4 Ways To Get Really Cheap Or FREE Accommodation When Travelling

Traveler April 11, 2014 0 Featured, Money, Travel
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Hostel room with city view

It’s possible for travelers to find convenient, cozy lodging for a very small price or even free when you’re looking in the right places. All that’s required is a little know-how on where to look.

Usually accommodation is the largest expense after airfare on a vacation budget. That doesn’t mean that you’ve got to cough up a hundred or two hundred dollars per night to stay there. With a little creativity, you’ll be able to pay just a fraction of that price. That, or you’ll pay nothing at all. What more could you ask for?
In this article we’ll look at 4 great options and examine the benefits and the negatives associated with each one. Carry on reading to see if an affordable alternative to standard accommodation is the right thing for you.

Hostels

Although they’re sometimes referred to as “youth” hostels, they are a brilliant form of budget accommodation for any age of traveler. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to go for the absolute cheapest choice of a bed in a shared dorm. At a lot of hostels you’ll be able to book a private, but basic room for a significantly lower sum than a cheap hotel.

Pros

It’s the ideal accommodation for the adventurous traveler.

Cons

Privacy and safety can be lacking in some hostels – but not all! It’s best to thoroughly research any accommodation before you actually make the monetary commitment to stay there. Sites like HostelWorld.com are great for checking reviews of hostels around the world.

Camping

One of the absolute cheapest options on this list is camping. Looking at the starts at night can actually be an incredible experience, and a very cheap one if you’re cooking your own food rather than going to restaurants every single night. If you’re not quite ready for the mosquitoes, it might be worth taking a look at some luxury tent camps or cabins.

Pros

It’s a refreshing experience to escape from the world of technology. Camping can provide a mesmerizing, relaxing and unforgettable experience that will not leave you longing for your tablet or phone. And who doesn’t love marshmallows?

Cons

You’ve got to give up a lot of conveniences. That means cooking over a fire, waking up to wet sleeping bags and cleaning your dishes inside a bucket. It’s all part of the experience, but it’s not for everyone.

Home Swap

If you swap houses with another traveler, you’ll get to enjoy the benefits and the comfort of being in an actual home. It’s almost free, but home exchange networks usually charge an annual fee for membership. Usually that’ll be around the cost of one night at a hotel room, so you’re making massive savings even when you account for the membership fee.

Pros

All the conveniences you’re used to are there. You’ve got the Wi-Fi, the dishwasher, the gadgets. Typically it’ll all be set away from traffic and hordes of tourists. What more could you ask for?

Cons

There could be a bit of a problem if there’s an issue at your house or the one you’ve swapped in to. Burst pipes, power cuts and angry neighbors are all problems that you’ve got the responsibility to solve. Also, if you’re a little too concerned about having someone stay unsupervised at your house, a house swap probably isn’t for you.

Religious Housing

It depends on where exactly you’re traveling to, but there’s always the possibility of cheap lodging made available by religious organizations. Examples of such places include monasteries and convents in Italy, or Christian guesthouses in Jerusalem. A quick Google search will assist you in finding one of these locations.

Pros

If you’re happy with being brought in with open arms to a clean and calm environment, religious housing could be the thing for you. If you’re lucky, you might even get your own private bathroom. There’s usually rooms for families as well!

Cons

You can’t really expect anything more than a functional and clean room. Luxury isn’t what these places are designed for. Also, if you’re planning on bringing noisy kids you might have to reconsider. Partying isn’t exactly an option here either.

Hopefully the methods listed above will help you to find very cheap or even free accommodation for your travels. Always bear in mind that sacrifices do have to be made in order to save on costs, so you can’t expect the luxury you’d be getting from “normal” accommodation. But hey, it’s an adventure and you’ll get to save a significant amount of money at the same time.

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