So you’re probably searching by now cheap hotels or accommodation and you’re not quite really satisfied with the price tag. But did you know that there are so many ways to find cheaper alternatives to hotels and even a place to stay for free? There are tons of options out there that might perfectly suit your taste and budget.
Well, I guess that’s why you’re here so keep on reading..
But first, let me tell you that, of course, not all of these travel accommodation sites have I tried or experienced before but nonetheless, I hope that this guide will help you get ideas when looking for inexpensive place to stay for your next trip.
So let’s get started..
This is probably the best option if you’re looking for a place to stay for FREE! But what exactly is couch surfing?
Well, it is like someone, which is the ‘host’ allows you to stay in their house for free. They can offer you space like a couch, a room or any available space they have for you.
Couchsurfing.com is a great website to start with. It’s free to join the community of travelers. You can be a host, a surfer or both.
But how about safety? Is it safe for me as a solo traveler?
Well, just like booking a hotel room sometimes stunning pictures are not what we get in reality. Same is true with Couchsurfing. It is always better to have some due diligence when looking for a host.
Consider these tips:
- Check for verified hosts -their profile and background
- Use the website’s testimonials and reviews from other travelers.
- Get in touch with past guests and message them on their profile.
Nevertheless, couchsurfing is an amazing way to really immerse yourself with the locals and their way of life. In return for your free stay, be nice and friendly. I’m sure they’ll be very happy to welcome you.
Other Couchsurfing sites you might want to check out:
CHEAP HOTELS & HOSTELS
While not everyone is into staying in someone else’s home, finding a cheap hotel or hostel is the most favored option by many.
But with so many booking websites out there it’s rather a weary task. So, using the best platform is what I recommend.
These two are always my go-to websites. Though you may find similar accommodation on both platforms, they don’t always have the same price. So, how can you get the cheapest deal?
Here are my tips:
- Consider upgrading your Booking.com account to Genius. It’s their loyalty program if you use their service frequently.
- Make sure to check taxes and other fees if they’re included or not on the total price.
- Location is very important especially if you are staying for a few days only. So make sure you check if they’re close to any transport stations or stops. By this way, you can save from transportation costs.
- Check the ’view on map’ option to get a better idea where they are located.
By far, this is the best platform if you are a backpacker or if you simply like to stay in cheap hostels.
When traveling alone, I personally like to stay in hostels as most of the time I’m just outside wandering so I don’t really need a fancy hotel room to spend most of my trip. With HostelWorld, you have tons of options to choose from.
Another great site for budget conscious travelers and backpackers.
You can use this website to compare prices from different booking websites like Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, Expedia and more.
VACATION RENTALS (APARTMENTS & ROOMS)
If you’re planning to travel to a destination longer than usual, you should consider staying in an apartment or short-term room rentals.
Nowadays, more and more travelers are into vacation rentals as I think most of us prefer to have the space and amenities similar to a hotel but still enjoy the privacy of a home away from home. That’s where vacation rentals come in.
Here are some websites for you to look into:
I always like AirBnb’s features and services. They will connect you to cool and really nice homes, apartments, condotels, and more.
Most of the listings are affordable, although it depends on your destination, more often than not, you will be assured that you are staying in a place with the right value for your money.
Check the best city apartment deals here. They have over 350,000 vacation rentals in some of the best spots in the world.
HOMESTAY, HOME EXCHANGE & HOME SITTING
This has been a very popular form of lodging in the hospitality industry. The idea is for you to live with a local, a family or anyone offering a spare room for rent.
Much like Couchsurfing, homestay presents you a great local experience and insights to their culture and lifestyle. A really cheap alternative to hotels.
Here are some of the best sites and platforms to search for your next home staycation:
Founded in 2013, this site offers a huge listing with more than 33,000 homestays in 160+ countries. They have established a reputation in the travel industry so you won’t have any doubts in their quality rooms at a budget-friendly price, which we all love by the way.
If you like the idea of swapping your house with someone from another place to get free accommodation, then check this site out.
Though membership is not free, at $150 a year, you have access to more than 400,000 homes in 187 countries for you to exchange house with.
Are you a pet lover and traveler? Well, then this one is for you. One of the biggest and leading platform out there connecting home and pet owners with sitters who will look after their home and pets for free, in exchange for a place to stay. Sounds good to you? Check their site out.
From the word itself, you are going to render some volunteer work in exchange for free accommodation and sometimes food and other perks too.
You can search here for volunteering projects all over the world. You can be become a mentor for language learners and discover Europe for FREE!
Here are some other sites that you can check out:
TRAVEL REVIEW WEBSITES
Travel review websites such as TripAdvisor will help you get ideas about other traveler’s experiences- good and bad. Well, maybe not too accurate but at least you get some feedbacks that will help you in making wise decisions.
Though this is a hotel comparison site, I prefer to use this to check reviews. You can use their rating system that shows the average rating and extensive reviews from other booking sites like hotels.com, booking.com, Agoda, Expedia and more.
With the popularity of social media in helping us travel more efficiently, you might be surprised how on earth can you use Facebook to search for accommodation.
Well, let me tell you that when you are looking for a place, the locals know the best. If you have friends in the destination you’re planning to travel, well you’re lucky. But if you don’t, then groups on Facebook can be a money saver.
You can search for expat groups or any accommodation listing groups in that particular city. Then check out relevant posts. You can also message the members for help or if you have any questions.
Most cheap accommodations may not be listed online, so your best access is the locals themselves. and where do they hang out? You guessed it, Facebook!
To sum it up..
Finding cheap accommodation is not only limited to hotel or hostels, but rather with so many options that I have listed above, I hope that this guide provided you with more ideas and cheap alternatives to look for the perfect place to stay in your next vacation.
If you find this guide helpful, share it with your friends! As always, happy travels!
Ready to book your flight? Read my guide on how to find cheap airfares to anywhere in the world!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.