Hotels and resorts are often expensive, so what’s a traveler on a budget to do? I’ve found plenty of cheap and sometimes free options to sleep while on vacation.   You don’t have to be rich to see the world; you only have to be innovative and strict on your budget. Travel accommodations are often the biggest price tag on your trip, so here are some ways to lessen that burden.

Traveling around can be very affordable if you make it so. I’m not just going to list off roach trap hotels or run down half-way homes, instead I’ll provide a valuable resource for all your retreat needs.

 

Short-Term Apartments

AirBnb.com or VRBO.com

These sites have become increasingly popular over the last few years, providing local apartments and spare rooms at a fraction of the cost of hotels. Much like the Uber and Lyft movements, these services rely on individuals who have extra accommodations and want to make a profit off of them. I fully support these options as they are affordable and offer the renter a homey feel. Usually the host will offer suggestions for local restaurants, sites to see and nightlife. Staying in one of these places makes you feel like you actually live in the city instead of just visiting. I also like these because most hotels are so similar and sterile that you don’t get a sense of the local community.

How Much: $25-100 USD generally

Tips:

-Look for places with reviews form past visitors and positive evaluations.

-Look up the apartment’s location to see if it fits in your travel plans

Hostels

Hopefully these don’t bring up memories of the horror film of the same title, they are actually fun places to stay. Partying backpackers from Europe and Australia usually inhabit hostels. You are sure to here “AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!” chanted by drunken Australian revelers at some point during your stay.

You won’t be the only vacationer on a budget here, these are well known for their affordability and overall enjoyable experiences.

Hostels are great because they give you options; if your budget allows it many offer private rooms. The majority of people staying at hostels are in dorm style bunkrooms. Every guest gets a complimentary locker so you can leave your luggage and explore the city at your leisure. The better hostels also include a very basic breakfast.

How Much: $5-25 USD generally

Tips:

-Avoid hostels that don’t offer lockers

-Sleeping masks and earplugs are highly recommended.

House Sitting

House sitting is an incredible way to travel on the cheap. Homeowners around the world are always looking for someone to watch their house and sit their pets. Who wants to trust their house, all their belongings and their pets to a stranger? That’s why the website TrustedHouseSitters is such a valuable tool. This website does all the legwork for you, including background checks and arranging accommodations.

How Much: FREE

Tips

-Make sure you have a written document proving you’re allowed to stay at the residence.

-Allow flexibility, you never know when an opportunity like this will pop up.

 

Couch Surf

This is my preferred mode of travel sleeping. The website CouchSurfing.org is an incredible community of like minded people who offer their couch up in return for yours being offered.   Couches or spare bedroom await you and all you have to do is be an open minded sharing person. Don’t worry; there is a vouching and verification process that weeds out the weirdos and unfavorable people.

How Much: FREE

Tips

-Hang out with your hosts, this will ensure that they rate your favorably

-Supply as much information as doable to acquire faith

Train Stations and Airports

These are always my last options but they are free and safe. Airports and train stations allow people to stay there for free and won’t bother you. They have bathrooms and sometimes free WiFi. Check out this website Sleeping in Airports.

How Much: FREE

Tips

-Bring a blanket

-Earplugs and eye-mask

-Secure your valuable to yourself

 

Travel safe and on the cheap friends.