Here’s how to save money on accommodation when you travel
SOMETIMES, saving up money for months to purchase flight tickets and maybe a little more to spare for expenditures when your travel is not even close to enough.
This is because you forget the one main culprit that could drain your bank account further – accommodation.
You don’t want to fork out too much moolah on your accommodation if you’re going to be out and about all day. Likely, all you’ll need from your stay is hot water, clean sheets, air-conditioning, and WiFi. And of course, in an appropriate location if you can help it.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to save money on accommodation when you travel that won’t require you to beg or steal. Here are some options that you can consider:
A popular platform for budget travelers, Couchsurfing is a vibrant travel community with over 14 million potential hosts.
Backpackers love it, but also solo travelers on a thrifty trip. In fact, Couchsurfing can be done alone, in pairs, or in groups – and for free.
It’s also a great way to live like locals do, get insights on your destination, learn the culture, and make lifelong travel friends. And don’t worry, you won’t always end up sleeping on a couch.
Tip: Although your stay is free, it’ll be nice to bring your host a thoughtful gift. Otherwise, offer to cover a meal or the groceries at home.
Cut back on how much you could be spending on accommodation by getting comfortable on an overnight trip.
Buy sleeper train or coach bus tickets for your trip and enjoy the journey, going to sleep at point A but waking up at point B.
Don’t forget to book a good seat as well so that you can watch the sunrise on the horizon as you approach your destination.
Tip: Sleeping on a train or a bus can be difficult if you’re not used to it. So pack your jammies, a pillow, a blanket, a pair of slippers, and an eye mask too if you’d like, and get cozy.
Inspired by the 2006 hit movie “The Holiday,” HomeExchange popularised the home swapping concept to curious travelers.
How does it work? You’ll need to list your house on HomeExchange’s community, then send inquiries to other members.
Remember, the exchange will only work if both parties agree to offer each other homestays for a period of time.
Tips: There have been cases of hosts canceling the swap at the very last minute so always have a backup plan.
Use your points
Credit cards, especially travel credit cards, can come with a lot of perks.
You’d be surprised to find that you’re entitled to hotel promotions that allow you to pay for your room with your points.
Even if you can’t get your room for completely free, there’s a chance that you can get it at a significant discount.
Tips: Call up your bank and ask in detail what else the points/rewards system entails. You may even get a free meal if you’re lucky.
Arguably one of the best home-sharing platforms in the world, Airbnb has given people traveling on a budget more accommodation options.
It’s particularly useful to get accommodation in major cities where hotels are pricey and faraway places where hotels are scarce.
So if there’s a group of you, it only makes sense to share an Airbnb apartment than booking yourselves up separate hotel rooms.
Tips: Care for the Airbnb accommodation as you would with your own home to earn brownie points from your host. You’ll need the good review for future bookings.