Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. We all see the advertisements and commercials about luxury travel destinations and the thousand dollar a night accommodations. Seeing that stuff enough times can start to make you think that’s the only way to travel and that traveling is simply out of your budget. Sorry, but that is dead wrong. There are many ways to make travel cheaper, including saving on accommodations.
You can bring your accommodation bill down to zero if you’re willing to sleep on someone’s couch. This might not sound amazing, but how much time do you plan on spending in a hotel room anyways? Isn’t the point of travelling to get out there and see the sights? Websites like couchsurfing.org help set up travelers and hosts who are willing to let people crash on thier couch for a night or longer. It’s basically just a community of like-minded travellers who want to help other people out. The site makes everyone who signs up do a lot of verification and security checks to ensure safety as well.
If that’s not quite the level of cheap you’re willing to go to, there are still a ton of options. One of my personal favorite sites is airbnb.com. Airbnb has places to rent for long or short term stays and you can choose between shared rooms, private rooms, or whole units. Airbnb is the site I use most when travelling because booking is safe and easy, there are always a lot of options in the city you want to go to, and you get really good value for your money. There are similar sites such as roomorama.com and wimdu.com, but I’ve always found airbnb to be far superior to both.
Hostelworld.com is another great resource for cheap accomidation. When most people think of hostels, they think of dark, dirty, and dangerous hallways with rooms filled with bunkbeds that are falling apart. This simply is not what they are like at all. Hostel do usually have shared rooms with bunkbeds, but most of them also have private rooms with private showers, just like hotels. They’re usually bright, fun, and lively and I’ve never once felt unsafe staying in a hostel. One of the best aspects about everything being online is that people leave reviews. If a place is terrible in any way — dirty, unsafe, bad service, no hot water, etc — people are going to write about it. Review sections often provide the most useful information you’ll find about a potential accommodation.
There are also cheap hotel websites like hotels.com, booking.com, and agoda.com. All these sites have really cheap rooms and you can filter by the number of stars, the reviews others have left, the proximity to the city center, etc. Again, I’ve never had a bad experience staying in a place I booked on one of these sites and you can get them for a fraction of the price of a name brand hotel chain.
So the next time you think about some dream destination but push it from your mind because you think it’s too expensive — don’t. Let that thought fill your mind and encompass your fantasies. Dream about the sun, salivate over the food you’re going to eat, then get on the computer and book that trip!