How to find cheap accommodation: tips and options for vacation properties
When planning a vacation as a family, as a couple, or all alone, the lion's share of your time and finances is devoted to finding accommodations. You want to find good conditions, a list of necessary services and a proven option in one – without spending all the money allocated for the vacation. To the criterion of "the cheaper, the better" added the phrase "but at the level. You and I are lucky enough to live in a world whose possibilities are varied, and go beyond the horizon of only our own minds. In other words, whoever holds the information, holds the world. And in our version: he finds cheap places to live.
Statistics show that most travelers prefer hotel rooms or booking through a tour operator. Thus we pay extra for safe and proven options, and shift part of the responsibility. If something happens, there will be someone to take it off our hands. It makes a lot of sense.
Wanting to give you confidence, we have collected information: how to find cheap accommodation for the vacations and what you need to check and take into account to make a reservation was safe. And you were able to rest easy and comfortable without overpaying. And, in some cases, completely free.
Hotels are not always expensive!
Traveling as a family, with children always requires special precautions. Here the option of hotel rooms is reliable and easy to order. But the cost of several rooms or one large room per family is very expensive. If you are not aware of hidden room rentals in hotels. Such reservations can cut your lodging budget just in half. Check out our review: secret hotel rooms.
You'll find sites and a step-by-step guide on how to find great deals on discounted comfort rooms.
Rental houses, cottages and villas, how to make cheaper?
Country houses can be a godsend for family vacations and weekends with a large group. You will get a variety of activities included in the rental price of the house, cottage or villa. And going to rest a big company can split the cost of the apartment on two or more portmanteaus. In this case, your goal: to relax, have fun, and learn something new will be achieved with such a rental solution. A nice bonus will be the proven security (most sites check the options posted) and the ability to bargain directly with the landlord.
How to proceed:
- Make a wish list of things you want to do on your vacation. For example: barbecue, swimming, walking.
- Find a city or neighborhood whose attractions you would like to see.
- Go to websites to find this type of accommodation:
- Booking.com: specify houses, cottages, villas in the filter
- Agoda Homes: finding private housing for long periods of time
- Expedia: there is a "vacation housing" item in the filter
- Каяк: searching for large apartments and vacation homes
- VRBO: Options for large companies and long-term rentals
- plumguide.com: small selection of quality housing
- Enter all possible preferred conditions in the filters.
- Correlate the choices by item:
- Close proximity to the city for convenient sightseeing
- Availability of stores. Availability of a kitchen, always helps to reduce the cost of food.
- Incoming services and entertainment (pool, barbecue area, trampoline or availability of a playground, sauna or mini spa, etc.)
- Security of location and availability of outside assistance
- Call the landlord and talk through all the points, making sure they are consistent. Find out about possible discounts and bonuses.
In the end, this vacation housing option can be much cheaper than Center Parcs or resorts, where you have to pay for everything separately.
Hospitality of the locals
Wherever you go locals are acceptable options for inexpensive vacation accommodations. You'd be surprised how many people are happy to open the doors of their homes and offer comfortable vacations, information on local attractions and tips on staying, and being in an unfamiliar city. Finding places to stay for cheap or free is a great way to spend the money you save on your desired entertainment with shopping.
Couchsurfing is developed among travelers who have been in your situation themselves and know how important it is to lend a helping hand sometimes. All you'll need is the knowledge of where to look for safe options, the ability to accept help, and sociability.Verified sites for finding free and cheap accommodations:
- Couchsurfing is a site designed to help budget travelers who want to delve into the local culture and learn a variety of firsthand information about the area in the shortest amount of time. The chance to get to colorful places not advertised and not on maps is sometimes much more interesting than hit-and-miss attractions. Through conversations with locals, you'll get to restaurants, indoor parties, and a top list of inexpensive entertainment
- bewelcome.org the site's name colorfully describes the offerings on its service. The community has 220,000 members worldwide and provides opportunities to navigate through reviews and direct contact with people. Here you can find the cheapest places to stay.
Safe Couchsurfing, what to look out for:
- Participant Profile. A picture, or better still, a picture and a completed profile always give a plus sign of confidence in your choice. By filling out the profile you can see how involved the person is in the life of the community, what approach to business he prefers, and how great his openness and transparency is.
- The best indicator that can be decisive in the selection and security. Travelers who have been to a hospitable host will be happy to describe the pros of their stay in gratitude for their help
- Couchsurfing has several levels of checks. From credit cards to mailing addresses, also looking out for your safety
Being able to save money on lodging, make friends all over the world, and pump your confidence in people can turn into the best budget vacation ever.
A variety of hostels for active travel
The prejudices surrounding hostels are more rooted in the movies of the '90s than they are in today's realities. This low-cost housing option is evolving at a cosmic rate, offering a variety of amenities, providing new security options, and remaining in the niche of affordable travel accommodations.
You shouldn't imagine a dirty dormitory with a lot of unclean people. This is far from reality and limits your options.
After reviewing a couple of suggestions, you'll find single rooms, couples' cabins, and options for families with children. And looking at the proposed photos, you'll realize that the multi-bed rooms also have more comfortable conditions than in the movies.
This option is good for tourists who prefer a very active holiday, with the need for somewhere to quickly spend the night and store extra things. By the way, for the safety of things now is also less to worry about. Many hostels are equipped with lockers, the key to which will be included in the price.
Check out the options at:
- Hostelworld - easy to use and numerous options. You can: find both hostels and hostels; view photos and user reviews; know the minimum prices and make a reservation.
Home exchanges as a free housing option
You may not believe it, but the popularity of such holidays among the elderly is growing every year, thanks to the Internet, word of mouth and the ability of society to get rid of prejudice. The phrase: and why not - once played a decisive role in the availability of foreign recreation, for people of more mature age, and made it possible to have a comfortable free stay on vacation. Partly because, by that time, most people acquire their own homes, become less attached to material things and more inclined to adventure. Today, this type of vacation has a backed base of sites and forums, where you will find reviews, tips and various proposals to relax in another country with absolutely free accommodation.
Again, sociability and diplomacy will be your helpers to negotiate the terms and conditions acceptable for such an exchange. And sites designed to make it easier for you to exchange houses make the process safer.
For more information, visit the home exchange sites:
- Home Exchange - gained fame after the movie "Vacation" and showed that this way of recreation can be safe and interesting. On the site you need to register and get a membership. By paying a small fee commensurate with the cost of one night in a hotel ($175), you get a year of unlimited home exchanges. The site offers security guarantees and a variety of home options (open space homes, kid-friendly homes, bike-friendly homes, etc.).
- Seniors Home Exchange
- Home for Exchange
Another option with houses is "house-sitting".
What do you think of the offer to live in a comfortable big house with a pool and a Jacuzzi in exchange for housekeeping or pet-sitting?
Going away for a long vacation, leaving your home, much less your beloved pets, unattended and unmaintained is problematic enough. Such a way as a pet sitter for the home has become in demand in recent years. Providing a relatively free place to stay and comfort - this option is used by many.
But this method is not suitable if you are a tourist for a couple of days. Looking after the house assumes a long time and a minimum departure from the territory. Consider the checks that will need to pass to confirm your competence and reliability. Demand breeds interest, and the numbers tell the story. For example, there are more than 36,000 homes and more than 3,000 babysitters registered on the Watch My House website.
If you're sure things will work out, take a look around at special websites:
Apartments in the city
Are city hotels expensive and hostels not for you? Choose the golden mean. Private offers for apartments for rent in the city will be a godsend for you. Convenience - the number of options and the ability to choose a place for your taste and budget.
It can be expensive for a single trip, but the family or the company you will win. Together with apartments appear possible to save on restaurant meals and do not depend on the curfew or time constraints for visits to the bathroom. Not to mention the opportunity to invite friends or be alone with yourself.
First in the top of the list for finding city accommodations:
- Airbnb - has a handy mobile app and a very comprehensive interface. Its numerous filters allow you to find an option that suits both your eyes and your wallet in no time at all.
- Wimdu - a similar service where you can view ratings, reviews, and recommendations
Living on a Farm or Useful with a Pleasure
Eco vacation. Fashionable, healthy and safe. And also not critical in price. Farming today is developing, not only in the traditional sense of its functions, but also conquering the tourism business. Farm managers are so successful in this that farm holidays have become famous not only for the opportunity to milk a cow, but also for a variety of very outlandish activities.
For example, ostrich farms offer themed delicacies and ostrich rides. Horse rides and bicycle trips, baking and dessert master classes. Restaurants with local cuisine on the farm and beekeeping. All this has turned into ecotourism and has firmly taken its niche in the tourism industry.
Accommodation on farms prices vary from free (providing space for tents and camping) to exorbitant (apartments, villas, cottages). It all depends on the desired conditions and imagination for alternative entertainment.
In general, such a vacation helps to restore your strength and health, and can be quite budget-friendly.
Make sure with the help of thematic websites:
Going to a monastery
And this is by no means humor. Farmers are not the only ones developing their estates in different directions. Today, monasteries also offer options for fairly inexpensive housing. And it is not necessarily a cell in the best religious traditions. But do not count on luxury comfort: modesty and privacy is the best description of this type of recreation. And maybe one of the good ways to reboot.
If you want to try this type of cheap housing, it's worth making sure:
- You have been very carefully acquainted with all the nuances and rules prescribed in the territory of the monastery
- Your faith and beliefs and habits do not interfere with the locals. As they say: one does not pry into another's monastery with one's own scroll.
- You are quite flexible and undemanding when it comes to food. There are no restaurants within the walls of the monastery, the food is prepared by monks and nuns.
- Authenticity will do you good, not harm.
Services for finding a stay at a monastery:
Bonus programs or "point" night
If you're an avid traveler, there's a good way to spend free hotel nights. Take part in various bonus programs to accumulate points at hotels, and pay for extra nights with accumulated bonuses. One way is to sign up for a hotel credit card and you can get some bonus immediately.
A few tips to not only make your home search cheaper, but also safer:
- Buy insurance as soon as you book your vacation. This is an additional guarantor of your emergencies.
- Pay with a regular credit or foreign credit card, if possible. This will help to have proof of your payments, make the calculation more economical, and provide an opportunity for a refund for services not rendered.
- Do not rely only on the reviews and ratings listed on websites. Try to make sure that the accommodation is safe on your own, in all the ways that are available to you.
- Don't be lazy to leave honest reviews on cheap housing search sites. It will help the others.