Finding cheap accommodation is essential, since sleeping is one of the major expenses while we travel. Because you have to stay somewhere every night, reducing this expense can save you a lot of money off the total cost of your trip. Next to finding a cheap flight, finding free or cheap accommodation and cheap transportation will have the biggest impact on your budget.
I already shared with you many tips on how to sleep for free when you travel, so first check them out. I understand, however, than some people may not like these options which include wild camping or sharing accommodation with locals through Couch Surfing. Lots of travelers prefer to be more independent and choose comfort according to their needs. What’s common for all though, we do not want to spend a fortune on that expenses, so here are few tips to keep in mind.
10 Tips on how to find cheap accommodation when you travel
1. Research on what to expect
The best way to start looking for accommodation is to check websites which compare the prices such as booking.com. You will get to know the prices in your destination and see available options. Since the website is popular, it’s also the most reliable and has the best deals on the market!
Moreover, this site offers free cancellation, so you don’t need to worry that you will loose your money if your plan changes. And their book now, pay later at check-in system allows you to lock in that rate with some flexibility. Just check the booking conditions per room type and you’ll have peace of mind when booking through them.
What also makes booking.com convenient are the reviews from guests, like you. There are millions verified reviews from guests which booked their stay though the website.
2. Choose the right location
When booking your room, it is necessary to check the location of it. Maybe it has a cheap price because it’s on the outskirts? You don’t want to spend 2 hours in public bus to get to the center or pay the taxi. On the other hand, staying out of the center can be a good solution in terms of convenient transport vs. price. For instance, in big cities like Prague, public transportation system is very good, so you easily can safe money by staying out of the center and still not spending too much time to get there.
3. Don’t be hotel oriented
You don’t have to stay at the hotels, which are usually the most expensive. There are many other options which are more budget-friendly. Hostels are another solution for budget travelers. Rooms are often dormitory-style with all the facilities shared. Yet, also offer small rooms, singles, and doubles designed for solo travelers or couples.
My favorite option for cheap accommodation is AirBnB, as I like to stay with locals. People rent their properties for short or long periods all around the world. You can rent just one room or the whole apartment and get affortable price plus comfort you need. Choose from fancy apartments to small rooms and many interesting variations like bungalows or summer houses. It’s cheaper than hotels, less crowded than hostels and most of the times you get a kitchen, allowing you to cook and reduce your food costs.
How to get coupon reducing the price? If you follow this link and register on AirBnb, you will get 25$ gift for your next trip! If you then book a stay, be it an entire apartment or just a single room, worth more than 50 Euros you can use the voucher – pretty cool, isn’t it? All you have to do is to register with this link and start traveling cheap! If you are already registered member, you can still use the coupon if you sign up again with a new e-mail address.
4. Stay more than 1 night
Check your chosen accommodation deal, because in many cases staying longer is cheaper or you can get third night free, paying for two, etc. Moreover, the slower you travel, the more eco-friendly you are!
5. Choose the right time
Timing is important, as you know looking for place to sleep around Christmas or New Year can be insane! Traveling during off season is always cheaper and less crowded! In the same time, you save money on flights or car rentals and many other things. If you plan just a short trip, try to take your vacations during the weekdays since weekends are often higher priced.
6. Delete your cookies/history
When searching for cheap accommodation deals, use a different browser or go incognito before looking up prices a second time on a particular booking site. Websites store your search data and when you come back they know you are more likely to book as a repeat visitor and will charge you more. The same with looking for a cheap flight, you want to be in incognito mode to don’t get your search tracked!
7. Consider farm stay
I am not gonna talk about Woofing or voluntering since those I desribe in a separate article. Here I would like to mention another type of cheap accommodation where you don’t have to work, and which is close to Bed&Breakfast style. Farm stays are popular in UK, USA and Australia, and you can get from basic camping to luxury rooms, depending of the farm. It’s option for nature lowers since you can see the village life, relax and enjoy good food produced on the farm. Prices vary but are close to cheap hotels.
8. Religious Housing
Depending on where you’re traveling, there may be cheap or free lodging offered by religious organizations — such as convents and monasteries (see Syria and Thailand, which were both based on donations. It means I could live and eat there for free, but I was welcomed to support their budget.), or Christian or Jewish guesthouses in Jerusalem. I have already stayed in monasteries in
9. Academic Housing
When students have university break, many dormitories open their door to welcome travelers, which can stay for little money, having all facilities. The best option to find out, if there is such dorm in your desire destination, is to call few campuses. You can also try University-Rooms.com or the local tourist information.
The best time in holidays is time spent on nature! Camp sites offer reasonable conditions, good facilities and always affordable prices. What’s more, eco-friendly traveling is often also the cheap accommodation option, so check them out!