10 Places to Sleep While Traveling That Will Save You Money
If you travel often, or are thinking about hitting the road and are in the research stage, you know that the cost of accommodations can be daunting. It’s difficult to find low-cost hotels that are clean and good quality – no matter where you are in the world. Instead of sticking with hotels, consider one of these other options to save some serious cash.
1) Hostels – Hostels have a bad rap. From the idea of the dirty backpacker hiking his way around Europe to parties late into the night and rooms packed full of strangers. But, today’s hostels are far from this picture. Sure, they still exist but if you do a little bit of research you can find an amazing place to stay for a small price tag and in the process you’ll meet interesting people from all over the world. Some hostels even cater to families or couples.
2) House swap – There’s a gaining trend of renting rooms or even swapping homes with strangers. Say for example there’s a family in Paris that wants to spend a week in New York. You both list your homes for a swap and then decide on a week that works for both people. Swap and stay in each other’s homes and no money needs to exchange hands. You may be taking a slight risk but it could really pay off in the long run.
3) Camping – One of the oldest ways to save money while traveling is through camping. Whether you want to pitch a tent and spend the night, or rent an RV, camping is a great way to explore and save money while doing it.
4) Stay on a Rural Farm – In many agricultural areas like Italy, France, and Portugal farm stays are becoming very popular. For a visitor you’re able to get outside of the city center to see how people live in other parts of the country. The only downside is you’ll most likely need your own vehicle to reach the farm.
5) Short Term Room or Apartment Rentals – Extended stay hotels are one way to save money but if you want a more cozy experience look into a short term room or apartment rental. Sites like airbnb.com offer a place to list and search for rooms and apartments around the world that are available for rent. Aside from cost savings, you’ll also be able to discover residential areas you wouldn’t have known about before.
6) Religious Housing – Monasteries, nunneries, and religious student housing exists all over the world but especially in Europe. Most are aimed at travelers who want to experience the monastic life but some religious orders have built small hotels to host travelers. You’ll need to follow the rules and this is often not a choice for family travelers. But, if you really want to get away you may find the solitude you seek inside the walls.
7) Vacation Rentals – Timeshares and short term apartment rentals can seem like a large investment but often save money over the course of your vacation. You’ll have your own kitchen and often plenty of on-site entertainment that is included in the price of accommodation. You might also be eligible for special deals and discounts to other attractions nearby.
8) Academic Housing – When college students go away for the summer, dorms are left open. Some colleges open up their dorms for rent. Of course, the downside is you’ll be in a dorm but if you plan to stay in an area for a little bit of time and are traveling with a big group you can find good housing at a dirt cheap price.
9) Airport Sleeping – This might be the least desirable choice when it comes to spending the night but if you have an overnight layover this is the way to save some money on hotel costs. Airports know that travelers face this and the majority don’t care if you sleep in the airport. Be prepared for this by packing a small blanket or blow up pillow to try and make your night somewhat restful. Seek out quiet, darker places in the airport. You can consult websites like SleepinginAirports for advice from other travelers who have slept in the airport. This might not be the best option if you’re traveling with little kids in tow but can be a fun adventure if you have older children!
10) Night Trains – Today it’s often possible to find low-cost airfare for a lower price than a train ticket, however taking night trains can help you accomplish two things. First, you’ll save money on housing because you can sleep on the train and second you’ll arrive at your destination in the morning, ready to explore! So before brushing this option aside for a low cost airfare, factor in the cost of an additional night in a hotel.