By reducing the cost of accommodation it can drastically change the length of your trip. That’s why it’s so important to book cheap accommodation to travel longer.
Compared to a holiday, backpacking is slightly different, especially if you don’t have a set timeline. Therefore as booking accommodation is probably the biggest fixed cost for travelers, it makes sense that you would want to try and save the most on this element of your trip.
When booking a holiday I weigh up what is most important for me. I ask myself questions such as, how much time will I be spending in the hotel? Do I really need a large bath? Is it essential that I have a swimming pool? These are all valid questions and the answers change each time I ask them. Sometimes I enjoy having pool access when there is no beach nearby. Alternatively, sometimes when I’m booking accommodation it’s simply nice to relax in the room or hotel. I may not be looking for adventure on that holiday but take a nice hot bath, relax and curl up with my book.
Since you have to book accommodation for every night on your travels (except for I suppose when you might be house sitting or sofa surfing) by reducing the nightly cost it can radically reduce the total cost of your trip. When looking at your budget, finding a cheap flight and accommodation should be the main priority. These key factors will have the biggest impact on your budget.
Here are 10 ways to find cheap accommodation for your next adventure:
1. Don’t pay full price for your hotel
Always check your recent email newsletters for travel deals. They will usually give you discounts on hotels either locally or abroad. I normally book accommodation last minute and when you look on booking.com they normally give pretty good reductions. Alternatively you can call or email the hotel to see whether they will give you walk in rate.
2. Stay a little further out
By booking accommodation outside of the city or area that you are visiting this can drastically lower the cost of accommodation. Use the location settings on either the website or app to determine where each property is located. I either alter the distance from so that I’m a few miles out or flip over to the see on a map where each hotel is located. Personally I think it’s easier to input all the details you want first and then narrow it down using the map.
3. Stay in a hostel
If traveling alone, I would always recommend staying in hostels anyway as they allow you to meet a lot more people. I’ve met some really interesting and fun people this way. Not only that I have stayed friends with them until this day, some going on 6 years. Not only does it allow you to meet more people, you can also pay very little for your bed for the night. Most hostels in South East Asia cost around £7 a night.
This is the awesome Hangtime Hostel in Weligama, Sri Lanka.
4. Use Airbnb
I love using Airbnb when I travel now! I don’t normally use it if I’m traveling solo, only if I’m on holiday with friends or family. Sometimes renting a whole house or apartment is cheaper than a hotel or hostel for a group of you or even two of you. Plus you can also save money by cooking for yourself some nights rather than going out for dinner! Win win. Get £25 off your first stay by clicking here.
Check out this amazing Airbnb we managed to get in Cape Town for £25 a night!
It was a two bedroom penthouse apartment with a grand piano. It also had underground parking and was a 15 minute drive from table mountain and the main shopping areas.
5. Booking accommodation for more than 1 night
Many hotels offer “book 4 nights, pay for 3” that way you are saving on 1 nights accommodation across the entire budget. You can normally find a few good deals this way.
6. Negotiate in person
I think this works best if you are backpacking and in no real rush to find somewhere to stay. What I like to do is find somewhere that looks appealing and then just head there. If you feel worried about this, you can book one night and then speak to them once you get there about extending at a reduced price. I have done this many times and it works!
7. Follow your favourite hotel chain’s social media accounts
When booking accommodation and finding cheap deals, it doesn’t hurt to stay connected with your favourite brand’s social media channels. They often post discounts on accommodation or promotions on different times of the year.
8. Sign up for E-Newsletter deals
This is one of the best and easiest ways to save money on booking accommodation. Your favourite travel providers want you to be engaged with them and keep returning to them. That is why they will let you know as soon as a sale starts. You don’t have to do any searching, you just wait for the emails to come through. If you’re like me though, your inbox might be full of emails. That is why I set up a separate folder within my outlook account so that I know when the best deals have been delivered.
9. Stay with friends or friends of friends?
I’m sure you have family or friends who live abroad? Perhaps your parents do? Get in touch with them. Let them know that you are backpacking and need a bed for the night. More often than not they will be happy to have you stay for a night or two. They may even let you do your laundry!
10. Travel in the shoulder season
Travelers can get reduced prices on booking accommodation during the months either side of peak season. I have travelled to many places just outside of peak season and had a much better experience. It will be quieter and most things will be a lot cheaper. If the only reason you’re not booking during shoulder season is the weather, think again. You never know what weather you will get! Isn’t it better to grab a bargain on your hotel instead?