an improved rate or additional features. You never know, they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Rentals for vacation, such as apartments or houses, are ideal for families or groups. They are less expensive than booking several hotel rooms.
Benefit from credit card rewards
If you own a credit card that offers travel rewards, you can make use of them to pay for your hotel and save even more money.
Check for hidden fees
Some booking websites or hotels might charge additional fees for things such as resort or cleaning fees Be sure to be aware of the fine print before booking.
Find discounts or promotions
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer discounts or promotions for military personnel, students, or AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the most affordable deals can be found at 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 furry friend Look for places that cater to pets. These places may offer special deals or discounts for pet owners.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer special discounts or deals that they advertise via social media. Make sure you keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Consider a home-sitting arrangement or house-swapping
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is when you exchange houses with a different person which allows you to stay in their home while they live in yours. It can be a wonderful option to save money on housing while being in your space.
You might want to consider renting a campervan, or an RV
If you’re traveling as a group of people renting a campervan or RV can be the best way to save money on lodging. Plus, you’ll be able to explore different places and also have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and special offers which aren’t accessible to the general public. Plus, they can conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A hotel, flight, and rental vehicle together as a package deal could sometimes save you money on each individual component.
Search for hostels
Hostels are a budget-friendly option for solo travelers or groups. And with the rise of boutique hostels it is possible to find comfortable, clean, and safe alternatives.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and unique accommodation options, like staying in a private room within a local’s home or renting a house for a large gathering.
As a bonus here are some tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage at discounted prices. Be sure to go through these stores before purchasing at a department store that is more traditional.
Check out sales that are off-season
Just like with accommodation You can usually find good deals on luggage in the off-season or end-of-season sales. This is especially true of outdoor and travel gear stores.
Buy refurbished or used
Take a look at buying second-hand or recycled luggage. This is a fantastic option to save money on high-end brands. You could find gently used luggage that is in perfect quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and also local classifieds and garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap lodging and discounted luggage doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice the comfort or security. If you do a little research and imagination you can locate a great accommodation within your budget, and also get amazing deals regarding luggage and luggage options for the next journey. By comparison shopping and signing up for loyalty programs, making bookings in advance or last-minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, or trying alternative options like holiday rentals and home-sharing platforms, you can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the fullest.