11 tips & tricks for getting free or cheap accommodation around the world
Updated: Nov 3, 2019
Do you love to travel but every time you go to book that hotel, it is super pricey? Through much trial and error, we have worked out the best ways to get accommodation for little to even nothing. We have finally decided to share our secrets with you all.
1. Staying with family & friends
Have you travelled and met people from around the world? Why not stay with them when you visit their country. We have many friends around the world who we have met through travelling and studying abroad, as well as family who live overseas. The best thing about staying with family or friends is that you get the best local experience and all for FREE.
House-sitting is a great way to get accommodation for FREE! Most house-sitting jobs just require you to look after their pets and occasionally water their garden. There are a few different sites to use to find house-sitting jobs. We use www.trustedhousesitters.com to find homes all around the world to look after. And the best part – you get a cuddly pet that you can play with too!
By buying/renting a van, not only do you have your transport sorted, but you also get free accommodation too. This is a great way to explore the off the beaten path places and really get to make your van a home.
Couchsurfing is another FREE form of accommodation you can use whilst travelling. All you have to do is create a profile on www.couchsurfing.com and start networking on there. People offer up their spare rooms and couches so they can have visitors from all over the world. Whilst this is not our preferred way of travelling, it is a great free way to meet people and really experience the local culture.
This is one form of accommodation that we have used most of over the years. Hostels are usually much cheaper than hotels, and a great way to meet other travellers. We use to always book the cheapest dorm room, even if it meant sharing the room with 20 other people. More recently we have opted for private rooms with our own bathroom and they usually work out to be a lot cheaper and better than a hotel for the price. Another great thing is most hostels offer tours of the area for much cheaper than hotels do. You can book hostels on www.hostelworld.com.
Airbnb is something that we have recently started using a lot more of. There are so many more interesting and unique options compared to hotels, and everyone works so hard for their top reviews, so you really get the most incredible service. Airbnbs are generally cheaper than hotels. As you are often in someone’s home, they can also help with giving you a great local experience with lots of tips of the area.
7. Stay a little out of the city
Usually when you are looking at hotels smack bam in the middle of the city, you are also looking at a tiny room for an ok price, or a normal room with a hefty price tag. When you get a little out of the city, you can usually find much bigger and nicer rooms for a much better price. The good thing about being out of the city centre is that you get to experience more of the local life as well. And a little walking never hurt anybody...
When booking hotels, a lot of people have their go to sites. Whether its booking.com, agoda or another hotel site, there are so many to choose from. One thing we have really noticed is that many sites will have different prices for the same thing. If we are looking into a specific hotel, we will always make sure to check it across many sites before we book. Doing this has often saved us a lot of money as different sites always have different sales. You can then also compare all the hotels with ratings and see which ones include free breakfasts. We will usually use Agoda to look at some options, and once we have found “the one” we will make sure to check reviews and prices across sites to make sure we definitely want to stay there. It can also be cheaper sometimes to book directly through the hotel. We have also noticed at times that some hotels are also on airbnb for a fraction of the price – it is worth checking.
9. Free upgrades
Make sure you always let hotels and airbnbs know if it is a special occasion (i.e. birthday, anniversary or honeymoon). You will often get an upgrade if it's available or a small gift on arrival.
10. Pick where you stay
On a budget but still want to live like a King or Queen? Many countries may be considered very cheap compared to your home country and allow you to live it up for hardly any money at all. Asia is great for this as your money will go much further than other countries such as in Europe. Every country is different but if you really want to get the most out of your money, do some research before you travel.
11. Splurge nights
Found a beautiful villa or hotel that you are desperate to stay in? You shouldn't deprive yourself of this! Just make sure you pick your nights where you want to splash out, then stay in cheaper options the other nights.
We hope you found this blog useful. Now go and start planning that next budget trip!