Tips for Sleeping Cheap

I’m not travelling again for a few months because of University, so thought I would post something informative in the meantime.¬†

I’m a huge fan of hotels – I enjoy the convenience and the luxury of having my bed made for me every day. However, this comes as a price – often a very high price. So what to do if you’re travelling somewhere on a budget, with no friends to crash with? Well, I recently stayed in a hostel for the first time, and really enjoyed the experience – so I started digging into just how cheaply it is possible to stay somewhere new. I found two good options, and have gone into some more detail below.

Hostels

Hostels are becoming more and more popular, particularly among students like myself – they offer a no-frills stay – where you’re often sharing a room with 3-5 other people, but at a tenth or twentieth of the price of a hotel. There are individual or double rooms too, but they tend to be more expensive.

So how can you save money on hostel bookings? My first tip is to use a big booking agent Рthey tend to have the best range, enabling you to choose the best priced, or best located. My favourite is HostelWorld (also UK) Рbecause it looks the nicest, and also because you only have to pay a 10% deposit up-front, unlike most which force you to pay the full stay in advance. They also have a cash back scheme, run through QuidCo and TopCashBack (both UK, but TCB has a US arm too), which allows you to save even more (up to an extra 5%).

So what are the limitations? Well, sharing a room means you have a pretty much pot luck selection of who your roommates are – which can be good or bad. Additionally, a lot of hostels have no secure space to leave valuables (some have safes, or lock boxes – look at the hostel information pages). However, for the cost savings, and provided you are happy to sleep holding your valuables, I think its worth it.

Couch Surfing

I’ve never used Couch Surfing before, but read about it somewhere and liked the concept – in return for offering your couch to visitors to your area, you can crash with people in the network around the world – which is much, much cheaper than hotels, and perhaps even cheaper than hostels.

I don’t know a tremendous amount about it (but definitely want to try!) – a quick search for potential ‘couches’ in Venice, Italy brought up more than 450 results, and a search for Paris brought up more than a thousand – which looks awesome and free.

For more posts like this, why not check out my travel tips blog Trip Tricks?

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