The best part of being very early retired is the ability to get up and go whenever you want. No need to schedule vacation time months in advance and then return immediately back to the office after your vacation is over. One of the biggest hurdles to traveling is the expensive hotels you need to stay at each night. If you’re not careful, a night can run you $200 plus dollars for a room you will forget about immediately after leaving.
The best way to find deals is to be flexible. Some cities have expensive hotels during the weekend but dirt cheap rooms during the week. Las Vegas is like this because of the weekly influx of visitors from Los Angeles arriving on Friday night and Leaving on Sunday. Likewise many places are cheaper during the “off season” which generally is anytime school is typically in session. Cities like Cancun are extremely busy during the spring for Spring Breakers and then less busy during the rest of the year.
Once you’ve decided where you want to go and understand the patterns when prices are at their lowest, you want to compare as many hotels and booking sites as you can. Generic travel sites like Travelocity are a good starting point. Big travel sites will generally have the highest quantity of available hotels and good information on what each hotel looks like and their policies. You can also try to get a deal at one of the opaque booking sites, such as Priceline.com or Hotwire.com where you don’t know the hotel name until after you book, but they can be risky. Occasionally one of those sites might sign you up for a hotel you wouldn’t have booked otherwise, but the price is generally fairly good.
Often there isn’t much price difference per night between low star budget hotels and mid range hotels with a deal going on, so I usually aim for mid range hotels that are clean and comfortable without too many unneeded extra frills. Hotel searching sites like Hotels Combined , or trivago.com work great at comparing various booking agents to see which site will give you the cheapest rate. A second strategy is to look for promo codes provided by booking sites. search on places like dealspotr to see which booking partners are giving the best promo codes. Remember some sites may have a higher retail price, but the lowest overall price when you factor in promotional discounts they are offering.
Of course sometimes the best deal is to stay at a stranger’s house. airbnb.com Provides some of the cheapest lodging around, but you might have to share it with some other people.
Use the many tools available to you on the internet to get the best deals possible on hotels. Keep yourself flexible with your travel dates and locations and you will almost always find a great deal somewhere. Traveling is a very rewarding hobby to have once you’re down working and traveling frugally will keep your retirement money safe so you’ll be able to keep on avoiding work indefinitely.