Cut the Cost of Travel Accommodation
So, you’ve been bitten by the travel bug but your wallet is totally not in agreement? Well, don’t worry. There are actually tons of ways to cut down on accommodation costs without ruining the fun of the trip.
The Camper Trailer Life
Let’s kick off with the humble but great camper trailer. It’s like a little snail carrying its home, but instead the shell is a cosy, compact haven on wheels. You get to sleep under the stars, cook in the great outdoors, and use your own bathroom. Plus, no surprise hotel fees for accidentally eating that overpriced minibar chocolate!
Hostel Living: Not Just for Party-Hungry 20-Year-Olds
Hostels have evolved. They’re no longer all just stomping grounds for backpackers who don’t mind using a pillow that’s seen more heads than a barber shop. Many offer private rooms, so you can enjoy the social vibe without sharing your snores. Robbie and I booked a double room when we stayed in Paris and it was actually the top floor with a balcony view of the city!
Become a House-Sitting Hero
House sitting is like staying in a free Airbnb, but occasionally you may have to water a plant or feed a cat. It’s a win-win: you get free accommodation; the cat gets to judge another human for a while.
Embrace the Off-Season
Travel off-season. Sure, you might need an extra jumper, but the savings? Chef’s kiss! Plus, fewer tourists mean you’ll likely be able to visit more places that might have been busier or full in the high-season. Do a little research if you’re travelling to a different country, as they might have other holidays or breaks you don’t already know about.
Loyalty Programs: Points Mean Prizes (or Free Nights)
Sign up for hotel loyalty programs. It’s like a coffee shop stamp card, but instead of a free latte, you get a free night in a bed that you didn’t have to make yourself. You can also get points on general hotel booking sites, meaning you get cheaper rates across multiple hotels!
The Art of Couch Surfing
Couch-surfing: it’s social, it’s adventurous, and it’s free. It’s like making new friends, but you sleep on their couch. Just remember, good couch-surfing karma involves not being a terrible guest. This one may not be for everyone, but if you have friends in the area, it’s always worth exploring, even if just for a few nights.
The Thrill of the Chase: Hunt for last-minute deals. It’s a bit like playing accommodation roulette, but the adrenaline rush of snagging a half-price room the day before is unbeatable. If you’ve already booked flights, set yourself a maximum budget and see what you can do within that. If you know you need somewhere to stay, I can guarantee you’ll be able to book somewhere.
The Wonder of Workaways
Consider a workaway. In exchange for a few hours of work, you get free accommodation and sometimes meals. It’s like being back at home and doing chores, but in a far more exotic location.
Long-Term Stays: Negotiate the Rate
If you’re staying somewhere long-term, negotiate the rate. The worst they can say is no, and then you just put on your best sad puppy face. Often a guaranteed guest for a long period time will be beneficial to the owner, so they are likely to agree to at least some sort of discount.
Self-Catering for the Win
Choose self-catering accommodation. You might have to forgo room service, but cooking your own meals can save a pretty penny. This was you can still choose to eat out if you find somewhere affordable or somewhere special. I also find it really fun cooking with local ingredients – you might even be able to whip up something better than the hotel restaurant!
Here’s to cheaper travels and richer experiences for all of us in 2024 and beyond!
*This is a contributed post. As ever, all opinions are my own.