Planning for your next family vacation includes a lot of time, and if you don’t do your research it could cost you a lot of money. No worries, we have you covered with this guide to help you find the right family accommodations at the right price.
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How To Choose Family Accommodations When Traveling
Before we start with how to save money on your vacation, we first should cover what you need to think about when looking for the cheapest hotels or best hotel alternatives. Here is a check list that Annette from Tips From A Typical Mom uses during her searches:
2. Is there a kitchenette so we can prepare some of our own meals to save money?
3. Is there a pool for the kids to spend some time in?
4. Is there a complimentary breakfast?
5. Is it close to all the sights we want to see while we are in the area?
6. Does it provide transportation to and from the airport and to activities and events?
Hotel Deals – How To Save Money On Hotels
There are many ways to save money on vacation and one of those ways is to save on hotels. Finding the right hotel deals can be a game of knowing where to look and most importantly luck. By using these tips and tricks you will have the best options on how to save money on hotels while ensuring that luck will be on your side.
Best Hotel Search Site
There are many hotel search sites now available on the internet. The ones mentioned here are what either we use at Mommy And Me Travels or is used by other expert family travelers.
Hotels.com offers great last minute discounts in top cities in the US and Canada. You can save big when booking your next getaway on this hotel search site. Make sure you sign up for the hotels.com rewards program so that when you stay 10 nights you will earn 1 night FREE, bonus you will unlock member-only prices to save even more. Military members, click here to save 10% off with verified Troop ID. — Tiffany from Mommy And Me Travels
Saving Money On Hotels By Using Reward Points
Most major hotels have a reward program that you can sign up for free to accumulate points for future stays. Take advantage of there hotel reward programs! You can use these points for free stays, free upgrades, free breakfast, and so many other things. Check out the hotels status we are earning this year for free (or close to it) and the benefits we receive.
Start with our Family Travel Hacking 101 Guide before you do this!
Earn Everyday Points With Credit Cards
We saved hundreds of dollars on hotels through the use of mileage and points accrued from travel credit cards. Everyday expenses such as groceries, eating out, or even filling up the gas can turn into a free vacation once you accumulate enough points. You can spend the points you earn right in a booking portal or transfer them at a 1:1 ratio directly to your hotel reward program. — Yamy from Gofamgo
Use Sign-Up Bonuses To Get To Your Next Family Vacation Faster
Credit card sign-up bonuses add up to huge savings. You can use these sign-up bonuses to quickly earn enough points for your families next travel accommodations. Click each card below to view the best sign-up bonus available for each!
Chase Sapphire Preferred – Best rewards during travel
American Express Gold – Best bang for your buck on everyday spend catagories
World Of Hyatt – Best status hotel for family travelers
Alternatives To Hotels For Family Travels
Depending on what type of vacation you are looking for, you might find it best to choose an alternative to hotels. These could be beach houses, a cabin in the mountains, a loft in central downtown, or any type of accommodations that your family is looking for.
Consider Hostels As Cheap Alternatives To Hotels
Hostels aren’t just for backpacking college students anymore. For any size family, but especially large families, this is a great money saving option to consider. If traveling mid-week and off season, hostels are generally very quiet. Many hostels have family-friendly game rooms and lounges to relax in. Perfect for kids that want to blow of steam and parents that want to relax. Most are family friendly, but make sure you ask before you make reservations, just in case. Click here to see all of the different type of Hostels available around the world from Hostel World. — Shannon from Captivating Compass
VRBO (and AirBnB) Are Great Alternatives To Hotels
When choosing accommodation for our family holiday, I just can’t go past VRBO as the alternative to hotels. We have had a series of wonderful bookings worldwide and totally think it is the best way to go. VRBO has so many beautiful homes to choose from, and the prices give you so much better value for money. I value the inclusions that you get from VRBO’s such as a kitchen and laundry. It’s also the personal touches to a place that really make you feel you are at home away from home. Hosts are the best point of contact if you need to organize an airport transfer, or local ground transport too. Bonus, VRBO has started advertising experiences now as well as just houses which can give you some great ideas on things to do during your stay. Have a browse, it’s totally free to join! Click here to check out many options and reviews on VRBOs for your next family vacation. — Kris from Gadventures
Reserve An RV As Your Alternative Lodging
Our family prefers to stay in an RV as our alternative lodging choice, so our research of places to stay consists of campgrounds, both public and private. There are many great websites that you can reserve an RV from, those are RVShare and Outdoorsy. Many of these owners will offer delivery to your chosen location. We research quite a bit before making our final decision. Whether the campground or RV park has full hook-ups, showers, gravel or paved parking pads, trees or open spaces, fire rings, picnic tables, and other family friendly things all influence our decision. Looking for an RV for your next trip, reserve here! — Sarah from State by State
Other Ways To Save Money On Vacation With Travel Accommodations
In addition to doing your research and finding the best hotel deals or hotel alternatives is to think about the little things you can do when traveling that will really add money back into your pocket.
1. Be flexible with your dates – You may get a better rate staying on a Sunday night, during the week, or a certain number of nights. — Tiffany from Mommy And Me Travels
2. Consider traveling off-season – Traveling mostly in the off-season, and avoiding the beaten track, we decide on a day-to-day basis where we will stay, rather than booking in advance. The trip is a spontaneous adventure! — Deborah from World Wise Kid
3. FREE Breakfast – Only stay in hotels that offer free breakfast and have a mini fridge. Free breakfast means one-third of our food is free. Mini-Fridge means we can pack our own lunches and save money. — Regina from Full Time Field Trip
Wrap Up Of Our Tips To Choosing Family Accommodations – Save On Vacations With These Travel Accommodations Tricks
My hope is that you have found at least one (but hopefully many) way to save money on your next vacation by choosing family accommodations that meet your needs and budget. Remember to think outside the box and be open to trying new adventures by using hotel alternatives if they meet your travel budgeting goals better. Some of our favorite accommodations have been in the least likely places.
You might also find our other Planning Family Travel Guides useful too! Check them out:
Have questions or looking for more tips and tricks? Join our Facebook family focused travel group at: Little World Adventure Travelers
Book Your Family Trip With These Tips And Tricks
Booking Your Flight
Find your perfect flight and save money using Skyscanner, CheapAir.com, and Kayak. These are my favorite search engines to use since they search multiple airlines around the world to find the best routes and cheapest tickets available.
Booking Your Accommodations
There are many ways to book your perfect hostel, hotel, or vacation home for your next family adventure. Our favorite for booking hostels is Hostelworld. When booking hotel rooms I use Hotels.com and Booking.com. When looking for an entire vacation home, my go to is VRBO. I love these platforms in particular because the constantly provide the best accommodations for the cheapest price.
Booking Your Rental Cars
Don't forget to book your rental car when you are booking your family vacation. I like to do this early as I find that the best deals are not last minute ones. For your European travels check out AutoEurope as they search multiple rental car companies and get you the best rate available without you having to do the leg work. When booking in the USA we like to check out Enterprise, Hertz, Thrifty, and SixT.
Book Travel Insurance
I have started using travel insurance once I started traveling with a family. Today more than ever, travel insurance is extremely important as you never know when something unexpected is going to happen. Our go to companies to get quotes are World Nomads and Travelex.
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