When you’re on the road and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head during the night could consume a large portion from your spending budget. However, don’t fret because there are plenty of options for finding budget-friendly, comfortable and safe places to stay.
We find that traveling with children isn’t always going for the cheapest options and we’re looking to get the most value for money. We’re not as keen on roughing it as we used to have been, however we need to cut costs.
The place and the way you decide to stay depends on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and level of comfort
- How big is your crew
- Your interests
Remember that getting a 15% discount on a room you don’t really need isn’t as effective as paying the full cost for a place you do. Our goal is to make it easier for you to save cash on accommodation and find the perfect place to stay.
As our family, we’ve shifted up our accommodation preferences over time. When we travel for longer periods, we prefer apartments because they have kitchens, separate bedrooms and laundry facilities. Plus, we can split the costs with friends or other families. But for short stays, we’re happy to stay in hotels or family-friendly hostels.
If you’re planning to take an extended trip across 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’s not sensible to find a cheap hotel located far from everything and you have to shell out more money for transportation. Consider hotels located in central locations near public transportation, airports, and things to do, like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay longer than one night
Some hotels provide better rates if you stay for two or more nights. In some cases, you can stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels are less busy on Sundays, so you may be able to find a deal. Also, if you book on a Sunday, you’ll stay clear of the crowds at check-in and checkout on Fridays and Mondays.
The weekdays are the best days to be a part of your life.
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are more affordable during the week than weekends. So, get away from all the tourists and spare money by going during the week.
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 the peak season and off-peak) you’ll cut costs, avoid crowds and still have decent weather.
Compare rates across various booking sites
Do not just book on the first site you come across. Compare the prices on multiple websites to ensure that you’re getting the most value for money.
Join loyalty programs and sign up
A lot of resorts and hotels offer loyalty programs where members earn rewards or discount on future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, booking early can offer a better price and other times staying up until the last minute may score you a discounted rate.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
If you are booking directly through a hotel or vacation rental, don’t be afraid to ask for a better rate or extra facilities. You never know, they might even say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Apartments, such as vacation rentals or homes, can be a great option for families or groups. They are less expensive than booking more hotel rooms.
Benefit from credit card rewards
If you have a credit card that offers travel rewards, you can utilize them to pay for lodging and save money.
Check for hidden fees
Hotels or booking sites might charge additional fees for things such as resort or cleaning fees So be sure to read the fine print before making a booking.
Find discounts or promotions
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties offer specials or discounts for military personnel, students and AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best deals can be found in smaller hotels, independent establishments or holiday rentals that aren’t well-known.
Find pet-friendly places
If you’re planning a trip with a pet consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. Some places offer special deals or discounts for pet owners.
Utilize social media
Many vacation and hotel accommodations offer discounts or special offers that they promote via social media. Be sure to be following them on 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 another person and stay in their home while they reside in yours. It can be a wonderful way to save money on lodging while also 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 is the best method to save money on accommodation. In addition, you’ll have the chance to travel around the world and even have your own transportation in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents can often access discounts and offers which aren’t accessible to the general public. They can also conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A flight, hotel, and rental vehicle together as a package deal could often save you cash on each component.
Look for hostels
Hostels can be a cost-effective alternative for solo travelers as well as groups of travelers. With the rise of boutique hostels there are often comfortable, clean, and secure options.
Try home-sharing services
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo can offer more affordable and unique accommodation options, for example, staying in a room in a home owned by a local or renting a complete home for a large number of people.
As a bonus here are some tips to find cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers 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.
Look for off-season sales
Just like with accommodation It is not uncommon to get good bargains on luggage during seasonal sales or the off-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. This can be a great option to save money on high-end brands. You could find gently used luggage in near perfect quality. Websites such as Amazon and Ebay offer a variety of options, and there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In the end, finding affordable accommodations and cheap luggage does not have to mean sacrificing comfort and safety. With a little bit of research and creativity it is possible to find an ideal location to stay within your budget and incredible discounts on luggage for your next journey. By comparing prices and signing up for loyalty programs, making bookings in advance or last-minute booking, taking advantage of sales and discounts, as well as trying alternative options like home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals to extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the maximum.