In preparation of my upcoming thrifty and resourceful travel tips ebook, I’ve been thinking about all the ways your travel funds can be depleted and then thinking of ways to overcome these issues. Some of the most obvious reasons for travel funds depletion are eating and needing a place to sleep. For this post, we’ll be focusing on where you sleep.
Budget Travelers / Backpackers
I find myself already being quite budget by choosing to stay in hostels over hotels, but in some areas, even hostels will start to eat at your travel budget. Think about exchange rates and the cost of living in big cities. Paying in the area of $30 per night for a room brings you to a cost of $900 a month, and that’s just for sleeping. Uhm, no thanks. I’d much rather pay in the area of $600 (or less!) if I’m sharing a room with numerous other travelers in a possibly bed bug infested bunk.
So what can you do if you’re already going budget on your accommodation?
You can go camping. No, really, you can save heaps of cash by sleeping in a tent… if you are willing to give up on certain luxuries. Actually, I did a bit of camping here on a road trip in Australia, and I loved it! Camping at campsites with showers and kitchens actually cost us half as much money than a hostel bed, and it was a much more earthy experience (waking up to the kookaburras in the morning). Besides here in Australia, I haven’t done much camping when I travel, but a good resource would be Beers and Beans as Beth and Randy have even camped while visiting Paris!
You can wwoof. I have wwoofed just yet, but I have it on my list of things to do at least once around the world. With wwoofing, you usually work a lot on a farm, but you do it in exchange for housing and food (which is awesome). You also just might get a better first-hand encounter with the culture if you can take the grueling work in the midst of it. Beers and Beans would be another resource for wwoofing I’d recommend, although Drifting Focus just wrote a totally inspiring post on how wwoofing is helping her spend 10 weeks in France for under $1000!
You can couchsurf (it’s free!). I haven’t couchsurfed before, but I have hosted a couchsurfer while living in Bishkek. It was a bit of an awkward experience for me… partially because it was so freaking hot that week that we couldn’t move and he was often just lying on the floor of the living room in his boxers. That’s ok, I’m sure it was awkward for him as well when my crazy landlady stopped by and decided to hang out with him on the couch watching TV (she didn’t speak English; he didn’t speak Russian).
Mid-Range & Luxury Travelers
I’m not so much experienced in the realm of luxury travel besides my time in those top-tier hotels in Malaysia, but there are ways that even the most demanding of travelers can save a buck or two on accommodation.
You can downgrade, although I have a feeling this won’t be on the options list if you’re into travel with style.
You can choose to vacation in less developed countries. Like I said before, Pat and I stayed at 5 star hotels in Malaysia for the same price as a normal mid-range hotel in Sydney. Although customer service standards do differ depending on where you are, if you choose wisely you can still have a fabulous stay at a cheaper price.
You can stay in vacation home rentals. I can’t offer personal insight into this option, but I can say that they appear to offer larger sized accommodation options with a more private feel at decent prices. Many of the options will have several bedrooms, which means you can split the cost of your getaway’s accommodation with other travelers.
Considered Yourself Armed
With information, of course. So next time you find accommodation taking a bite out of your budget…