Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive! Sometime ago we gave you some tips about how to find cheap flights. Flights are indeed a big slice of any travel budget and they are closely followed by accommodation! If you, like us, abandon your room early in the morning to return to it only late in the evening, you may find yourself asking why you have to spend so much money in a hotel room that you use solely for sleeping. Here are some ways to help you save on accommodation expenses:
1. Bring your own tent
Yes, camping is one of the cheapest options for sleep. Some countries even allow for wild camping. Of course this will mean no facilities and no hot shower, but the positive is that this costs you nothing! Some hotels also allow you to camp in the yard when there is no camping site in the neighbourhood. It is always worth to ask if that is an option before asking for a room.
2. Check the youth hostels
Nowadays youth hostels are not as bad as they used to be. Staying in a youth hostel today does not necessarily mean you will have to sleep in a dorm with seven strangers, that you will probably be robbed or that you will not sleep because of partying going on. We have stayed in very modern youth hostels with excellent facilities, most offering double room where you pay the half of what you would pay if you stayed in a hotel. This said, it is worth to check youth hostels for double rooms or for dorms if budget is the first option.
3. Be a couchsurfer
You can become a member of this couchsurfing community for free. Create a profile with your details. Once you subscribe you can ask for a place to stay with any couchsurfer who is receiving guests. You can also become a host to travellers who may ask for your couch or extra guest room. Couchsurfing is not like a free hotel though. Couchsurfing is about spending time with your guest or host in order to give tips, exchange experiences, get to know the locals, make friends! If you don’t know about couchsurfing, you can check the website here.
4. Try the Airbnb
You will have to sign up to this website where you will find rooms, apartments or houses for holiday rent at very fair and decent prices. In the website you can check the available places at your desired location and you make arrangements directly with your host. Payment is made through the Airbnb website which has a trusted service. You can check more about Airbnb here.
5. Have a unique experience with Wwoofing
The World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) are ready to receive people who want to make an exchange. The WWOOF hosts will offer food and accommodation in return for volunteer help. Besides the win-win situation to both parties, guests will have a unique opportunity to learn about organic lifestyles. You will have to sign up to the WWOOFing website and pay a membership fee. You can then have access to the list of farms that need volunteers. Contacts and arrangements can be made through the website. If you don’t know about wwoofing, you can check their website here.
6. Get a temporary home with House and Pet sitting
There are several websites that specialise in house and pet sitting. These sites connect home and pet owners who need a sitter, when going away (on holidays or business), with trustworthy people who are happy to sit for FREE. The length of the stay can be a few days only or as long as a couple of months. You will have to sign up, pay a fee and write down a description about yourself. As a house sitter one has more chances of being accepted after having had an experience and, consequently, a recommendation. If you don’t know about house sitting, you can check one website that organises it here.
7. Stay in a monastery
We don’t necessary think of monasteries or convents when we think accommodation, do we?! Would you know what to expect? Some congregations use a few of their cells as guest rooms. In those cases you can expect simple rooms in historical buildings at moderate prices. It sounds fair! In most cases all faiths are welcome but you may be invited to attend services. Some monasteries will not charge you anything and expect you to retribute with a small donation, while others charge a modest amount which includes the night as well as the meals. In any case, where else can you experience the solitude and silence of the monastic life?
Help us complete this list. Tell us which other budget accommodation you know about!