While traveling and you’re sleeping, the location you put your head at night can eat up a big chunk of your 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 choosing the most expensive options and we’re looking to get the most value for dollars. We’re not as down for roughing it as we used to have been, however we still need to cut costs.
Where and how you choose to stay will depend on a few things like:
- Your budget
- Your destination
- Your travel style and comfort level
- How big is your 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 full price for a place you do. Our goal is to help you save money on lodging and to get the perfect place to stay.
As a family, we’ve switched up our accommodation preferences over the years. For longer trips, we prefer apartments because they have 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 happy to stay in hostels or hotels that are family-friendly.
If you’re planning an extended trip across the world, try spending more time in places that will make your money go further and reduce your expectations 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’ll need to pay more for transportation. Look for places in central areas that are close to public transportation, airports and other things to do like restaurants, the beach and parks.
Stay more than one night
A lot of hotels offer discounts if you stay for more than two nights. Sometimes you can even stay for four nights, and only pay for three nights.
Hit your hotel Sunday morning
Hotels tend to be less crowded on Sundays which means you’re likely to score a good deal. Also, if you book on Sunday, you’ll avoid the lines at check-ins and outs on Monday and Friday.
The weekdays are the best days to be a part of your life.
In certain cities, such as Las Vegas, hotels are cheaper on weekdays than weekends. Also, try to stay away from the crowds and save cash by traveling midweek.
Off-season is the best-season
It’s no surprise that hotels are cheaper during the off-season. If you can travel in the shoulder season (between the peak season and off-peak), you can reduce costs, avoid crowds and still enjoy decent weather.
Compare prices across different booking sites
Do not just book on the first site you come across. Compare prices across multiple sites to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Sign up for loyalty programs
Many hotels and vacation rental companies have loyalty programs through which guests can accumulate points and discounts for future stays.
Book early or last-minute
Sometimes, making reservations early will offer a better price, while other times, waiting until the last minute may get you a discount.
Do not be afraid of negotiating
When you book directly with a hotel or vacation rental, don’t feel afraid to ask for an improved rate or additional facilities. You never know, they might just say yes!
Look for vacation rental deals
Vacation rentals, like apartments or homes, can be ideal for families or groups. And many times, they can be cheaper than booking more hotel rooms.
Make use of rewards on credit cards
If you own a credit card that has travel rewards, utilize the rewards for your lodging 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 be aware of the fine print before making a booking.
Find discounts or promotions
Many hotels and vacation rentals offer promotions or discounts on items such as military personnel, students, as well as AAA members.
Check for hidden gems
Sometimes, the best bargains can be found in smaller, independent hotels or holiday rentals that aren’t popular.
Look for pet-friendly options
If you’re planning to travel with a furry friend consider looking for accommodations that are pet-friendly. These places may provide special discounts or deals for guests with pets.
Utilize social media
A lot of hotels and vacation rental properties have special deals or discounts that they advertise through social media. Make sure you follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You can try a home-sitting job or a house-sitting
Housesitting, also known as home swapping, is when you swap houses with a different person which allows you to reside in their house while they reside in yours. This can be a great option to save money on accommodation while still having your own space.
Think about renting a campervan RV
If you’re traveling as a group of people renting a campervan or RV could be the best option to save on accommodation. In addition, you’ll have the chance to visit different locations and also have the convenience of your own vehicle all in one!
Use a travel agent
Travel agents often have access to discounts and deals that aren’t offered to the general people. Additionally, they are able to conduct the research and comparison shopping for you.
Book a package deal
A flight, hotel, and rental vehicle together in a bundle deal can sometimes save you money on each individual component.
Look for hostels
Hostels can be a cost-effective choice for solo travellers or groups. In addition, with the rise of boutique hostels it is possible to find comfortable, clean, and safe options.
Explore home-sharing platforms
Home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo provide more affordable and distinctive accommodation options, like staying in a private room in a home owned by a local or renting a house for a large group.
In addition, here are some tips for finding cheap luggage:
Shop at discount retailers
Discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls often carry a selection of luggage for sale at a discount. Make sure to look these stores up before purchasing from a department store.
Look for off-season sales
Similar to accommodation, you can often get good bargains on luggage in the sale season’s off or at the end of the season. This is especially true for the stores that sell travel and outdoor gear.
Buy used or refurbished
You should consider purchasing used or used luggage. It’s a great way to save money on high-end brands. You may be able to find lightly used luggage in excellent quality. Websites like Amazon and Ebay are good choices, as are there are local classifieds as well as garage sales.
In the end, finding cheap accommodation and discount luggage doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice the comfort or security. With a bit of research and imagination, you can find an ideal location to stay within your budget and incredible discounts in luggage to take on your next trip. By comparison shopping, signing up for loyalty programs, booking early or last-minute and taking advantage of specials and discounts, or looking at alternative options such as home-sharing platforms and vacation rentals You can extend your budget and enjoy your travels to the maximum.