Travelling is expensive. You can easily drop thousands of dollars planning even a modest trip. One of the largest expenses while travelling is hotels.
It can be so daunting to find a good night’s sleep on the road, especially if you are on a budget. I have spent many years working within the travel industry, and I have picked up some great tips on finding cheap places to lay your head. Read on to learn my tricks.
The all-American Motel
The motel is ubiquitous across the American landscape. It is characterized by rooms that open to the parking lot and are typically stripped of amenities. These places usually offer beds, baths, and a TV. They are not fancy, but if you are careful, you can find a nice clean motel for very cheap. Check out reviews online before booking to see the places reputation. Many motels are family owned operations that take pride in their offerings, and by not being corporate-owned, they are more flexible on their pricing. Talk to the clerk and make an offer, you will be surprise how cheap you can get these rooms.
Book online with Agoda.com
When booking online, you can become overwhelmed with the amount of information being thrown at you. I found Agoda.com a while ago and have used them exclusively since. I like them the best, because they offer a variety of rooms at the guaranteed lowest price. I book what I want with them, then I search the specific place I am staying to check the prices elsewhere. If I find the prices lower somewhere else, Agoda.com will refund me the difference. I find that simple and takes the hassle out of online booking.
Stay outside of town
When visiting a city or tourist attraction, the closer you are staying to where you want to be, the higher the cost. If I am driving to a location, I almost always pick a hotel outside of town due to the cost. By staying 10 miles away from the city center, I can save upwards of 25% on my stay. If you increase that to 30 miles, you can save around 70%. There are a lot of factors that play into making this work, but if the stars align right for you, you can save a ton of cash.
Couch surfing via the Internet
If you are not averse to sleeping on a stranger’s sofa, there are several websites that can help you find a free night stay. Couch surfing, Global Freeloaders, Hospitality Club, and Stay4Free are all websites that specialize in bringing people together who are willing to loan their sofas or spare bedrooms to people who are travelling. It is not for everyone, but if you are game it can save you money.
For families, the home exchange is a great way to get to visit a new city. If you live in an area that attracts a lot of tourists, then you home is prime real estate. It works by you loaning your house to someone for a set amount of time, and they in turn offer theirs to you. The most popular site for this is homeexchange.com
Travelling does not have to be the domain of only the wealthy. It can be done cheaply and happily with some planning and research. There are lots of other tips and tricks to finding cheap accommodations. Some others to check out are hostels, farm stays, monastery stays, and short-term rentals. Travel is affordable to anyone willing to do the work to find a cheap place. What are your thoughts? Have any good tips?
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