How to Save on Vacations – Tips for Booking the Best Deals

Accommodations are often one of the biggest travel expenses, so it’s important to find ways to save money on hotels and Airbnbs. These tips will help you reduce your accommodation costs, freeing up more money for activities and other travel costs.

Typically, booking your hotel or Airbnb far in advance will save you the most money. However, if you’re flexible and willing to wait, you can also save by booking at the last minute.

Stay in the City Center


Accommodations are often the second largest travel expense after flights, but there are many ways to save on your hotel stays. If you’re flexible with your travel dates and willing to sacrifice some comfort, you can find great deals on hotels in many popular destinations.

If you’re a frequent traveler, consider using your hotel loyalty program to save money on your hotel stay. Many hotels offer packages that bundle the room with credits for dining, spa services, recreation and more. Those extras can save you cash that you can spend on other aspects of your trip, or put towards future bookings.

Hotel prices can vary significantly based on demand and season, so it’s important to be flexible. Unless you have your heart set on a specific hotel, consider staying somewhere a bit outside the city center. It may be a short walk or ride on public transportation to see the sights, but you’ll save some money and get more local experience.

Apartments, condos and cabins can cost much less per night than traditional hotels and often provide more amenities. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO can help you find these options in popular destinations around the world. Alternatively, some cities have hostels that are open to travelers of all ages. These accommodations are a great way to meet fellow travelers and usually provide cheap rooms with amenities such as free wifi, kitchens and laundry machines.

Travelers can also save on their hotel costs by using a travel booking site like Priceline or Hotwire to search for lodging in cities. These sites allow you to bid on the price of your stay, and you don’t know what hotel you’ll be staying at until your bid is accepted.

Stay Outside the City Center

Typically, the closer to a city center, the more expensive a hotel will be. To save on accommodation costs, stay outside the center and walk or take local transit to the sites you want to see. You’ll still have easy access to the top attractions, but you’ll spend less on the room and have a more authentic experience of the city.

Another way to save on accommodations is to stay mid-week instead of a weekend. Hotels have less demand for rooms on weekends, so the prices are lower. If you’re willing to be flexible with your itinerary, you can often find great deals for hotels on Monday through Thursday nights.

For longer stays, consider renting a long-term Airbnb. This can save you a lot of money on accommodations and also make it easier to budget your trip. Many hosts offer weekly and monthly discounts if you book for a minimum of one month. Some even provide free toiletries like shampoo and shower gel if you ask nicely!

You can also keep in mind that a travel agency can help find the best deal to get cheap hotels. Both are a bit risky because you don’t know what hotel you’re staying at until your bid is accepted, but if you’re up for the gamble and have a good understanding of the neighborhoods where you’ll be visiting, it can save you a lot of money.

If you’re a frequent traveler, consider using accommodation rewards programs to earn points for your stays. Credit cards also often have benefits related to accommodation, so be sure to check the details of your cards to maximize your value. Some hotels will also offer package deals that include credits for dining, spa services and recreation, so be sure to look for those as well.

Stay in an Apartment or Suite

Apartments, condos, cabins and vacation rentals cost less per night than hotels, and they can save travelers money on food costs because they have kitchens. These types of accommodations also provide more space than hotel rooms, so they are ideal for families and groups traveling together.

Many travel sites and hotel apps will send you alerts for deals on specific dates or areas, so you can be on the lookout for a good deal. You can also look into a hotel loyalty program if you travel frequently, as they may have deals that aren’t advertised online or aren’t offered to the general public.

Be flexible with your travel dates, as rates can vary widely depending on the hotel’s occupancy rate and local events or conventions. Many luxury hotels can be full during the weekend while remaining empty during the weekday due to business travelers and local events.

Consider staying at a hostel or at a college dormitory during summer vacation for an inexpensive alternative to traditional hotels. Hostels can be fun and social, and you often have the opportunity to make new friends from around the world. Hostels can also offer breakfast, laundry and other services at a reduced cost.

Be sure to use your credit card’s rewards programs to get the most bang for your buck on accommodation. Most credit cards allow you to accumulate points by spending on certain purchases, so this is a great way to reduce your overall travel costs. Many hotels also offer packages that bundle a room with credits for dining, spa services, recreation and other amenities to maximize your value and convenience.

Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates

It can be challenging to find a deal on accommodation, especially in busy travel seasons. Hidden fees and fluctuating prices make it difficult to know what you’re getting into. But, there are some smart strategies and resources that can help you save on lodging.

One way to save on lodging is to be flexible with your travel dates. Prices vary greatly depending on the time of year and day of week. Traveling in the shoulder or off-season can save you a lot of money on accommodations. Using apps and websites that track hotel prices can also help you save on your stay.

Another great way to save on your travel costs is by booking a package deal. Many hotels offer packages that bundle the room with credits for dining, spa services and recreation. These packages can save you a lot of money and allow you to experience more than just the hotel room.

Staying in an apartment or suite can also be a great way to save on your travel expenses. These types of accommodations are typically cheaper than hotels, and they often come with a fully equipped kitchen. This allows you to save money by avoiding eating out for all of your meals during your trip.

If you’re looking for a way to save even more on your travel expenses, consider switching hotels on a weekly basis. This will allow you to take advantage of discounts and deals that may only be available if you stay for multiple days. Plus, staying at different hotels can help you get to know the city and culture a bit better. If you’re interested in trying this, it’s important to choose a hotel that is affordable and has amenities that will meet your needs.

Stay in the Shoulder or Off-Season

The best way to save on accommodations is to be flexible with your travel dates. Many hotels offer discounts when they are not at their peak season. For example, if you travel during the week instead of during the weekend, you can save up to 30% on hotel rates.

In addition, you can often find deals during the shoulder or off-season by booking hotels through apps like Hotel Tonight and Hotwire. The sites let you bid on hotels based on location and customer ratings. Hotels want to keep their rooms filled, so they will lower their prices to entice travelers.

When you book through these sites, make sure to delete your search history and use a private or incognito browser so the sites don’t track your browsing patterns. This is an easy way to avoid getting stung by hidden fees when you search for deals on the Internet.

Taking advantage of accommodation rewards programs can also help you save money. While many people are members of airline frequent flyer programs, few take advantage of the benefits offered by hotels. If you are a frequent traveler, you should consider joining one or two hotel loyalty programs to save on stays and earn perks like free room upgrades.

Another way to save on hotel costs is to book a package deal with airfare, hotel and car rental. Websites like Expedia and TripAdvisor allow you to bundle all the components of a vacation to save on the total cost. This may not be an option if you have a specific destination in mind, but it is a great way to save money on an entire trip.