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.
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 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.