Whether you are travelling locally or overseas, one of your biggest expenses will be your accommodation. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can learn on how to save money on your accommodation. Let’s explore these now!
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1. Look for a packaged deal
After deciding on a travel destination and creating your travel budget and itinerary, you will know what your daily travel budget is and how much your budgeted spending per day will be. Now is a good time to go online to see if you can find any packaged deals that meet your requirements but cost less than what your own bookings would cost. I have found packaged deals from Tour Radar that include flights, hotels and car rental at a much better rate than my own arrangements would have been.
2. Consider your and your family’s needs
When you are a solo traveller, you may not really worry about the amenities a budget hotel room can offer as long as you can save money on accommodation. Just be careful that you don’t need to pay a single supplement fee.
When you have a family, you need to ensure that the accommodation you book cater for their needs. Perhaps you need adjoining rooms or a microwave or fridge to have snacks ready for your children.
In general, the less your room costs, the more you may spend on some things. For example, if you book a hotel room with a fridge and coffee/tea-making facilities, you can save money by making your own coffee or keeping snacks or drinks in the fridge. Without a fridge or coffee/tea-making facilities, you have no choice but to get these items from external vendors, which is likely to cost more.
3. Consider staying with family or friends
Some people make a point of never staying with friends and family members when they go on a trip, but this is one way to save on accommodation. If you have any family or friends in your holiday destination, consider staying with them to maximise your savings on accommodation. Even if you only stay with them for a day or two, you will save more on accommodation than when you have to pay for accommodation for every night you are away.
4. Compare AirBnB rates with hotel rates
Once you have decided on a destination, search on Airbnb to see what it would cost you. Often these properties are wonderful for family travel with amenities that are perfect when you need items, such as a washing machine or kitchen. Just watch out, AirBnB is not always the cheapest option in all destinations. In some destinations hotels may be cheaper than an AirBnB, just compare to make sure you get the best place for your budget.
5. Consider travel hostels
Hostels used to have a poor reputation, but these days you can easily hostels with modern and clean amenities and private rooms. You can even find hostels in prime locations! Even when you find one that is slightly outside the central area, the price may make up for the additional travel costs. There is no age limit to staying at most hostels, anyone between the ages of 8 and 80 can stay in a hostel. A hostel is an option if you are comfortable sharing a kitchen and bathroom, although there are hostels that offer private rooms and bathrooms.
6. The timing of your travel dates matters
If at all possible, try to avoid travelling during peak season when everything costs more. If you travel in the off-season or shoulder seasons, you can save a significant amount of money on accommodation and flights.
7. Make a bid on Hotwire or Priceline
Bidding on a hotel room can help you get a great bargain on accommodation. Just bear in mind that you won’t know where exactly you will stay with these sites. For example, with Priceline you cannot pick your hotel, but you will know the hotel’s rating and area.
8. Location, location, location
Staying in the city in many countries will be more expensive than staying further out. Airport hotels can also be fairly expensive compared to outside the city centre. Consider the location of a hotel in a central location compared to the travel and other costs if you stayed further out to determine what would be cost-efficient.
9. Use loyalty programs to save money on accommodation
If you travel often, it is worth signing up for loyalty programs or rewards programs for hotel chains, credit cards or even booking websites. Frequent bookings at one or more hotel chains or credit card purchases add up over time and you may qualify for discounted accommodation, other perks or upgraded accommodation at no additional costs to you.
10. Swap houses!
House swapping is become more popular and is a wonderful way to explore new destinations while saving money on accommodation. House swapping involves swapping your house with a family in another destination. What’s more, it is like a home away from home.
11. How to save money on accommodation: Try camping
If you love the outdoors, camping can be a great option to save money on accommodation. Camping can be a great adventure, especially when you travel as a family. You can choose from a range of campsites, some very basic and others with full amenities. You also don’t always need to take your own tent to camp. Tented camps are becoming popular as a way to be close to nature without taking your equipment.
12. Try staying in caravan parks
Staying in a caravan is more comfortable than a tent. Caravans have a little kitchen, stove and fridge. Many destinations have caravans you can rent for an affordable holiday by the seaside or in another scenic location.
13. Look for deals and discounts
Every city has its own deals and discounts sites. These sites are useful for finding coupons, bargain deals and other ways to save money on accommodation, tours and other fun travel-related activities.
14. How to save money on accommodation: Check the fine print
Make sure you check the fine print when you book accommodation. Most booking sites show whether your booking is cancelable and if so, by when you can cancel for free.
15. Compare hotels on various booking sites
It is always useful to check the various booking sites’ offerings for the same hotel. Sometimes the one site may offer free breakfast, free wi-fi or other perks that may save you money on accommodation. Have a list of booking sites and compare them before making your final decision on which hotel to book and which site to book it from. You can also use one of the many comparison sites to compare hotel prices to find the best accommodation deal to help you save money on accommodation.
16. Check the hotel website
Once you have identified a potential hotel to book, look at the hotel website to see if they are having any special hotel rewards or hotel points on offer. Sometimes you may get a discounted rate or free amenities for booking directly with the hotel.
17. Consider volunteering
For a unique travel experience, why not consider volunteering. Using a site such as Work Away, you may find a volunteer opportunity in the destination of your choice. In exchange for a few hours of work every day, you get free accommodation and meals with your host. What’s more, you get to spend time and interact with locals – there is no better way to learn about the culture of another country.
18. Sign-up for mailing lists
If you are planning a trip to a specific destination, sign up for the mailing list of its tourism website, hotels chains in the cities you will be visiting, booking sites, flight sites or discount websites. While these sites may have discounted rates, additional hotel points or other travel rewards on their websites, they may also from time to time have special accommodation deals in their email newsletter.
19. Try housesitting
House-sitting is another awesome way to save money on accommodation. In exchange for looking after the owner’s pets and taking care of minor household items, you get to stay in their house for free – imagine how much money you will save on hotels if you have FREE accommodation!
20. How to save money on accommodation: Stay longer
The longer you stay in one destination, the better the discounted rate you will get will be. With AirBnB, for example, you get a significant discount the longer you rent the same property. Better rates often start at anything longer than 7 days. This can help you save money while travelling. Booking sites, such as Agoda, now has a specific search for stays of longer than 30 days to give you special deals.
21. Book long in advance or at the last minute
When you book long in advance or at the last minute, you are likely to get the best rates. Booking long in advance may help you get cheaper prices since demand would not yet have driven the price up. There are many advantages to booking in advance and you know you have a bed for your stay.
Booking your accommodation only on the day you need it, may make most of us a bit nervous but you may negotiate the most discounted rates of all these strategies. Since these hotels and other housing options are likely not to be rented out later on the same day, they may be grateful for any booking.
More ways on how to save money on accommodation while travelling?
The 21 strategies can help you when you wonder how to save money while travelling, but perhaps you have used your own strategies to help you save money while travelling. Please share below if you have a unique way to save money on accommodation.