Who wouldn’t like to travel more? There’s no better way to broaden your horizons than to explore new places and become acquainted with new cultures. But for many people, travel is just too expensive to really be that practical. The good news, however, is that it doesn’t have to be.
In reality, there are a number of easy ways that the average person can greatly lower the cost of traveling, especially if they’re only taking one or two major trips per year. That’s because there are only two real big costs associated with travel – airfare/transportation and hotels.
Sure you’ll face other expenses – such as dining and entertainment – but those are things you’d still be paying for at home, regardless.
Here, in this article, we’re going to focus on perhaps the easiest aspect of traveling to cut costs with – hotels. We’re going to outline a few of the best tips for saving money, as well as some alternate places to check for accommodations.
Saving Money with Hotels
Hotels can easily be the largest portion of any travel budget. But they don’t have to stop you from traveling. Here are a few of the best tips for reducing your next hotel bill:
- Book early and with a refundable rate. This gives you the chance to keep checking back in case prices drop. If so, simply cancel your initial booking (that’s why it’s important it’s refundable) and re-book.
- Plan your travel during the off-season. For example, check out Miami in the summer or Europe in the winter. Fewer crowds mean less demand for hotels.
- Book directly with the hotels. Many properties offer the lowest rates on their own website, or offer a rate guarantee that matches (or beats) and other, lower booking channels.
Alternative Ideas for Accommodations
In additional to booking a hotel, there are a number of other ways to stay for cheap when you travel. Here are a few of the most popular and affordable:
If you’re looking to rent an upscale house or apartment for your travels, VRBO should be your first stop. They definitely offer a wide range of luxury residences, but many destinations also have places for rent at much more reasonable prices.
One of the most popular new players in the game, Airbnb has completely changed the way that people travel. With them you aren’t renting a room in a hotel – you’re renting a local resident’s house (or even just a bedroom). Perfect for getting a true feel of living in your destination, Airbnb is often priced much more reasonably – for less than the cost of a hotel room you may be able to get an entire house.
Not for everyone, Couchsurfing is similar to Airbnb in the fact that you are staying in someone’s house, but typically your host is home during your stay. The kicker here is that Couchsurfing is free – it doesn’t cost anything to stay with a local anywhere in the world. But just be ready for a more communal approach to living!