Travel planning can be a daunting task.No one wants to pay more for accommodation than is necessary, and considering accommodation is one of the major costs, spending too much on hotels can make a significant difference in budget. Not all travelers are alike. Some of us are luxury seekers and some are value diggers.Whatever type we may be, our budgets differ and so as our needs and tastes. There are different ways to find budget accommodation depending on the level of comfort and facilities you need . I have compiled a list of all the different types of accommodation that will not break your bank account and are easy on your wallet.
Hotels : Finding “best-price-ever” on a hotel is a laborious task. Best deals come with time dedication and investigative work ( sounds like Sherlock Holmes ;)). Many of the websites given below I have used to find steal deals or at-least have been part of my hunt for minimum price. We are aware of vacation booking websites like Hotwire, Priceline, Expedia and their likes. I am listing some less known websites that can save you a lot of money.
TravelPony : TravelPony requires you to first signup even before searching for a hotel.They claim their rates are this low because they show the prices only to their users and not to public in general. They have a limited selection of hotels but it is totally worth checking this site specially if you are looking to book a mid-range to luxury hotel. I was looking for hotel in NovaScotia for June weekend and this is what I found.
Agoda : Agoda is acquired by Priceline and is One of Asia’s largest and most popular accommodation booking sites. Thanks to this website I was able to get some good rates while booking for Philippines.
Booking : This website has a huge inventory of hotels worldwide.Owned and operated by Priceline they account for more than two thirds of priceline’s revenue. I found their rates more competitive for European hotels than any other regions. I would not necessarily book on this website but I will surely check there once.
Hotels.com : Hotels.com has over 260,000 hotels in more than 60 countries and there’s a best price guarantee too . They have a reward program where you collect 10 nights and get one night free.This website is one of my go to websites while trip planning.
Morehotels4less.com : Like most other hotel-booking sites, there is no charge for making a change or cancellation on morehotels4less.You can take advantage of the Low Price Guarantee, where the site either matches the rate or allows you to cancel with no penalty.MoreHotels4Less offers hotel discounts on last minute deals too. If you are not sure about what kind of vacation you want , just scroll over “Popular Destinations” heading and you will get six categories like “Golf Destinations” ,”Spa Destinations,” etc to assist.
Hotelreservations.com : This site offers a wide selection of hotels around the world. From the basic all-American getaway on the Las Vegas Strip to a relatively remote location in Seychelles HotelReservations.com will give you good value anywhere and everywhere. Thanks to this website I could get some great money saving hotel options in Seychelles. HotelReservations.com serves many customer segments and offers customers the ability to book all types of accommodations, including hotels, vacation rentals, condos, ski lodging, camp sites, hostels, and unique accommodations worldwide.
Hotelguide.com : Good inventory of hotels worldwide. They claim that their hotel review system is different from other travel websites.I do check their hotel listings with cities that I am familiar with but I have noticed they lack in listings for some particular cities.
Local Experience: Staying with locals is great in so many ways and it saves a lot of money too. Not only you get great accommodation but the experience of knowing the place through the eyes of a local is icing on a cake. They show you where to go, what to do, recommend cheapest and fastest modes of travel and teach you about the local culture. Isn’t that great? Following websites will help you in finding best local accommodation:
Couchsurfing: The website provides a platform for members to “surf” on couches by staying as a guest at a host’s home or host travelers. It is kind of social networking website where members are asked to provide information and photos of themselves and of the accommodation they offer so that they can build up network to offer their place or be guest at someone’s place. CouchSurfing profiles function based off of references that a person gets from other users whom they meet or stay with. If you opt to do couchsurfing my suggestion will be to do detailed homework to find if host is legit or not.
Global Freeloaders: This website has relatively less active community but serves its motto of ” Finding a place to crash” . Instead of sending individual messages to hosts , one can send mass request to multiple hosts at once. It surely provides An easy way to find people to stay around the world with for free and saves you money. It is totally true to its name with no fuss and no frills service, all that it focuses on is finding Free Accommodation.
Hospitality Club: This website has a very active volunteer base and has more detailed profiles of hosts.The Hospitality Club is for members only which means it requires you to sign up by giving your address and passport information.
Vacation / Apartment Rentals : Another good way to get cheap accommodation is Vacation or Apartment Rentals. This will surely save you a lot of money if you are travelling with family.You get whole place to yourself ,you can cook most of your meals and its like home away from home. What else do you need ? It might require you to stay for a week to get a good deal, but some still offer great rates for shorter stays. Following websites will make this happen:
Tripping : It is the newest of the hospitality exchange websites with TripSafe program. The idea behind TripSafe is to have a 24 hour hotline available to help Tripping members in emergency situations. You can search for places based on your price range or amenities you need. What I love about this website is the fact that it lists places from different providers. This means it combines the results from websites like Wimdu . Flipkey, Waytostay , AlwaysonVacation etc. This website surely needs to be bookmarked.
AirBnB : I am in love with this website. I used it recently to book my stay in Puerto Rico and loved the whole experience of staying at a house. AirBnB is definetly the best way to get low-cost vacation rentals and sublets from locals. It connects people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay.
VRBO : Vacation Rental By Owners is part of HomeAway Family. It offers a convinient way for homeowners to advertise their vacation properties. If you are travelling with family for long vacation , this website will surely provide you value for your money. In most of the vacation homes pets are welcome too.
HomeExchange: Everything you want to know about this website has been featured in movie “The Holiday”. Its very simple. You can list your house or apartment so that HomeExchange community can view it. You can browse countless listings and your exchange can be anything you want it to be. Find like-minded people ,plan it on your schedule and travel where you want.
Roomorama : Similar to AirBnB. I have not used it yet, but I definitely check prices for Apartment rentals once on this website before booking.
Hostels and Guesthouses:
The best option for budget travel specially for solo travelers is usually a hostel. It is a great way to meet fellow travelers learn about their journeys and of-course save money.Many hostels offer even more amenities than hotels. There are many websites that can help you in finding good hostel options but as any other accommodation , I would request to do proper research. You can definitely bookmark hostelworld and hostelzoo.
Since we all are different in our needs , what might work for some might not work for others. How many times have you thought “I wish I had spent less on my accommodation and could do more fun activities.” So next time you plan your trip , consider one of these options to lower your accommodation costs. This list is definitely not conclusive and I will love to know how do you save on your accommodation costs and which websites do you use. Thank you for stopping by.