Whether you’re heading to a foreign country or to a different state – accommodation can become pricey. Worrying about the price tag on your bed for the night should never be on your travel itinerary. Instead, open yourself up to different options. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Within my travels, I always try and start off with the cheapest option and work my way up.
What’s the cheapest option? Sleeping on the street?
Nope. Even cooler. Sleeping on a stranger’s couch.
1. COUCHSURFING: free
Yeah. You read that correctly – you can sleep on a strangers couch…..FOR FREE. Couchsurfing can be super intimidating for new travelers and I get that. It isn’t just knocking on a stranger’s door and asking them for a bed for the night, by the way. Couchsurfing is an online community that brings like-minded people together and creates forever friendships. You create your own profile, filling out all of the fields to your best ability with 100% honesty….then you begin. Type in where you’re headed and get searchin’. I always tend to click on the profiles with at least 1 reference. Read through their profiles and get to know the person….I mean, you could potentially be sleeping in their home soon…..you should know who they are. Some people offer a couch, some offer a bed, some offer a private room, etc. Do they seem like a good match? If so – let’s send a request! Note that this isn’t just a free place to crash and go – I always say that the payment for couchsurfing is a cultural exchange. Not only do you get a place to say, but you get a friendship that could last a lifetime.
2. VOLUNTEER FOR ACCOMMODATION: free
This is one of the best ways to travel for cheap. Not only are you traveling, but you’re helping a local AND saving money on accommodation. There are numerous websites on the interweb that allow you to find the perfect volunteer job for you – whether it’s releasing sea turtles into the ocean, helping out a hostel with breakfast, or teaching English…..it’s probably out there. I like to use Workaway and WWOOF, but there are more options. Typically, you work a random job for maybe 20 hours a week – and you get free accommodation in return. Depending on the job, sometimes you get weekends off and sometimes you receive breakfast.
3. HOSTELS: cheap
Hostels, hostels, hostels. Although I like free accommodation, hostels are one of my favorite things about traveling. Depending on where you are at in the world, you can find pretty cheap hostels and get a bang for your buck. In Southeast Asia, I spent an average of $5 a night. In Europe, maybe more towards $23 a night. Hostels give you the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Most hostels also offer daily/nightly activities like free walking tours, games, competitions, and pub crawls. Don’t let old movies and close-minded people scare you away from these amazing places – hostels are safe and one of the best things I could have ever discovered.
4. AIRBNB: cheap or expensive
AirBnB’s are great – I usually stop at hostels when it comes to paying for accommodation….but I won’t lie, sometimes I want a place to myself to rejuvenate and relax. You can find really inexpensive AirBnB’s in some parts of the world – I stayed at one in Bali for $20 a night and it was one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed at in my life. It was in middle of a rice field and it was just me and the geckos. If you feel like splurging on your travels, this can be a good option for you. You can rent private rooms and villas, or an entire home. There are actual castles you can rent out on AirBnB…..no joke.
Next time you’re on the road – check into these cheaper accommodation options. Log out of your “hotel only” mindset, there’s so much out there….and believe me, all of them are much better than hotels. I hope these have helped you and inspired you to get out there! Let me know if it did below.
Thank you for checking out my website.
XOXO, KIM CHARTERS • AS KIM TRAVELS