If you're bringing a lot of clothes with you, avoid those checked bag fees with some no vacuum space saving bags
. You can squeeze the air out yourself in case a vacuum isn't available wherever you're staying. With something like these, it's easy to cram a lot of shit into them and compress them down into a carry on bag. Also, most airlines allow a "personal item" - for women this can be a purse, for men, a briefcase or laptop case. USE THEM. Cram those full of shit, too. Fuck checked bags.
Depending on your accommodation needs, a hotel may be fine for you. A really shitty slumlord hotel may be fine for you if your only purpose of having it is to have a place to rest your head at night and take a shower because you're going to be away/exploring all day. A lot of people, in my opinion, spend far too much on their hotel and that takes a big chunk out of their total budget for their trip. Unless you're the type of person who vacations/travels to literally just lie in the bed and do nothing and THAT is your vacation, then go cheap on your hotel. I'm not necessarily saying get one in Cracktown, but if you have no reason to get a 5-star hotel or even a 3 or 4, then don't. Get a 2 star hotel with decent reviews relatively close to the area you will mainly be in. You're more than likely only going to be there to sleep, change clothes, and shower anyway.
If you are traveling with a party, I've found that airbnb or other websites similar to it are cheaper than a hotel. Rent a house for the time you'll be there and split it between however many you're with. You get an entire home rather than a hotel suite or two and when divided between everyone, you come out cheaper than if you tried to get a hotel suite of similar quality.
Check Groupon for events/places that you are interested in visiting. Many times you'll find discounts on popular places. Check the business website also, you can sometimes find coupons.
Check a "On The Cheap" website for the place you're going. I don't know if every place has one, but here is an example: www.nyconthecheap.com/
- Every major city I have gone to has one. They will list discounts, coupons, deals, etc. A quick and easy reference for shit to do ON THE CHEAP!
Plan your trip with TripHobo.com - It doesn't necessarily equate to cheaper, but it does make things more efficient if you have your trip planned out. I despise going on a trip someone else has planned/running and after hours of travel to get there and getting to our hotel, we're just standing there like, "Now what?" because they figured they'd figure it all out once we got there. Wasted time. Time = money. Figure it out beforehand. Make an itinerary. TripHobo makes it pretty simple with a "drag and drop" layout to organize your days and can be printed or viewed via their mobile app. I use it every time I go somewhere.
That's all I can think of off-hand.