How to Find Cheap Accommodation Anywhere

Saturday, June 24, 2017

One of the most efficient ways to save money while traveling is to find cheap accommodation out there. Especially if you´re traveling for long-term, accommodation prices can dig a huge hole in your budget very fast. Quite frustrating, especially if you only ever see your accommodation the 5 minutes before you fall asleep and after you wake up. Luckily, there are many easy ways to find cheap accommodation all around the world, so let’s get into it.

Hostels

This is an obvious one. Don´t book your stay at fancy hotels or mansions, settle for the hostels instead. You can find cheap accommodation in a hostel literally everywhere, generally for no more than $15 - $25 a night (although this will vary depending on your location and how many people you share a dorm with). If you´re visiting a warm country, there might even be hammocks for you to sleep in for only a few dollars a night, so be sure to ask. And yes, sharing your room with 11 other people can be a bit uncomfortable if your bunk buddy snores or smells like he hasn´t seen a shower up close for a very long time. If this is the case, don´t be afraid to ask for another room at reception or do some subtle hinting. Usually hostels are a fun way to meet people and they often offer cheap drinks and food as well, so give it a try!

Airbnb

After a few months of sleeping in dorms with strangers, you might be in need of some (private) peace and quiet. Finding private cheap accommodation can be a bit more difficult, as hotels or private hostel rooms quickly add to the price. A good way to avoid this is renting a room or small apartment using AirBNB. People rent out a room in their own house or a holiday apartment through this, ranging from super cheap to ridiculously expensive. Simply set your search settings to lowest price first, and you´ll guaranteed be able to find some good deals on there. If you´re traveling together with a partner or group, or have already made friends on the road, sharing a room or apartment can cut down the costs even more.  Just make sure to check how many people are allowed in the place, because some renters prefer to avoid groups.

having a good time with my airbnb host in Sarajevo
having a good time with my airbnb host in Sarajevo

Workaway

One of my favorite ways to find cheap accommodation is by using Workaway. This genius service connects travelers with hosts through their website, allowing travelers to do some work in return for accommodation and maybe even some food. There´s all kinds of people and places on there, from hostels full of party-animals to quiet family-farms. I´ve ended up in the weirdest corners of Germany and Central America using Workaway, having both amazing and horrible experiences. But, if you pay close attention to what kind of host you´re writing to and set up clear expectations of the work that is expected from you, doing Workaway can be a very rewarding experience. You´ll not just get the cheap accommodation, you´ll also meet the locals and have the opportunity to really experience what life is like in the country you´re visiting.

Couchsurfing

For those of you in search of cheap accommodation while still being able to do your own thing, have a look at Couchsurfing. It´s very similar to Workaway, in the sense that they connect hosts and travelers online. The difference is that while with Workaway you´ll be working for your stay, with Couchsurfing your host will take you in completely for free. You will be sleeping on a stranger´s couch, stretcher or floor, but it won´t cost you a thing and give you a good idea of what local life is like. You are probably expected to hang out a bit though, so if you really want to just sleep and take off, maybe consider another option.

Choose your area wisely

Finally, take into account what area you want to travel to, as some countries, cities or even parts of a city are way more expensive than others. It is going to be way harder to find cheap accommodation in the heart of Sydney than it will be in the jungles of Thailand. Tourist-dense places can either work for or against your budget, all depending on the kind of tourism you´re participating in. A popular destination for celebrities will naturally cost you a lot more than a backpacker´s paradise. To avoid costly surprises, do some research before you decide on your destination and maybe alter your plans a bit accordingly. And if you really want to stay in Sydney for three months, either find a Workaway/Couchsurfing hosts or accommodation is a less popular area. Or, be prepared to lay down a lot of extra money for your stay…

save money while living abroad by using couchsurfing or camping