Sunday, March 20, 2016

How To Save Money On Accommodation When You Travel

Image credit: Pixabay
Somewhere down the line a common misconception was created that travel has to be an expensive experience. Sure, it’s definitely true that you have to spend a bit when you set off on a trip, but it is by no means the money guzzling practice that it’s unfairly made out to be. At every step of the travel planning, there are numerous options that could save you a significant amount of money and cut down the overall cost enormously. One perfect example of this is choosing accommodation.

It’s easy to go online and book the first hotel that you find, but it’s not necessarily the cheapest way to do things. There are many options available for places to stay when traveling, and if you’re willing to do the extra research and sacrifice a bit of the comfort, then you’re sure to find great deals that will make your travels cheap and affordable.

Comparison Sites
Gone are the days when you had to pop down to your local travel agents to get a realistic and helpful comparison on accommodation deals. Now there are numerous comparison sites on the internet that can help you save. These are much more likely to find you a good deal than simply heading straight the providers website and booking via them.

For backpackers, Hostelworld.com gives you comprehensive listings of all the hostels in any one area and allows you to compare price, location and atmosphere to make the best decision for you. Lastminute.com is another great resource that, if you’re brave enough to leave it till just before you go, could land you with some brilliant deals and reduce your cost massively. Finally, Kayak.com is a fantastic website where you can compare all aspects of travel including flights, hotels and transport.

It has recently come to light that if you use Kayak.com, and book via a Virtual Private Network (VPN), the prices miraculously go down! This is because using a VPN hides your IP address and allows you to book as if you were in the country of the reservation. Most companies offer discounts for domestic customers.

Airbnb 
Great for couples, or for those not opposed to sharing a bed, Airbnb can offer the cheapest accommodation option available in a lot of cities around the world. The types of places to stay can range from a pullout sofabed in someone’s living room to an entire private luxury apartment. However, if you choose to opt for the lower end of the scale, you can find some incredibly cheap deals! Choose a double room and share the bed with your traveling companion, and it’s bound to be cheaper than paying for two separate spots in a hostel.

Alongside this, Airbnb is less dependent on location,n so you can find city-center places to stay for a fraction of the price of commercial establishments such as hotels and guesthouses. As well as the price benefit, using Airbnb gives you the opportunity to meet and get to know local people and see your travel destination through the eyes of someone who lives there, so there’s plenty reasons to book via them.

Couchsurfing
 
By far the cheapest option—because it is, in fact, free—is to use couchsurfing.com to find places to stay. Similar to Airbnb, the website acts as a sort of social network for travelers and allows you to connect with people all over the world in order to find accommodation. Once you’ve found a couch, you can stay there completely free of charge! The hosts on this website are usually there because they enjoy to opportunity to meet like-minded travelers, so if you are going to use this site, then be prepared to make some new friends!

The one downside of the system is that, once registered, you are required to have other users “vouch for you” to ensure you are sincere and not using the site for malicious reasons. Although this may be annoying for those just starting out, it does provide a certain peace of mind, as you know the people you connect with will be trustworthy and you will be safe. Once you’ve successfully become a member, you can travel and stay literally anywhere in the world for free, so long as you don’t mind the chance of a bit of a stiff back in the morning!

Work for Board
There are many programs all over the world that offer you the opportunity to stay somewhere in exchange for doing a bit of work. Most work-away deals also provide you with food, so there’s a significant saving to be had. Check out WWOOF-ing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms), where you can exchange free meals and a place to stay for a few hours of labor on a farm. This is a great way to see the countryside, get involved with the community you’re staying in and immerse yourself in nature and provides the ideal holiday for many!

Similar companies include work-away, where you can find a range of jobs include au-pairing, volunteering in orphanages, teaching and laboring, or helpX, where the wide range of diverse opportunities are so varied there’s sure to be something for everyone! These sorts of holidays are incredibly fulfilling and also extremely easy on the purse strings.


Wing it!
For the bravest of travelers, a lot of the times the cheapest option is just to go with the flow. There are many stories of people arriving at a destination and, within a day, making friends with locals and finding a place stay. Similarly, there are many hostels that—if you ask nicely—will allow you to stay for free in exchange for a few chores. The reality is that the majority of the traveling community are generous, honest people who enjoy making new friends and meeting like-minded travelers, so if you can get into the right circles, there’s always a place to stay to be found.

However, this is definitely an opportunity for the very bravest of travelers. For every success story, there are similar anecdotes or people who have had to pitch a tent on the side of the road or take a nap in a 24-hour gas station in order to have a place to stay for the night. If you’ve got the guts, you’re sure to have some great stories to tell at the end of the day either way!

Do you have any more suggestions for saving money on accommodations while traveling? Or have you had experiences with those already mentioned that you want to share? Be sure leave a comment below!

About the author: Jess Signet is an avid traveler who enjoys writing about her adventures. She hopes these tips will help you planning your next trip and save you a few pennies on accommodation.



3 comments:

  1. Spending a lot of money on vacation doesn't mean you will have a better for you. The best way to save on accommodation is not paying for it. condorny.com Here are 5 ways you can save money on holiday accommodation this summer Hostel world. Traveling with friends and want to meet others on their travels?

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post is very interesting for people like me!
    I was attracted to this Work For Board. Someday I should consider this for experience as I heard of my classmate who stayed in Japan for months using this method. The host even paid for his food and gave him some pocket money.

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