Imagine if you can save $50 a day on your accommodation, you will save $500 after a 10-day trip. And the pot of money you save will either enable you to travel longer, and add more activities to your trip. Isn’t that amazing? In this post, I’m going to share with you how to find cheap accommodation, without sacrificing the comfort level of your room. Sometimes, I even stay for FREE! Read on to find out more. 🙂
How to Find Cheap Accommodation – Hotel
Generally, search engine sites offer lower price than the official hotel websites themselves. It’s because hotels sell rooms to these booking sites at a discount. However, just like airlines and car rentals, not all search engines are built equal. Some of them charge higher fees than the others. Why? These big booking companies price in their costs, marketing, and whatever else to come up with a base for their displayed price differently. Thus it’s important for you to check various sites before booking.
Firstly, start off with Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, or your favorite booking site. If you are booking in Asia, try using Agoda. Afterwards, check the prices from various search engines. Then cross check with the official hotel booking sites. From there, find the best deal and book whichever is cheaper!
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How to Find Cheap Accommodation – Airbnb (Home Stay)
With its diversity of rooms available and its ability to allow travelers to interact with the locals, Airbnb is getting more and more popular. From budget rooms to luxury penthouses, the site offers endless possibility. Airbnb also offers many sweet rooms to solo or couple travelers at a very decent price. If you love to explore the option of home-stay and would like to have a chat with the locals, Airbnb is a good choice.
How to Find Cheap Accommodation -Couchsurfing (Stay for Free)
One of the best ways to save money on accommodations is by not paying for it. Couchsurfing is the most comprehensive and robust hospitality networks. It allows you to stay with locals who open up their home to you. What’s more, you also get to interact with the people who will be eager to share about the local culture. Some of them may even volunteer to show you around. In return, you need to be a responsible Couchsurfer who respect their culture and house rules.
How to Find Cheap Accommodation – Hostel
I’m not a big fan of hostel as most of the time I’m traveling with my boyfriend. A private room in a hostel is not as cheap or as comfortable as rooms in Airbnb, that’s why I usually give it a miss. But if you are traveling solo, hostel will be a very good choice. Not only it’s much cheaper than a private room, you can also get to meet other travelers. I saw many of my friends who initially planned to travel alone, end up traveling with people whom they met in hostels. If hostel is your cup of tea, do check out sites like Hostel World, which offers one of the most robust hostel networks in the world.
How to Find Cheap Accommodation – Apartment
Traveling as a big group usually makes it harder to find a place to stay, that’s why sites like Wimdu and Airbnb come in really handy. As apartment is more expensive, you can split the cost with the group you are traveling with. In the end, the cost may be as cheap as $20 to $30 per person. Another reason to rent an apartment? You get to cook in your own kitchen and save food cost.
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How to Find Cheap Accommodation – House Sitting
If you have a lot of free time to spare and don’t mind looking after someone’s home or pets, house sitting is the right option for you. In exchange for watching and maintaining someone’s home while they are on holiday, you’ll get a free place to stay. House-sitting jobs tend to be best for people who can stay in a destination for at least a couple of weeks, though there are occasionally short-term stints.
If you are interested in house sitting, you can check out Mind My House or House Carers. After signing up for one of these services (most have a sign-up fee), you get access to the database of available houses.
On the other hand, if you are traveling overseas and are worried that no onewill take care of your home or your pets, you can also make use of these websites and “hire” someone to do the job. It’s that simple!
How to Find Cheap Accommodation – Home Exchange
Have you seen the movie called The Holiday, starred by Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black? In the movie, two heartbroken women (Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet) exchanged their homes and found their true love in foreign lands. Although highly romanticized, the movie introduces us another way of traveling – home exchange.
This method works best for travelers who already own a home. It is just like they sound: for a set amount of time, you exchange homes with a family from another country. If you are keen to explore this possibility, check out the popular website Home Exchange. This website was also featured in the movie The Holiday.
I hope you find the tips given useful and happy travel. 🙂