When you’re traveling it’s really easy for everything to rack-up fast, from grabbing a quick bite to museum entrance fees and paying for transport. In this post we rounded up the 10 best ways to find cheap accommodation, including off-season travel and the best ways to search the internet for a bargain.
1. Online tools
From couches through to budget hostels, cheap hotels and home rentals, travel site AllTheRooms has every kind of accommodation you could possibly want. Simply enter your destination of choice in the search bar, the number of people traveling and the dates of travel, then hit search. Using the filter bar, select the maximum amount of money you want to spend and once all the options are pulled-up, you can browse and snag yourself a bargain.
2. Travel during low-season
Accommodation is significantly cheaper during off-season. If you can be flexible with dates, it’s a good idea to do some research before you request annual leave and find out when the low season or shoulder season is at your chosen destination. Prices can be up to 75 percent cheaper during low season in some places, meaning you’re more likely to find some great deals.
3. House sit
If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a villa with a pool for free, house-sitting could be the perfect option for you. Companies such as Trusted House Sitters and Mind My House offer an amazing selection of properties, from rustic farmhouses in the Spanish mountains, through to exotic villas in Costa Rica. Trusted House Sitters connects pet lovers with pet owners who are looking for someone to stay in their property and care for their pet while they’re away. Meanwhile, Mind My House is a house sitting tool that matches house sitters with homeowners.
4. Crash on a couch
If you’re looking to really keep things to a budget, you should consider couchsurfing, the travel platform where you can match with a homeowner and find a place to stay by crashing on a local’s couch or staying in their spare room for free. There are tons of couches up for grabs all around the world, and some homeowners love to take the opportunity to show their city to an enthusiastic traveler. You can show your host a little gratitude by cooking for them or teaching them about your own culture.
5. Read a Guidebook
Guidebooks such as the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide are great for helping plan itineraries and find recommended budget accommodation. The guides list a selection of top accommodation options by price order.
6. Ask for recommendations on social media
Social media is a really useful tool for asking for accommodation recommendations. Write a tweet seeking advice (don’t forget to include a hashtag for the place you’re traveling to) or find a Facebook group for your chosen destination and ask experienced travelers for cheap places to stay.
7. Book in advance
For the super-organized, booking your accommodation in advance is a smart way to keep things cheap. If you book one year ahead of your trip, you’re likely to find much lower prices.
8. Consider staying further out
If you’re traveling to one of the world’s top cities it might be worth considering staying outside of the city center. This way you’ll be able to find out more about local culture and save money.
9. Just turn up
This one is for the adventurous traveler. Another fun way to find cheap accommodation is to just turn up and ask around. For example, you can research the main area for backpackers in your chosen destination and then visit several hostels or hotels. Ask to view the rooms and facilities before making a choice and you may even be able to haggle down the price.
10. Embrace the weather
London in the winter? Who cares! If you’ve got an umbrella and don’t mind a bit of rain, you can brave the city like a true local and you’re likely to find much more reasonable prices. In many of the world’s major cities, there are so many indoor activities to do, like visiting museums, galleries, theatres, and shops, that the weather needn’t be a hindrance to when you book your trip.