Travel Tips – Accommodation
View all the tips that will help you get the most out of your accommodation
Ask For A Child Discount
Asking for child discounts can really save you a lot of money during your trip. Most people are not aware of these, or they don’t feel comfortable asking, but give it a try, and you’ll be surprised when you see how many places will give you a child discount when you’re traveling.
Some restaurants and other locations may publish their prices and kids’ policies online on their website, but there is usually no mention of a discount. You have nothing to lose by simply asking.
Either send a quick email ahead of time or ask when you’re buying tickets at the location.
Ask for discounts on:
- Attraction entrance fees
- Transportation including buses and trains
- Private tours and guides
The more popular locations and cities will offer a large variety of coupons you can find online. Give it a try.
The same tip we gave about the airport employees apply with hotel employees – be nice. Make a good impression and be pleasant at check-in, including the bellboy helping you with your car or opening the door for you to the person helping you at the front desk. Doing so might pay off later. You might get good treatment throughout your stay, exceptionally if you’re requesting an upgrade.
Being nice will make you feel better even if you won’t get any special treatment. It just feels nice to smile. Why won’t you give it a try right now 🙂
Book Accommodations With Separate Sleeping Areas
Whatever type of accommodation you choose, choose one that offers a separate room for the kids. You’ll pay a little more for this convenience, but a good night’s sleep is the key ingredient to a successful family trip.
If everyone stays in the same room, you also lose privacy when needed, have less sleep, share TV, and more.
If your kids are older, you might even want separate sleeping areas for each one.
Not every accommodation offers one- or two-bedroom suites, so you need to do a little more research.
Most of the big sites like Expedia, Booking.com, and Hotels.com will offer that information.
Vacation villages such as Center Parcs and Landal or Apartment rentals from sites such as Airbnb are the best option for this. They are often cheaper than hotels and offer all of the comforts of home. Try looking for centrally located apartments that provide full kitchens and laundry, saving us time and money.
Less moving means less packing and unpacking. This means less trouble and fewer things being lost.
Book Directly with Hotel for the Best Rates
Booking directly with the hotels can sometimes be better than dealing with third-party services that offer more limited choices and higher prices for rooms. The hotel front desk knows the exact hotel status and can sometimes provide upgrades or cheaper rates if they have a low vacancy.
Do your homework and compare prices.
When booking online, note that sometimes this is not the final price, and you might have to pay country/state tax at the hotel.
On your business trip, you have to be at your best. This is not the time to go wild and eat comfort food all day. Keep your health routine, avoid unhealthy restaurant foods, go for salads, keep the dressing on the side, don’t go wild on events, just keep things as if you were home.
It’s the case for any time and any trip, but more important if you have many business trips.
Do you book on the weekend or mid-week
Some hotels, especially downtown, are focused on business travelers. Therefore, their prices may be more affordable on the weekends once the business travelers have gone home. On the other hand, cozy B&Bs and romantic weekend getaways might offer lower rates during the week. If possible, book accordingly.
Don't Jump Between Hotels
There’s no point trying to cover everything. Take your time, focus on close areas, and cover all the things that interest you in that area. This will also help you avoid the need to just from one hotel to another every night. Try to pick a place to stay the whole time you are in that area. Jump to the next one when you move to another place or a different part of the city.
It’s especially important when traveling with your children since they get used to the place and develop some comfort level, helping them enjoy it more and sleep better.
Less moving means less packing and unpacking. This means less trouble and fewer things being lost.
It feels a bit weird recommending this one, but here we go. If you need to cancel your hotel reservation at the last minute, you’ll probably have to pay a fine.
To avoid the cancellation fee, you can often manipulate a small loophole in most hotel systems. Try rescheduling for a later date (which is usually free), and then call again and request a cancellation through another representative.
Go social media
Social media is exceptionally popular these days. It has become one of the fastest ways to grab the attention of customer service representatives regardless of the industry. If you have missed a connection or got bumped, you can use Twitter to catch the respective airline company’s attention. This is a much easier way compared to sending emails or calling them. Also, a tweet can grab attention quickly, and you are likely to get an answer quickly with this method.
If you’re looking for places to travel or eat, try more visual social networks, such as Instagram.
Hotels Are Not The Only Option
- Holiday villages – have your own house in nature, especially if you live in the city, to have new experiences. Not only that, some parks offer everything you can imagine for a perfect family vacation, including entertainment, food, activities, and much more. My family and I love these villages and tried several in Europe and the US. It’s just pure relaxing fun.
- Cruise – this is another type of lodging and a completely different type of trip experience. The new cruise boats have everything you can imagine on them so you can enjoy great entertainment for the entire family, amazing food, shopping, and much more—all that while traveling to different locations.
- Home exchange – you can either rent homes on sites such as Airbnb or even exchange your home with other families.
- RV – RVs and Trailers are another option to consider when planning your next trip. It’s a different experience, had its advantages and disadvantages like any other option.
- Camping – Enjoy the freedom of the outdoors and connect with nature. If you’re less experienced with camping, there are organized places where you can rent a ready-to-use, equipped tent.
Try to experience new ways of traveling but remember to choose those that your family likes.
Hotels hate empty rooms
If you can, wait until the last minute to book your hotel room and enjoy better rates.
If it’s high season, if your traveling with kids, if it’s a very touristic place, think carefully before taking a risk of booking at the last minute.
Make Them Partners
If your kids are large enough, let them help with the planning of the trip. If they’re too small, keep them engaged and explain the journey ahead of time.
Making them partners can help in many ways:
- It helps them grow and learn responsibility.
- Read, research, and choose.
- Learn teamwork.
- Learn about where they’re going ahead of time, and let them study its history, things to do, and what to expect.
If your kids are not used to travel, trips have a lot of new things going on. The preparation and the trip can make them feel uncomfortable, which will ruin the trip for everyone.
If they’re too young, go over the trip plan with them. Show them pictures, a map with the trip plan and places you’ll go, and explain the agenda at a high level. All these steps will help them know what to expect.
You can even let them prepare their own trip plan based on the places you discussed. Use it during the trip to let them know where they are according to the plan.
Remember that the airport and the flights, staying in a new “house”, riding a new car, and eating new types of food are all part of the plan.
If they’re older, let them pick the activities they want to do, at least for part of the trip. Take this opportunity to go over your expectations for their behavior during the trip.
Make your kids part of the trip right from the start. It will result in a happier trip for everyone. Give them options of activities to choose from.
Pay Extra Attention To Safety And Security
I’m not referring to the security process at the airport. I’m talking about making sure your kids, no matter their age, are safe during every step of the trip.
Never lose sight of your loved ones – when you lose your child and don’t know where he is even for a second, it’s the worst feeling anyone can imagine. So make sure you always know where your kids are, whether it’s at the airport, museums, parks, streets, and any other place you travel. Yes, you should explain to them, as part of the trip ground rules, that they should always pay attention and stay with one of the adults. But they are kids, and kids might easily lose attention looking at a shiny new toy and get lost.
When busy with logistics, even buying tickets to the amusement park, you can easily lose track and get distracted. When traveling with another adult, always make sure one is busy with logistics, while the other keeps an eye on the kids. If you travel alone with kids, make sure that they stay within your view at all times. If possible, hold their hands.
Another tip that can help to keep things safe, especially in crowded places, make sure your kids have your contact information. Even if they can’t call you, other adults might help when needed.
The contact information should include:
- Full name
- Phone number/s
- Email address
- Local address (hotel, family)
The easiest way would be to put the not in their pocket. No pockets, be creative. Tie the note to their belt loop, give them a necklace, put it in their shoes or you can order bands designed especially for these, such as those found on Amazon. Just make sure they know where it is.
Resell Your Hotel Room
Plans change for different reasons, and you might get stuck with a nonrefundable hotel room booking. However, you can try to resell it to someone else using sites such as RoomerTravel.com.
You probably won’t get the price you paid. After all, the site needs to earn its fee, and buyers expect lower prices than a regular booking. Still, it’s much better than losing the entire amount you paid for the booking.
Plans change. Think about cancellation insurance the next time you book a hotel.
Selfmade cooler right in your hotel room
Need to cool down some drinks and don’t have a fridge? Use the sink as a cooler. Fill the sink with water and ice from the machine, and you got yourself a great cooler.
Grab a six-pack from the local store and skip the hotel bar to save some money.