Finances / Travel

Traveling with your family doesn’t have to break the bank! One of the biggest expenses of family travel (after airfare) is the price of accommodation. But there are easy ways to save thousands of dollars on family accommodation AND stay in places that are much more enjoyable than a hotel room!

How do we save money on accommodation?

  1. We Book Houses Or Apartments – Not only does booking a house or apartment end up being cheaper than a hotel room, it also gives you the space you need as a family and provides conveniences like having a kitchen to cook your own meals in.
  2. We Travel In The Low Season – You can find discounts of 50% or more by traveling in the low season! Landlords are willing to slash their prices in the low season in order to make their properties more appealing. Low season can also be a great time to travel as there will be smaller crowds and a more relaxed vibe.
  3. We Book Long Term – Staying in one place for one month or more will help you to stretch your dollar and also give you a better feel for the customs and culture of the place you are staying.
  4. We Book Accommodation Locally – While sites like Airbnb are great, we have found that if you look for accommodation once you are at your destination you will find a much better deal. When arriving at a new destination, book a few nights online and then pound the pavement once you get there!
  5. We Are Nice To The Landlords – This may seem obvious, but your attitude when you contact landlords can go a long way in securing a discounted rate. Be nice, smile, be well-mannered, maybe even bring a small gift for your first meeting. You will be amazed at how far a little kindness can go!

In my latest video, I discuss these five tips that have helped our family save money on accommodation over the last seven years of travel!

Listen to the audio:

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Hi everybody! It’s Brandon Pearce, founder of Music Teacher’s Helper and Pearce On Earth!

Have you ever felt like you wanted to travel more, but that the cost of accommodation was so high you felt travel would break the bank? Today, I want to tell you about five tips that our family of five has used to save money on accommodations when we travel.

It’s true that there are a lot of accommodations that are very expensive, especially if you have a big family that needs a lot of space. But there are so many great deals out there if you know what to look for. I want to help you learn how to find those great deals!

I’m not going to talk about things like staying in hostels or camping, or even free options like couchsurfing, home swapping, or house sitting. Those are fantastic ways to travel, and we can talk about them in another video. In this video, I want to talk to you about how to find deals on paid accommodations.

In many parts of the world, negotiating is expected for everything, even buying vegetables! But how many of us think to negotiate when booking travel accommodations? While you don’t want to come across as a cheap or demanding tenant, there are a few things you can leverage to save money on accommodations even without negotiating!

We have saved thousands of dollars on accommodation over the course of the years and even thousands of dollars in a single week! Below, I’ll share with you five tips that have helped us to do this, so you can save too.



1. Book Houses or Apartments

Instead of booking a hotel room, book houses or apartments. In a house or an apartment, you typically get more space that will be appreciated by any size of family. Often, it’s not any more expensive than booking a standard hotel room.

Other benefits to booking a house or an apartment are having a kitchen to cook your own food and having access to a washer and dryer to do your own laundry. As an additional bonus, house rentals are often in a local neighborhood so you’re able to experience more of the cultural aspect of living like a local.

2. Travel In Low Season

Every country has a time of year where it has a flood of tourists. This is called “high season” or “busy season”. If you can travel in the off season or low season you can often save half or more on accommodations. We’ve paid as little as a fourth of the price of accommodations by traveling in low season.

It’s not always weather that dictates high season, sometimes it’s just the local school holidays or travel preferences of neighboring countries. Find out when high seasons and low seasons are in your destination country and then book your travel times for the low season.

3. Book Long-Term

Obviously, if you’re paying a nightly rate you’re going to pay a lot more than if you book weekly, monthly, yearly, or multi-yearly. The longer you stay, the less money you will pay per night.

Besides overall costs, there are so many other benefits of staying longer in one spot. You get to enjoy the culture more, get to meet more of the community, and you’ll feel less rushed as you can take your time to see the local attractions. I’m a big proponent of booking longer-term rentals.

4. Book Locally

If you’re looking at online sites like Airbnb or VBRO you’ll sometimes find good deals, but the best deals are always found on the ground. That means either talking to locals and expats or looking on bulletin boards at local grocery stores or restaurants. Our family has found some amazing properties on the ground that have much lower rates than the online sites. Often, I think the difference in pricing is because there are no extra fees, and the markets are sometimes targeted toward locals rather than tourists.

Another way to find local properties is online, but through local websites, whether it’s Craiglist in the area, or a local real estate website in the local language (you can run it through Google Translate to read it).

5. Be Nice!

Or rather, be nice, well-mannered, and respectful! Landlords are more likely to want to rent to you and give you a discount if they can see that you’re a nice personable family and that you’re going to take care of their property.

If you’re using a site like Airbnb it’s great because there is a review history which helps landlords to see that you would be a good tenant. When booking on the ground you will be meeting the landlords in person. You could make a good impression by bringing a small gift. Let the landlord know that you’re the type of tenant they want to live in their house. We all want to work with people who are friendly and nice so, and I think showing that you are can sometimes help you to get a great deal!

So, those are my five tips for saving money on accommodations when traveling. I hope you found them helpful. For our family, the places we stay make such a big difference in the kind of experience we have in the countries we’re staying in. So the next time that you travel, I hope you can use some of these tips to save money and to find the perfect accommodation for your family.

If you any of these tips, or if you have any money saving tips of your own, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Thank you for watching, and remember to live well and enjoy life right now!

Brandon is a location independent entrepreneur, musician, worldschooling father, and the principal author of this blog. He's all about reaching his potential and enjoying life to the fullest in each moment.


  1. Grandma Renee Says: October 7, 2016 at 4:03 am

    Very helpful ides. Good job. :-)

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