When it comes to traveling, accommodation expenses are unavoidable.
After all, you don’t want to sleep on the streets, do you?
Always staying in hotels, however, can definitely be a drain on your budget. It would be okay if you were traveling for a short time; for long-term travelers, this is a no-no.
Forget about staying at a hotel, then. There are ways you can find cool, out-of-the-ordinary, and most importantly, cheap accommodation (and sometimes even free) in your travels.
Here are some suggested ways to find affordable places to stay.
Stay at Hostels
Hostels have a reputation for being party places that are only for young travelers. The fact, however, is that most hostels nowadays, all over the world, cater to all age range.
The trick is to read the hostel’s description and reviews. There are hostels which are for partygoers (with happenings lasting until dawn) while there are others as well which are quieter and which would fit more mature travelers.
Consider also booking a private room in hostels if you’re not comfortable sharing a room with 10 other people. It will still be cheaper than staying at hotels, and it will give you a chance as well to meet other travelers.
If you haven’t stayed at a hostel before, read the post A Traveler’s Tips for Staying in Hostels.
Another excellent way to save money and get a perfect room is to use coupons to reduce prices. Coupons are no longer just used in grocery stores. By using it for your accommodation during your travels, you will definitely save a lot of money without any additional effort.
One of the cheapest ways to get accommodation abroad is to register in Couchsurfing and start looking for people who can host you for free in their homes.
Not only will you be able to save a lot on accommodation, it will also introduce you to new friends.
Remember, however, that freeloaders are frowned upon. While you’re not expected to pay in money, you are expected to clean up after yourself and show your appreciation to your hosts, either by helping around the house, cooking or treating your host to a meal or two, or bringing your host something from your country.
Look for Religious Housing
For religious readers, there is good news. All around the world, you can find a place to stay which cater to the religious. These places only charge a small amount (like a donation).
Christians, for example, can stay at monasteries. There are a lot in Italy. In Jerusalem, if you are Jewish or Christian, there are also many cheap accommodation options available.
In Asian countries, you can find some religious housing institutes that will welcome you, no matter your religion. If you choose this type of accommodation, you will not only save your money, you will also enjoy a beautiful and relaxing environment.
Academic Housing is Good for Students
If you’re a student and you wish to travel during the summer, you can find very cheap dorm rooms in universities or colleges. Just find out if they allow transient guests.
Take note, though, that academic housing has some similarities to hostels; for example, the room and the showers will be shared with fellow guests. Despite this inconvenience, the amount of money you will save on accommodation will make this worth it.
A lot of travelers carry a tent and sleeping bag with them. With just these two items, they can sleep anywhere. Most camping spots are free, but while others may charge a fee, it’s usually a very small amount just meant to pay for the upkeep of the place.
For travelers who want to save money and love nature and fresh air, camping is definitely the best way to go.
Look at Short-Term Room Rentals
Finding short-term rentals is a bit like Couchsurfing, where you stay with a local, but the difference is that you pay a fee. It can even be cheaper than hostels. In New York, for example, where the cheapest hostel dorm bed is $40, you can find locals renting their sofas for only $20 a night. Sign up at Airbnb now and get a discount on your first booking!
You need money when traveling, yes, but with these seven tips to find cheap accommodation, you’ll be sure to stretch your travel fund so you can stay longer on the road.