A budget-friendly vacation does not necessarily mean a boring one – it is possible to trim a few excess corners in terms of meals and entertainment options and still have a great time. However, one aspect of travel where it gets hard to cut down on the cost is lodging. No matter how you spend the rest of your day, it is expected that you will have a comfortable and peaceful sleep at night. Moreover, if you are going on the trip with your family, the one-size-fits-all solution might not work and based upon your situation, you might have a variable threshold for sacrificing comfort for a reduced cost. However, some great ideas to consolidate your budget during travel by saving on accommodations are given below.
In case you do not feel out of place sharing a room with strangers, here are some good options:
Anyone with a strong sense of adventure, a shoestring budget and a tiny personal space can join the CouchSurfing revolution – a network consisting of thousands of people around the globe who offer spots on their couch, on air mattresses and in pull-out beds for you to spend the night. All you have to do is make a profile, exchange some messages, form a community, vouch for people who have provided suitable accommodations in the past, and read the reviews before you commit to spending time on a stranger’s couch in a foreign location. Moreover, in the CouchSurfing community, a lot of hosts are extremely helpful and make it a point to guide their guests around the site and help them view the best sites without any extra cost. The entire process is free-of-charge and there are sufficient numbers of online reviews for you to familiarize yourself with the host before you commit.
Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of CouchSurfing since they are unsure about the type of accommodations they will end up with and for them, the best option happens to be the new start-up called Airbnb. In many ways, this community resembles the CouchSurfing network but the main difference is that the hosts are going to put you up in spare apartments, rooms for rent, or, if you are lucky, entire homes. The company is expanding rapidly and you will be able to find various sorts of lodgings as per your budget. Usually, Airbnb hosts put up the spare places for a fraction of the cost of an actual hotel room and this helps you save a ton of money on your vacation.
For people who require some privacy on their trips, the ideal options are:
- House Sitting
If you are adept at maintaining a home and do not mind staying in someone else’s house, house sitting will be the ideal option for you. Sites like House Carers allow you to pay a small fee as security and then you can register to make yourself available to homeowners who are searching for house-sitters. Not only does this gig help you save on some low-cost but superb accommodations for limited periods of time but it teaches you the value of responsibility.
- House Swapping
If what you are seeking involves a bit more privacy in the course of your trip, you can always opt for house swapping but you need to be comfortable with the idea of someone else staying at your place. House swapping happens to be the most feasible option for getting great lodgings at dirt cheap prices. All you have to do is list your house as available for swapping and check the destinations that are searching for you.
Many people are uncomfortable about the idea of sharing rooms with strangers and they would rather stay alone. However, if they truly want to save money and still retain their sense of privacy, they could choose:
If you have friends living in great places you have always wanted to visit, now is the time to talk to them about it. Not only do you get a free place to stay, you will be able to get a great host/hostess in the process. You can catch-up with your long distance friends and they can show you around the best spots in their town/city.
Timing is crucial when it comes to travel and if you time your vacation in a careful way, you can land up with:
- Off-season Rentals
A lot of you simply wish for a conventional location to stay that you can book, visit and leave without any of the hassle of cleaning and serving yourself – basically, a hotel without the high rates. Off-season rentals allow you to save a ton of money and the prices are comparable to budget hostels. They are great value for money and you can get amazing amenities for a fraction of the hotel cost.
- Open Dorm Accommodations
Dorm-style sleeping accommodations are a good way to save a lot of money during your trip and even if this is not the fanciest option, it is comfortable and safe. Moreover, in some of the more expensive locations, dorms might be the only accommodation that fit your budget. When you are on a short vacation and are not in the mood to do any house sitting or rental arrangements, you can check out some dorm room hostels to see if they meet your expectations. The pricing depends mainly on the location and the features that the lodgings offer.
For fancier options, you cannot go wrong with:
- Boutique Hostels
Boutique hostels are a novel concept since they have hostel pricing but provide greater privacy and improved attention to detail. You might consider them a mix of fancy hotels and students hostels. Most of them should suit your budget and there are some great boutique hostels to choose from in scenic locations. There are lots of good amenities that you can get free access to in boutique hostels.
All of the options mentioned above will help you save up on your money during the trip and you will be able to afford the accommodations of your choice.
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