How to Find Budget Accommodation While Traveling
Most people who have traveled the world for a decent amount of time will have stayed in all different kinds of accommodation, from hotels and hostel dorms to tents and friend’s sofas.
There are times traveling when you’ll fancy a bit of luxury (and WiFi access), and there are other times when you’ll just want to crash in the cheapest place going.
Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when traveling (if not THE biggest), so by cutting down the amount you spend on it you’ll have more money to do other things.
Here are some tips for finding budget accommodation while traveling:
- Avoid Peak Times – Most places will charge different nightly rates depending on what day of the week it is. For example, Friday and Saturday are the most expensive nights, whereas Sunday to Thursday is going to be the cheapest time. These nights are cheaper because it’s when the hotel/hostel is least busy.
- Extend Your Stay – Some hotels and hostels may provide you with a discount if you stay for more than one night.
- Haggle – If you’re booking in person (on the day of checking in) and you can see the place is reasonably empty, you’re well within your rights to try and negotiate a better price. When business is slow, most hostel owners will be more than happy to offer reduced rates if it leads to business. Note that calling a hostel/hotel last minute can also bear similar results.
- Look for Last-Minute Deals – As with flights, most hotels practically give away un-booked hotel rooms if you book last minute. Why? They’d rather make at least some money than have an empty hotel room.
Finding Cheap Hotel Rooms
Hotel rooms are typically the most luxurious accommodation a traveler will stay in, but this doesn’t mean they have to be expensive.
The best way to find a cheap hotel is to look online, as you can compare several all at once. Here are a few good sites to use:
- Hotels.com – A huge site with over 20,000 last-minute hotel room deals every week.
- HotelsCombined.com – Find great deals on hotels worldwide.
- Priceline.com – A great site for bidding on last-minute hotel rooms.
- Hotwire.com – Find last minute deals. Well worth checking out.
- Agoda.com – A hotel site dedicated to Asian hotels.
Finding Cheap Hostels and Guesthouses
Hostels are the bread-and-butter accommodation of most travelers, as they’re cheap to stay in, are often located right in the heart of town and provide a great hub for travelers to meet.
Here are a few good sites I’ve used:
- Hostelbookers.com – Another excellent site for finding cheap hostels. Also with the added bonus that they don’t charge you any kind of booking fee.
- Hostelworld.com – The site I used the most when traveling. Over 25,000 Hostels in more than 180 Countries to choose from.
- Hostelling International – HI (Hostelling International) are a chain responsible for over 4,000 hostels in 90 different countries.
One way to avoid having to pay for accommodation at all is to go CouchSurfing. This basically involves meeting someone online (through CouchSurfing.com) who has a spare couch for you to stay on.
This is a great way to travel as it allows you to meet local people and make new friends in foreign areas.
I have written about this in detail in these posts:
- How to Find the Best Hostels While Traveling
- How to Find an Apartment Abroad
- Frugal Traveling – Top Ways to Save Money Abroad
- How to Find Cheap Student Flights
- How Accessible Is Internet Access Whilst Traveling?
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