HOW TO FIND CHEAP ACCOMMODATION
Accommodation is one of the biggest fixed costs travelers have and reducing that cost can lead to big savings! I’m sure many backpackers would sleep in a barn if it was the cheapest accommodation they could find!
No matter what your accommodation tastes may be, one thing everyone has in common is that no one wants to pay a fortune for it. In fact, one of the best ways to take a cheap holiday is to cut down on accommodation costs. Since 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 inexpensive lodging will have the biggest impact on your budget.
Luckily, there are a number of ways travelers can find a decent place to stay without forking over their entire vacation fund:
One of the best ways to get free accommodation is by staying with someone who lives where you’re going. Stay with a local who will give you a free place to rest your head, local information, and someone to hang out with! There are a few websites that make this happen:
Couchsurfing is my favorite. The goal of the site is to help travelers not only save money on accommodation but also learn about the local culture by being able to stay and interact with a local.
I use this site all the time, and I think it’s one of the greatest things to happen in travel. While I love the fact I can get out of hostels and hotels and save money, what draws me to the site over and over again is that I get to see the local side of a city. I get taken to parties, and restaurants, and sites that aren’t in any guidebook.
A lot of times, people are scared to couchsurf because they wonder if it’s safe. I was nervous about it at first, too. There you are, in a new city, with all your stuff — in a stranger’s home. What if they try to murder you in your sleep? What if they steal your stuff? However, I’ve found that people who are willing to open their homes to strangers tend to be very open-minded people, and are also usually former travelers. They know what you are going through. They want to help. Couchsurfing is aware of this and take many steps to provide security. It offers various levels of verification and allows users to rate and leave comments on people’s profiles.