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Two ways to save money on accommodation | Don't Ever Look Back

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Two ways to save money on accommodation

Two ways to save money on accommodation

Can you believe that Frugal February is nearly over? If you’ve been saving for travel, hopefully the advice we’ve given you so far this month has helped boost that savings account just a little!

But what about those of our readers who are already on the road and looking to extend their travels? Well you could earn some extra cash but if you know there’s still some fat to be cut from your travel budget, then trimming your accommodation expenses is probably the best place to start. Two of our readers, Caroline and David, have sent in their best advice on how to save money on accommodation and how the benefits of their suggestions far exceed just the cash you’re saving.

CouchsurfingCouchsurfing

By Caroline – Caroline in the City

Although hostel life is a great way to meet fellow backpackers, sometimes you want a more local experience. In that case, staying with a host from CouchSurfing.org offers a local tour guide and free accommodations. But don’t become a member of the site just for a free place to crash. It makes the CSers feel used. Instead, send them a sincere Couch Request, telling them why you would like to stay with them. I recommend carefully viewing a profile to see if you have similar interests and to check their references. Even though you aren’t obligated to give your host money, my Southern heritage has taught me to never show up empty-handed. I brought a scented candle, but past guests have offered up their various skills, cooking dinner or painting murals. Even if your host doesn’t have time to chaperone you around town, take the time to get to know your host. You may end up making a lifelong friend.

Stay With FriendsStay with friends

By David – Ogijima

Being broke has a few advantages when travelling. No, really, I mean it. For example, this is the perfect time to visit your good friends who live far away in that random country. I see only advantages to it.

First, you get to see your friends that you haven’t seen in a long while. Then, living expenses will be very cheap (of course they have to be friends that are close enough so that they’ll let you stay at their place with them), and if you cook, they’ll love you even more. In addition, you’ll have your own personal free guide to visit the area and they will show you things you don’t even suspect. If you’re like me and don’t care for touristy areas but care about local everyday life when you travel, this is simply priceless. So, sure, the number of destinations will be more or less limited, depending on how many friends you have and how worldly they are, but the experience will be so much richer and you’ll discover places you would have never gone otherwise.

Of course, once you are back home, you’d better return the favor.

There are plenty more ways to save money on accommodation including home swapping, staying in dorm rooms, camping and volunteering. Do you have any other tips on how to save money on accommodation? Please share them with us in the comments below.

Flickr Photos: willandbeyond, hedgeman, amberwarp

9 Comments

  1. Posted February 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    🙂

    “You may end up making a lifelong friend.”

    My old roommate met her boyfriend this way.

    And I should go visit them one day, now that they live in Australia. 🙂
    David recently posted..Takamatsu’s Red Lighthouse

  2. Posted February 28, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    excellent advice from real travelers themselves, really cool Thanks, I wish I had more friends overseas, I guess couch surfing can help me with that too.
    Wilson Usman recently posted..One Way We Can Improve Creativity

  3. Ian [EagerExistence]
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always been an advocate for CouchSurfing. I’ve only ever hosted though. A great way to meet new friends, and hear travel stories. I’m looking forward to surfing come April.

  4. Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    I just missed Frugal February but am always looking for great travel tips. I hope to try Couchsurfing later this month.
    Charles McCool recently posted..8 Great Elements of a Cruise Vacation

  5. Posted March 3, 2011 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    I love traveling places where I have family and friends! They are always welcoming, as am I. And as far as tourist attractions, I personally don’t like the crowded, over-done areas. I’d much rather go to my family or friend’s favorite places to visit. They are the locals, take advantage of their knowledge of the area! And sometimes, tourist attractions have a discount for locals, so I will give them my money to buy a ticket for substantial savings. Great post!
    Jasmine recently posted..Anniversary Gifts for Men

  6. Posted March 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I love CouchSurfing! I’ve used it loads on my trips. Sometimes it’s nice to stay in a hostel to meet other travelers and not be in someone else’s space all the time, but for me, CouchSurfing is perfect! 🙂 The website also has meetings organized by members and they are a great way to meet others in the CouchSurfing community- both locals and travelers! I still keep in touch with a lot of my CS friends and they know they have an open invitation to visit me!
    Amy recently posted..Dumpster Diving for Dinner and Back Riding a Bicycle in Amsterdam

    • Posted March 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the comment Amy! We haven’t tried CouchSurfing yet but look forward to giving it a try on our upcoming travels.

      The CS meetups sound fantastic, it’s definitely a great way to make some friends in a new city!

  7. Posted March 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Once you use CS, you will realize just how fantastic it is! Of course, it’s not for everyone (my grandma doesn’t want to use it on our upcoming roadtrip to California) but it’s not always a couch you’re sleeping on and you don’t even have to sleep at someone’s flat- you can just use it for meetings and finding other travelers or getting advice. You can use it as much or as little as you want and it’s free (you can make a donation to get verified, which isn’t necessary, but on the other hand, it’s a small amount to pay for the wonderful experiences you get). A lot of my hosts aren’t from the country they live in so CS turns traveling into a double cultural experience!!! Out of my 7 hosts in Ireland, only ONE was Irish!!!! CS certainly makes for a unique experiences (and cheaper travels, too!)! If you can’t tell, I’m a fan of CS! 😛
    Amy recently posted..Dumpster Diving for Dinner and Back Riding a Bicycle in Amsterdam

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