For full-time travelers, I think expensive accommodations are overrated. Cheap travel accommodation is everywhere around the world unless you want extra treatments. There is no need to pay for expensive accommodation if you have a long-term travel plan, maybe unless you travel once for leisure. But if you want to save money and travel more, then I’m going to dive into some simple tips on how to find cheap travel accommodations.
Accommodations are the biggest problems travelers face and finding ways to reduce costs can help you save more and travel more. You don’t have to be rich before you can travel around the world, you just need to be smart. Another travel problem is how to find the cheapest flight to anywhere. And if you can learn and be flexible with these two guides, traveling is always going to be cheaper.
Honestly, you are lucky to find this post. I’ve come up with 12 ultimate guides on how to find cheap travel accommodation. Keep scrolling and start planning your first or next trip to save money.
How To Find Cheap Travel Accommodation
1.Budget backpacker Hostels
Cost: $3 – $50 per night
This is not common in Africa though, but backpacker hostels are the first choice for travelers traveling with a tight budget. With backpacker hostels, you don’t have privacy. But some also have private rooms that come with extra cost. Room and bathrooms are shared by multiple people and which is why the costs are low. If only it is helping you save for your next trip, then why not find a backpacker hostel. Mostly average hostel room can take 4-10 people.
Don’t worry, personal lockers are available. You should avoid backpackers hostels with no lockers. A very basic breakfast is usually included. Most times travelers like booking them, so it will be a great chance to meet and interact with other travelers or open your network. Earplugs and an eye mask will help you with the late-night noise and light. Tripadvisor can give you a list of backpacker hostels. It will be best if you also make a direct booking on Booking.com, Hostelbookers, and Hostelworld.
2.Short Term Rentals
Cost: $10 – $90 per night
Some travelers spend days, weeks, and sometimes a month exploring places. Short-term rentals are the best option and are very affordable. Some are renting their whole apartment on the internet and it’s far cheaper than hotels and also have more amenities you can enjoy. It’s just like staying in your house but this time paying for it. But sometimes can get a little expensive if you are a solo traveler, yet you can be flexible and browse through and you will surely get one that suits your budget.
Their apartment is mostly fully furnished and has its kitchen – just jump in there if you are a good cook. This is more like home-away-from-home. Make sure you select a place that has very nice reviews and stars. Don’t forget to check the apartment location and also see there the transport system there is flexible for your stay.
My Short Term Rental Best Websites
3.Budget Local Guest Houses
Cost: $10 – $90 per night
Honestly, hotels are the most popular option for accommodation when traveling anywhere. Ranging from some of the top stars and luxury rooms to some of the low-cost budget options. Local guest houses are cheap and can help you save for your next trip. They are just like hostels and if you are lucky you can get a kitchen. Hostels are not available anywhere but local guest houses are often available anywhere.
Local guest houses work just like hotels and there will be someone checking up on you to change and clean the room for you. Breakfast is mostly included. One most important thing is to always check the room before booking and make sure the doors and windows are very secure.
4.Stay With Locals or Friends
Cost: Mostly Free
Now the new world has made it easy to make friends abroad with social networking like Facebook, Instagram, Clubhouse, and Twitter. Get to know more people outside your destination so you could stay with them when you visit their destination. Post on your timeline your next trip and ask who would like to host you, you never know who will be hosting you.
Staying with locals is always good to even learn new culture and learn a new language. For me, Facebook and Instagram is the best social network for getting locals to stay with. But before, build a little travel portfolio so they can trust you.
5.Volunteer \ Work Exchange
Cost: Free – $20 per night
My Friend Ernest works with a train company and he gets to travel and get accommodations for free. Rather than pay for your accommodation, why not work in exchange? Volunteer work is everywhere around the world, you can just find yourself one and get to explore new places for free accommodation. Some examples include farm works, schools, shelters, hostels, lodges, and even the UN.
Working as a volunteer can not only give you free accommodation but also, you get to learn a new skill and learn now foreign culture. It is also a good way to changes people’s lives, especially when you work with NGOs. Some volunteer works even give you extra income tips and others also charge a small fee to cover the cost associated with hosting you.
Cost: Free – $20
For adventure travelers, camping is the best accommodation for you since you want to get close to nature. Camping in the wilderness is always the best travel experience. Most times it is free, but camping in some top tourist destinations can cost you little.
I know friends who enjoy camping and it’s not my thing or maybe I don’t own a tent or camping hammock. They go anywhere and all their accommodation is camping and it’s always free for them, I’m jealous of these guys. Camping in African is almost free anytime, nobody care if you sleeping outside. But try to avoid camping on posted private property. Make sure you have a water or water source nearby. For the sake of tiny inserts hang your foods on a tree. And clean the area when leaving to continue your adventure.
Some homeowners also travel for vacation or even travel for work, and need someone to look after their homes while gone. But before you can be a home sitter you will need to fill in little info to make sure you are a good person. Can be that person? It enables you to feel at home and live quite well for a few weeks or months. This is all for keeping your eye on it for the homeowner to come back.
This is not popular in African because of our tracking system. Sometimes there are pets to feed and play with, so be ready for it. At its best make sure the owner writes down all the responsibilities and agreed to.
Trustedhousesitters is a great site for getting a housesitting job.
This is more like staying with locals or strangers. To be able to get a place, you need to build a little profile to gain the trust of the host. Have you heard of CouchSurfing.com, it is a very big community with over 5 million strong people around the world who open up their homes or apartments to travelers for free. Mostly they have an extra bedroom or just a couch for you to relax on.
People do this to share their culture with others. Some also do it to find travel partners. Make sure you have time to chat or do something fun with your hosts. HospitalityClub and WarmShowers have similar communities. Couchsurfing is one of the best ways to find cheap travel accommodation. The person hosting you can also be your tour guide, just ask him or her to show you around.
Do you own a place, then it is better you trade it for another home from another traveler. Home Exchange has been around for a long time but now growing in popularity. It’s free when you exchanging your home with another person. Most people don’t do this because they are worried about security, but don’t forget another person is trusting you with his or her home.
This option of free accommodation also needs a little security profile before someone can exchange their home with you. It’s very good if you join some home exchange social network.
Check out HomeExchange.com or HomeForExchange.com to sign up and start changing homes with homeowners.
10.Join Group Tours
Cost: Depending the agency charges
Traveling in groups can save you a little money not only on accommodation but other stuff like transport fees if it is a road trip. Group tours usually include accommodation, so they are all in one amount you pay to the tour agency. But not all group trips are cheaper, there are expensive once. You should do some calculations before booking a slot in group tours, it can be less expensive when you go solo.
If you are looking to travel to Ghana, my friend Kaptainlexi has some affordable deals you would love to jump in.
11.Churches \ Temple Stay
Since religious homes are a place for everyone, I think it’s a good idea to look for your place of worship and ask if you can sleep for a night or two. Pretty sure you will be welcome. It could be at a Catholic Church, an Islamic Mosque, Jewish Synagogue, Buddhist Monastery, or a Sikh Temple. Don’t take advantage of religious good deeds and stay for long. You will be lucky to get free food as well.
Cost: Ticket Price
Finding cheap travel accommodation is a very smart thing every traveler should learn. Some trips can be very long and traveling by road is another way to save money on accommodation if you traveling overnight. Sleeping on trains, planes, buses, and boats is not that relaxing but you will get used to it.
My first trip to the Northern Region of Ghana was an overnight trip which also helped save some money for my next trip to Kumasi.
Choose a seat with a lot of legroom to feel a little relaxing. Make sure your bags are in the right secure place before you sleep. And be friendly with the person next to you so they will wake you before your stop.
Everyone Can Travel Cheaply
Everyone can travel cheaply. you just have to learn how to find cheap travel accommodation
My point is, cheap travel accommodation is possible. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on expensive hotels to see the world.
A week’s stay in a hotel might cost $700, a week’s stay in a hostel might cost $140, and a week’s stay with Couchsurfing hosts will cost you $0.
Big difference, right? Travel is only expensive if you make it that way.
If you’re open-minded, there are plenty of cheap accommodation options to take advantage of while traveling.