Accommodation is definitely one of the biggest fixed costs for travellers and learning how to find the best deal in the right location will help you to keep more money in your pocket to afford the unforgettable experiences.
We have slept in parks, barns and hammocks in National parks but you don’t need to do this to find cheap accommodation. We have also got the right deal on some amazing houses, beachfront apartments and comfortable serviced apartments in Melbourne. It is possible to see the world and not spend thousands of dollars on expensive hotels. Check out these tips to find affordable sleep options while you explore the world.
1 | Use Booking Websites
Take advantage of search engines, like kayak, which allows you to narrow down price and location preferences, in addition to reading reviews for each option, in most cases, you can directly connect to the service provider. If you search for a hostel, Kayak will encourage you to book through Priceline, but will also send you to the hostel website. One of my favourite features is the price predictor tool, which advises you to wait, alerting you to hotel prices over time and when to purchase via an email, or pull the trigger on a purchase to help you get the best deal.
2 | Consider Couchsurfing
Create a profile and then contact potential hosts that will put you up overnight (on the couch) or as long as agreed to. Make sure you provide loads of information on your profile to gain trust, and when you do decide to send out requests, take your time and send out personalised requests not generic ones. You want to start engaging with the person who is going to host you. I always check out other traveller’s reviews before i send out requests. Some hosts even offer guests an insider’s perspective on life in their town. You get to learn about the local culture, get taken to parties, cool restaurants and meet different groups of people.
3 | Opt for a Hostel rather than a Hotel
Don’t overlook hostels. I quite often stay in hostels and with shared bathrooms to save money. Now, as a not so young backpacker and a mum we still stay in hostels a big chunk of our time. We don’t stay in dorms as yet because Noah is only 2 years old and while you never know the noise level of your fellow travellers, we never want to be those people! We have often opted to get a room for the three of us and it has been at a great price and an opportunity for Noah to meet other young travellers and experience a communal atmosphere with diverse cultures.
As for those myths that hostels are dirty and designed for young people, that’s all wrong. Most hostels nowadays come with lockers for your stuff, wifi, great bathrooms (including ensuite options), awesome kitchens and some even have desk tours, bars, you name it.
4 | House Sit the world
If you are keen to get free accommodation and are happy to water the plants, mow the lawn and look after the family pet, House Sitting can be your best option. You need to be flexible with the location and duration of your stay, but you will get the chance to live like a local in a foreign country.
House sitting tends to be on the long side and can last for several months, so choose wisely. Consider what you like the most, city or farm life as it often is not in the centre of a major city…