Hotels are the first thing that comes to mind when you think about booking a vacation, but you actually have lots of lodging options. You might be able to stay cheap, or even free, using the tip in the video above. Here are some budget travel options to slash your lodging bill.
Couch surf. Send a mass email to your friends and family to see if anyone lives near your destination and is willing to put up you and your family for a token amount, or even free. This is most effective if you live near a popular destination yourself and are willing to return the favor in the future. Post your request on Facebook, too, for maximum exposure.
You can also seek people to let you couch surf on dedicated websites, but you might not be comfortable staying with strangers. It's safer and more reliable to stick with family and friends, or at least friends of friends.
Set up a house swap. This is similar to couch surfing, but you arrange for the other party to stay in your home while you stay in theirs. It's most effective if you live in a big city or popular travel spot.
Stay in a hostel. These cheap accommodations usually have no age limits, despite popular perception.
Stay in a convent or monastery if you're traveling to Europe. Italy in particular has a good supply of cheap rooms at its monasteries and convents, although you might find a room in just about any European country.
Stay in a university dorm room. Some universities get extra money by renting out dorm rooms cheap over the summer. It fills empty space, gives them an extra source of income, and lets you have cheap lodging.
Stay at a pod hotel. These are most often found in large cities like New York. Your room is tiny, but so is the bill. It's perfect if all you need is a place to sleep.
Check out my articles on Orlando attractions in my Orlando Theme Parks column.