Traveling for cheaper – how to save on accommodation

It really flabbergasts me every time when people are so amazed at what I do when I travel. There’s nothing new about budget travel. It’s not innovative, it’s not up-and-coming, and it’s just plain practical to me. As with many industries in this world, marketing is created to have us perceive travel in a certain way. Do you really think that in far off destinations like the islands in southern Thailand, Bali, Barbados etc. that the only way to travel is by a 5-star all-inclusive luxury resorts? Is that what the locals do when they’re traveling within their own country? The sky is the limit in terms of options for the way you can travel. You have the ability to make your own decisions while you travel. If you decide that’s through a hotel, so be it. But there are plenty of other options that can save you money and allow you to travel for longer periods of time, or more frequently. I’ll take the latter choice, every time. Here are a few of the basic options that could save you a buck and help you travel better. 

  1. Hostels – Of course there’s the classic option of hostels – to which I always get the responses “OH MY GOD, haven’t you seen the movie hostel?? I would never stay in one of those places, I could get killed!” Well…first off how do you think those places stay in business if all their customers are getting killed off? I’ll get into this further in another post. But, hostels are a great value option. Most cost around $25 a night in a shared dorm (depending on the country some can be way cheaper). Most people who are staying in hostels are looking for the exact same thing as you – just to have fun and make memories while traveling. Your setting already proves that you’re like-minded in this way, and through my experiences I’ve met amazing individuals in hostels whom I had great nights out with, great days exploring the city together, and have even kept in contact down the line and hosted/been hosted by them later on. Hostels are a great way to meet lifelong friends on the road!
  2. AirBnB – another great budget option if you want to have a little bit more privacy and you wanted to just make a trip with your friends. It is a very reputable website which allows you rent out someone’s apartment or a room in their apartment for a much cheaper price than a hotel. You read through people’s profiles and access whether they are a good match based on the location of their apartments, the pictures of their apartment, and you have access to previous reviews that they have from customers who have rented out their apartment before. (Other rental sites include wimdu & roomorama).
  3. CouchSurfing – my personal favorite. Another aura of negativity surrounds the idea of CouchSurfing to the untrained eye. “Stay at someone’s place with them? What if you stay with a crazy ax murderer?” Another silly fear that I find humorous because I’ve made amazing connections with my time using CouchSurfing. Just like AirBnb, you scout out people’s personal profiles so you already have an idea whether your host is a good match for you based on their interests, you get to read about their past experiences in previous reviews, and of course any good profile has pictures of the individual (many include them traveling to different locations so you can see they’re looking for the same things as you) . And obviously you will already be communicating back and forth with your potential host to explain the details of your trip and you’ll get a sense of who they are before you even meet them. I’ll include a separate post about the great connections I’ve made through CouchSurfing in another post. 
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10 thoughts on “Traveling for cheaper – how to save on accommodation

  1. I have never heard of AirBnB but sounds great, do you have a website link at all? I’m going to be trying out couchsurfing for the first time this June and i’m slightly nervous – Is there any advice you would give? Look forward to reading your next post 🙂

    • Hi Alicia,

      https://www.airbnb.com/

      Here is the link to AirBnb, you should check it out!

      In regards to couchsurfing advice, I would just try and be as clear and direct as possible with your potential host about your intentions and expectations for the trip. The first time I had couchsurfed it was my host’s first time hosting as well! It worked out really well in that regard. And just remember that it is called hospitality exchange for a reason. If you can cook, offer to cook for your host one night! If not (like myself hehe) surprise them by treating them with the bill if you guys eat out (I did this one by sneaking the payment while my couchsurfer was in the bathroom), or even provide a small gift from your city or country, something that might be memorable for your host. Hope this helped!

      -The Wanderlust Guru

  2. It’s so true. I’ve found some amazing deals in Southeast Asia for $10-$25. We’re talking king size beds, flat screen TVs and sometimes even a pool! If you’re traveling with someone else you can spend very little and still get all those creature comforts. AirBnB is my new favorite site. I always use it if am staying in one place for a week or longer. It definitely cuts down on costs. There’s definitely no need to spend much on accommodation.

  3. I want to try couchsurfing! People make it seem like anyone who would offer their house to travelers must be crazy murderous psychopaths, but then I remember that hosts also take a risk by allowing strangers into their homes. Anyways, thanks for writing, it’s good to hear some positive feelings about couchsurfing. The price is definitely right!

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