Finding cheap accommodation is an important thing to consider while making travel plans.
Spending a lot of money on a hotel room is a drag, especially if it’s a long holiday. No matter how nice a hotel is, it feels like a waste of money to spend $100 per night for a single person. On the other hand, there are much less expensive options such as hostels and dorm accommodations, but in these you have to share a room with other people.
But what if there was a place where you didn’t have to shell out too much money for accommodation or have to share a room with noisy and smelly travellers?
Here are some outside-the-box options for all different sorts of cheap accommodation that are easy on the wallet:
Staying with Locals
This is one of the best ways to get a free accommodation. There are some great hospitality websites such as Couchsurfing, Globalfreeloaders, and Stay4free, where you can meet people who are happy to open their home to you. This is not only a great way to save money, but also provides you an opportunity to meet locals and learn about the culture and lifestyle of that city in a genuine and authentic way.
Nowadays, this trend is common in almost every city–you just need to get online and search. People will usually offer their couch or a bed to crash on for couple of days in the comfort of their homes. You might wonder whether it’s safe enough, but most of the online reviews prove it to be an amazing experience, and rest assured that all these websites have some sort of verification process to ensure that lunatics stay away.
Home exchange options have been around for a long time, and have gained popularity due to social networks. This method is most suitable for older travellers who have their own houses. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a programme that allows you to exchange homes with a family from another city or country for a fixed amount of time.
People might worry about security, but you can rest assured that your home is in good hands, because the other family is also trusting you with their home. Furthermore, the websites that offer such services have a security check and verification process in place. Some popular home exchange websites are Ihen, Homeexchange, and Love Home Swap.
If exchanging homes isn’t your thing, then you might want to try house-sitting. This allows you to stay for free in someone’s house, provided that you will look after and maintain someone’s home during their absence. This includes a degree of caution and care, as it’s a bit of a responsibility. You can sign up on house-sitting websites like Mind my House, Housecarers, and Luxury House Sitting, where you will have access to a list of available houses. Contact the owner, discuss the arrangement, sign any required documents, and you are ready to go. This is most useful for those staying for a long-term duration.
WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farm) enables people to live and volunteer on a variety of organic farming properties across world. This programme will let you stay on a farm for free, but you will have to volunteer as a farm worker and give about 4-6 hours of your daily time to them. In return for your labour you’ll get free food and accommodation. It’s a great opportunity to give something back to the community and the environment, learn new skills, and save money. Not only that, you will also discover organic and sustainable ways of living to bring home with you.
If you are looking for something totally different, staying in a monastery is an out-there option. This sort of accommodation is a bit austere, with a simple bed and simple meals, but usually they are very quiet, peaceful, and family-friendly. Although some might charge you a small fee or ask for donations, most offer free stays. The best way to find these accommodations is to search online to see if your destination offers a monastery stay option or not.