When it comes to traveling abroad, the two biggest costs are usually air fares and accommodation. Unfortunately, other than with rewards programs or rebates, there’s not much you can do about the former. However, when it comes to where you stay, there’s a lot of money to be saved.
Hotels will drain your travel budget and cause more headaches than those silk pillowcases can ever soothe. Not only through nightly costs, but also with all the additional costs such as overpriced food. Luckily, no matter where you go, there are a variety of alternatives. Here are three of the best.
Whether it be the guesthouses of Jerusalem or the monasteries of Italy, religious organizations around the world often provide some form of housing for visitors. These are usually clean and calm places that are open to anyone, including children. Rooms are known to be well-maintained and functional.
Considering the cost, or lack thereof, it wouldn’t be fair to expect a high level of privacy or luxury, but religious housing is a fair option if you’re in the right area. Be sure to get back early as these places usually have a curfew.
This phenomenon has taken over the travel community in recent years. The premise is rather simple: You connect with someone and they offer their hospitality free of charge. Couchsurfing is an actual website with its own social network, giving tourists and hosts worldwide the opportunity to connect.
Simply search for the location you plan to visit, and a list of hosts will pop up, usually with a gallery of images and a description of who they are, what they expect from a guest and what guests should expect from them.
This is a great way to not only cut out a massive cost from your travel budget, but to also meet new people and make friends along the way, as well as getting some important insider knowledge and advice on the city you’re visiting.
Another increasingly popular and cost-effective solution is renting a hostel. This form of accommodation combines the comfort and utility of hotels with communal living. Cheaper dorms are shared among numerous guests, and kitchens are usually a communal affair as well. If you’re looking for a bit more privacy, single-bed rooms are usually available.
Lots of people enjoy camping, and it can be a great way to save money when traveling, especially if you want to explore the backcountry or a specific national park. When camping, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need not only a tent, but also a number of other accessories like a cooking stove, sleeping bags and mats, and a torch. Depending on where you are camping, you may also need to take along some firearms for protection against the wildlife. Woodbury Outfitters, for example, has a great selection of affordable firearms.
If you do your homework, you could end up saving a ton of money on your accommodation, leaving you with more funds to eat better, travel faster and buy more souvenirs for the family at home. Just be sure that wherever you plan to stay is clean and safe. The last thing you want to do is fly home early because you decided to cut costs and eat expired chicken.