Family Travel / Travel Tips

Unique Ways for Your Family to Save on Accommodation

When travelling as a family, saving money on accommodation can be a difficult task. As parents, you want to make sure your accommodation is safe, kid-friendly and in a convenient location for local transport. These priorities often eliminate conventional ‘cheap’ accommodation options, such as hostels or staying out of town. It is time for you to get creative and find unique ways to save money when booking accommodation for your next family holiday!

1. Go Camping

Camping is a great way to save money on your accommodation, while having a unique holiday. By spending time outdoors, you get to experience and connect with the natural environment of your destination. There is nothing better than waking up to the sound of birds, flowing water and the wind in the trees. It is the ultimate way to relax, get outside and save on accommodation.

If camping with young kids seems daunting to you, I suggest you read my post on Tips for Camping with a Baby. We took Koby camping, in Coral Bay, for the first time at just 2 months old. Since then, we have taken him at least twice a year! Not every time is easy, but it is always a great way to spend time as a family and save on accommodation!

While booking a site at a campground may be easy, consider camping in a National Park for a more unique experience. Camping here is generally cheaper than at a standard campground. Most National Parks will have designated camping areas and toilets available.

Read More: Easy & Healthy Meal Ideas for Your Camping Trip

2. House Sit or Do a House Swap

Do you know someone who lives near the beach? Or maybe they live in a popular tourist destination? Have a chat to them to see if they would consider doing a house swap for a few days. Alternatively, you could also ask someone if they would be willing to let you house sit for them, while they are away on a holiday elsewhere.

We used this option when we took a winter getaway to Margaret River, just a 2 hour drive from our home. It was the best way to experience the area as we had free accommodation and extra money to spend on eating out!

Even though you may be staying somewhere you visit often, the change of scenery can feel like a holiday. Most people will be willing to let you stay at their place free of charge, making this the perfect money saving way for a little getaway. Be sure to leave them a little gift from your adventures to say thank you!

Book a Bali Airbnb villa to help your family save on accommodation

3. Stay in a Airbnb

Airbnb’s are a great option when looking for accommodation, as they are often cheaper than hotels and may provide a place to cook so you can save money on food! It is often the perfect way for larger families to save money on accommodation, because you won’t need to book multiple hotel rooms to fit everyone in.

TIP: You can often negotiate prices on Airbnb, simply by contacting the host!

We especially love this option when travelling with other families. You can simply book somewhere with multiple rooms and split the cost to reduce the price! Generally this means you get to stay somewhere nicer for much cheaper!

4. Travel in the ‘Shoulder’ or ‘Off’ Season

If you are looking to travel to an expensive destination, your family can save money on accommodation by travelling during the shoulder or off season. This is when many forms of accommodation reduce their prices as there are less tourists coming to the area. While you may have to compromise on having good weather, you won’t have to compete with other tourists at the usually busy local attractions.

For us, travelling during these seasons is difficult as most of our trips are booked during the School Holidays. However, if you have the flexibility this is a great option to save on accommodation!

5. Stay During the Week

Most accommodation places will increase their prices over the weekend. So, if you are looking to save money you should consider having your stay during the week. Not only is this a cheaper option for accommodation, but you won’t have to compete with crowds at popular tourist destinations.

However, it is important to consider if this option is worth it depending on your work schedule and how much you will lose by taking time off from work.

try a farm stay to help your family save on accommodation

6. Try a Farm Stay

When travelling, Farm Stay’s are a unique and budget-friendly way to spend your family holiday. Most farm stays have family-friendly cottages or cabins and farm animals to keep the kids entertained. They are often cheaper than most traditional forms of accommodation, making them more affordable as well as suitable for the whole family.

woman walking down stairs at hotel in Bali

7. Use a Hotel Comparison Site

If you are looking to stay in a hotel or at a resort, the best way to save money is to book through a comparison site. Comparison websites will compare prices for you, and are often cheaper than booking directly through the hotel. They have several different types of listings including hotel, hostel, resort, apartment and house bed and breakfasts. It can be a great way to come across a unique style of budget accommodation for your next family holiday! Try booking through Agoda,, Trivago or Hotels Combined.

8. Split the Cost of Accommodation

Are you travelling with friends? Find somewhere to stay where you can split the cost of accommodation. Not only will it help your family save money, but it may mean that you can book nicer accommodation than you had originally budgeted for.

This is a great option, particularly when travelling to tropical destinations such as Bali or Thailand. You can find yourself a beautiful villa with a private pool, where you and your friends can spend time together.

woman looking at at rice terraces in bali

9. Travel to Budget Destinations

Another way your family can save on accommodation costs is to travel to budget friendly destinations, where you will get more for your dollar. Countries in South East Asia are popular tourist destinations, especially due to their affordable accommodation.

For us, travelling to Bali is generally cheaper that staying somewhere else in our home of Western Australia. Ticket prices are affordable and you can easily find cheap accommodation options!

Less popular tourist destinations can also be a budget-friendly option for your family to travel to. So, do your research and you might find a unique and affordable place for your next holiday!

10. Be Flexible and Save!

The final tip is to be flexible! If you are able to, check out the cost of accommodation for various dates and book according to the ones that are cheaper. Being flexible with the days you can travel might help you to save some money.

This may become difficult if you are travelling with school aged children and are restricted to travel only in the school holidays. However, you may consider talking to the school and leaving a few days earlier, before prices increase significantly.

Bonus Tips to Save on Family Accommodation:

Do NOT Compromise on Location

Just remember, when looking for accommodation, you should never compromise on location. Booking to stay out of town might save you some money, but it will mean spending more on transportation and losing out on time to tour your destination. You should only book accommodation out of town if your plan is to spend most of your time there!

Find Accommodation with Breakfast Included

When booking your accommodation, try to find a place that has breakfast included. Having one of your daily meals already paid for can help you save money during your holiday!


Overall, being able to save money on your accommodation is great for every holiday! Even if your family isn’t travelling on a tight budget, the money you save can be used during your travels. So be sure to use these unique tips to help you save when booking accommodation for your family!


  • Bolupe
    March 8, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Great tips Megan,
    We also travel during school holidays only but there are still ways to save. Using a travel agent is also a plus too. Most of them will find cheap deals and discounts for you.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Jude Lund
    March 6, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Some great tips here. Would love to try a house swap at some point.

  • Heather
    March 5, 2020 at 4:03 am

    These are great tips, and very doable. We can then camp with our kids, and this summer we’ll try an Airbnb for the first time.

    • Megan
      March 5, 2020 at 11:45 am

      thanks! happy you enjoyed the post. Airbnb is my go to when looking for accommodation. Always the best prices with lots more space than a hotel room!

  • Karen
    March 1, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Great tips! We also tend to travel out of peak season and to cheaper destinations. Haven’t tried a house swap yet but what a fab idea!

    • Megan
      March 3, 2020 at 1:20 pm

      Yes that is always the best time to travel for good deals! You should totally do a house swap! It was so great as it didn’t cost us anything (except a little gift for our friends)


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