How to Save Time & Money When You Stay at a Hotel

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As a traveling family, I discovered long ago that if I don’t look for ways to save time and money when traveling, that I not only over shoot my budget but that I also end up going half mad from stress. This means that over the years, I have gotten quite good at both. Frankly, most of the time, travel for us wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t work to save money. For me, that means starting with the finding ways to save on food while we travel and ends with saving money on our hotel stay.

Traveling soon? Make sure you save as much money as possible! These tips will teach you how to save time & money on your next hotel stay!

Saving money on travel food and gas costs is easy to do, but the hotel portion of your trip can be much harder. For my family, that means booking a stay at Extended Stay America. We’ve discovered that by making Extended Stay America our go-to family hotel, we save a lot of time and money elsewhere. I’m a busy Mom. I run 2 companies, I homeschool my child and I freelance whenever I can. I don’t have the time or energy to go searching for a hotel that isn’t going to charge me an arm and leg and actually has a location where I need to be. With over 600 Extended Stay America locations in the US and Canada, I know that finding a location to stay near where we’re headed, isn’t a problem.

Extended Stay America Review – How to Save Time and Money on Hotel Stays

There are quite a few reasons that Extended Stay America is my go-to, but the majority of them have to do with saving myself money. I work hard for the money that I have and I like to keep as much of it as possible. Extended Stay America Hotels make it easy to do so I don’t have to spend too much time thinking about it. For me and I’m sure other busy Moms will agree, that’s priceless! As a family, our biggest two expenses when we travel are usually food and the cost of our hotel stay. Extended Stay America as us totally covered on both of those!

 

The biggest reason that I continually go back to Extended Stay America is that they offer a fully stocked kitchen if you need. Each room comes standard with a kitchen. These aren’t the tiny little kitchenettes that I’ve seen elsewhere either. For a family who is traveling on a tight budget or has a strict diet,  this kitchen is a lifesaver. It gives you the ability to cook homemade meals that fit into your budget or diet. Extended Stay America takes cooking so seriously that they created an entire website just to showcase simple recipes that are easily made in their kitchen! It’s essentially an online cookbook to help you prepare wholesome meals away from home. While we were there, I was able to make homemade pancakes and breakfast burritos each morning. For dinner, it was easy to cook hamburgers, my homemade chicken noodle soup and for Christmas Eve, my daughter requested my Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. The kitchen in our room made it very easy to provide that special Christmas dinner for her!

 

Being able to cook those meals instead of having to eat out, saved me close to $200 over the course of our trip. Each room has a full sized kitchen and comes standard with a 2-burner stove, sink,  full-sized fridge and microwave. For me, the biggest draw is the size of the fridge. I’ve lived long-term in regular hotel rooms with my daughter right after we were homeless in 2010, and trying to feed a child with those tiny little hotel fridges is impossible. With the spacious kitchens and dining areas that Extended Stay America offers, there’s no worry about that since the fridge is big enough to hold at least a month’s worth of groceries! I also adore that the kitchen had enough counter space that I could have set up my crockpot or Instant Pot if I didn’t want to use the stove.

Even better is that if you need cooking utensils or dinnerware, Extended Stay America can help with that too. Just select the fully stocked kitchen option when you make your reservation and you won’t have to worry about a thing! We used the same option during our stay and were provided everything from a toaster to the spatula that I needed to cook. For a family looking to save money on travel food, this option makes doing so easy. Once you get checked in and settled in, head to the grocery and buy the food you’ll need. Bring it back and you can cook up an amazing meal right in your hotel room!

When we family stayed, there we stayed in a 1 bedroom suite that had our kitchen, a living room, bedroom and of course, the bathroom. Since Emma was with us, we had a pull-out couch for her to sleep on. This meant there was plenty of room for all 3 of us. If there is one thing I can say about my family is that we like our space!  What mattered most to me about that was that we had enough room for a desk for me to work from! Ya’ll have no idea how much easier that desk made things. I wasn’t being forced to work from a dining room table (which the room did have as well), but instead, had a dedicated area that I could work from.

Not to mention the fact that Extended Stay America offers free-wifi to their guests and yes! It’s great! The speeds were great and I had no issues whatsoever doing the work I needed to do. This might not seem like much to you, but it did in fact save me quite a bit of cash. Normally, I would have to tether to my cell phone and use data. Those costs can get very expensive so being able to actually use the wi-fi that was offered, saved me a ton.

By the way? The bed was super comfortable and I loved how soft that duvet cover was.

Extended Stay America also offers quite a few different amenities that will not only help make your stay easier but can also save yourself money. The one-bedroom suites offer plenty of storage for clothing and other items which means that you won’t have to live out of your suitcase. This is a huge time saver for parents who don’t want to be digging through suitcases or trying to fit the family clothing into one small dresser. For the ladies and gentlemen that like to get their workout in, you are in good hands at Extended Stay America. Not only can you make your own meals, the right way, you can also maintain your exercise regimen. Taking a dip in the pool can also be considered a great exercise plus some locations have fitness centers.

In addition to the full sized kitchens, each Extended Stay America location also offers a laundry room with full-sized washers and dryers. For a busy Mom who doesn’t want to have to cart half of her tween daughters room with her, this was a true lifesaver. I was able to pack less which made traveling so much easier. We each took 2 outfits that could be mixed and matched for the 7 day trip (3 travel days and 4 at the hotel). When we needed clean clothes, it was simple to go put them in the laundry.

Extended Stay America is perfect for families who are looking to save money while having all of the comforts of home. I know that a lot of hotel chains will say that they offer that “at home” feeling but at Extended Stay America, they really mean it. In fact, there were multiple times during our stay where I had the thought that it would be so easy to live there on a longer term basis. In fact, ESA encourages that! The longer you book your stay for, the more money you’ll save! They even offer special rates for seniors, military rates, government rates and AAA rates. Plus, kids stay free!

For our family, Extended Stay America will continue to be our go-to hotel for any traveling that we do. The ability to cook a full meal, the ability to keep my clothes clean w/out too much trouble, the spacious size of the suites and more all make them the perfect hotel option for us. If you’re looking for a way to save money on your travel that will give you the option to save money on your meals and really keep yourself in an “at home” situation, I can’t recommend them high enough.

If you’re looking to have the ability to cook an amazing meal and save money on your next hotel stay, visit the Extended Stay America website“like” them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or drop by and say hi on Instagram. They’re even on Pinterest! You can also learn more on the Extended Stay America Youtube channel. 

Thanks so much to Extended Stay America for sponsoring our stay. For more information on our sponsored post/review policy, please see our disclosure policy.

Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family. A true gypsy soul, her newest blog, Unsettled Hearts, chronicles the journey of her family to become full-time travelers. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

Click here to learn how I made over $100,000 blogging in 2016!
Stacy Barr
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