Accommodation is easily one of the biggest expenses on your travels—if not the biggest—and it’s one of the most common aspect of a travel that people are looking to save on. Luckily, hotels no longer monopolize most of the travel accommodation scene anymore. A lot of alternatives have emerged, and accommodation has been more affordable than ever.
How much is your budget?
Knowing your very own finances is the most important step. This would also help you set a realistic goal for yourself. By knowing your own financial capability, it’ll help you tremendously in planning for your trip. And not just on accommodation, but the entirety of your trip. Make sure that saving on accommodation won’t cost you a leak on finances on other areas—most notably transport. This is why you need to approach your cost-minimizing in a comprehensive way.
Avoid hotels and resorts
This is probably the most obvious one. If you want to save on accommodation, definitely avoid staying at hotels. Think of them as luxuries. You may be able to afford them, but you don’t need them. There are numerous options that you can use without sacrificing your comfort nor safety.
If you have no other choice but to stay at a hotel for whatever reasons, then make sure to research the prices early on. Remember to clear the cookies on your browser every time you’re searching for accommodations so that the prices won’t inflate when you search again.
Consider your itinerary
Make sure you have at least a general idea of which areas you’ll be visiting. Not just a vague notion of the place, such as “Ubud”, “Mexico City”, or “Osaka”. Even though you consider yourself the “flexible” person, having a clearer idea on where you want to go to is extremely essential.
Even in one city, the price of one part of the town compared to another differs greatly. Staying in a place in the area where you’re going to spend a lot of your time in is ideal.
Staying with a local or fellow travellers
Websites such as couchsurfing is invaluable for this. However, this may not be for everyone. Remember that couchsurfing does not function merely as a place for you to crash during the night and gone the next day. You’ll be expected to interact a lot with your hosts.
Remember that price always depends on location
City centers are bound to be far more expensive compared to the residential or suburban areas
However this is where the factor of your itinerary comes to play. Don’t just pick the cheapest location, then having a to go through a one hour commute every day when you go out to your destinations.
If you know you’re going to spend a long time in a certain place, then make sure to pick a location at that particular area, or at least, one close to it. Transportation is a cumulative expense that easily adds up.
Be realistic about your expectations
Research the average prices of both hostels and hotels. Compare with other alternative options you have such as rental homes like airbnb. Don’t expect to be given free accommodations as well unless you have a close, trusted friend living in your destination.
Expecting people to give you free accommodations for whatever reasons is similar to what backpackers did. So, be realistic. And make sure to plan your travel well. You’d be able to save a lot on not just your accommodation, but across all aspects of your travel.