1. Do your research.
Putting in the time to look up various accommodation options and cost compare can pay off in the long run. The Benders have a few favorite resources, depending on what type of housing you're looking for:
For hotels, start with Expedia. "They offer cheap rooms and provide loyalty points which can be later redeemed for discounts," Erin writes. "This is one of my favorite mobile apps for hotel bookings, as the checkout process is very snappy, fuss-free, and well-suited for repeat use."
They also recommend HotelTravel, AsiaRooms (Asia only), Agoda (Asia only), Hotels.com, and Booking.com.
For apartments, try Flipkey. It's similar to Airbnb, offering a variety of houses or apartments to rent from homeowners all over the world. Unlike Airbnb, Flipkey does not take a percentage of the rent from the owner and renter. "The rates for each property are very transparent in being able to see particular seasons and how much the nightly, weekly, and monthly prices vary," writes Erin. "It's little things like this which can help you save some decent dollars if you're able to time your travel to take advantage of low season savings."
They also recommend Sykes Cottages (UK and Ireland only), GoWithOh (Europe only), Airbnb, and Holiday Lettings.
For anything last minute, try Wotif and Lastminute.com, Erin recommends. They both specialize in last minute accommodations, taking advantage of the fact that hotels would rather have a room filled and paid at a lower price, than empty.
Pictured above: The Berjaya Resort Langkawi in Malaysia.