Sometimes, it feels like no matter what you do to try and win at accommodation prices, you lose. But the cost of lodgings for travel doesn’t have to be a fixed cost at all. There has been a new surge of affordable accommodation options through the world recently, as well as thousands of methods to getting the most bang for your buck. When you are searching for cheap accommodations wherever you are headed, there are a number of Flyavel
travel expert approved ways for travelers to find decent places to stay without using their holiday savings.
Hospitality & Work Exchanges
Want a free place to sleep? One of the best ways to get free accommodations is to stay with someone who lives where you are headed. Of course, you won’t have a “room” per se, but you do get a place to crash—and isn’t that all you need? Here are some websites that make hospitality exchanges possible:
Ever hear about WWOOFing
? This is also called a “farm stay.” Live on a farm, work on a farm, and get lodgings as well as organized excursions. Though you might have to pay a little, you do get free food and other budget hotel amenities for a reduced cost. Plus, you meet amazing people. Apart from WWOOF, there is WorkAway
to search for opportunities.
Sponsored Travel & Reward Programs
If you are active on social media, especially Instagram, why not become a paid influencer? You will need to have more than 10,000 followers on Instagram as well as an active account, some decent photography skills, and a desire to be a digital nomad—but if you’re game for that, you can start pitching to hotel chains for discounted or complimentary rooms in exchange for promotion.
Location, Location, Location
City centre is always going to cost more than finding lodgings in the suburbs or rural spaces. The closer you are to transportation hubs, the more you pay for that convenience. Those who don’t mind travelling a bit farther away from the downtown can reduce the price tag of their lodgings—and enjoy a quieter, much less touristy area. Of course, if the cost of transportation is outrageous, you might not want to stay miles outside of the city. Carefully consider location, public transport costs, local attractions, food outlets and supermarkets, and the distance between all these things.
Oh, and if you’re somewhere like Norway, for instance, where there’s freedom to roam, you could always pitch a tent and live off the land.
Know Your Time Frame
Hotels, hostels, Airbnb flats, and even guest houses have something in common: off-season travel greatly affects the price. Going off-season is a great way to ensure you are getting the lowest price on accommodations. The downside is that it’s off-season for a reason. Usually, the weather is at its worst or there is something going on that shuts the country down for weeks, like a religious observation or holiday.
If off-season is not preferable, consider “shoulder-season.” This is in-between peak season and off-season. The weather will be pleasant, but the crowds will be less. As for the price, everything will be middle-ground, helping you balance your budget.
Seriously think about who you are travelling with and what you are going to need to be comfortable. For example, if your companions are children, you can’t exactly rough it like you would as a single, twenty-something with just a backpack. Think about what you want, such as free airport shuttles, free breakfast, dining options, TV options, laundry facilities, 24-hour reception, and kitchenettes or shared cooking space. Anything that makes life easier should be prioritized.
Whether you are searching on Booking.com or Airbnb.com for your dream accommodations, you don’t want to get into something you can’t get out of, especially when life happens and plans changes. One of the ways you can cut unexpected costs is booking rooms with free cancellation policies (or flexible, in the case of Airbnb). This gives you assurance that you can back out of any plans or not get stuck paying for something you can’t use.
No excuses! Budget accommodation is available everywhere if you know where to look. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and do some work or help out around the hostel for discounts. Consider home exchanges, housesitting, camping, and other ways to cut costs. Remember, you’re travelling, so why not make your accommodations also part of the adventure?