Looking for cheap accommodation may not be as easy as most people think while they travel. There are many considerations people do choose. Places to choose can be a hard choice. Do I go with hotels, hostels, Airbnb, homestays, or do I even couch surf? Where will I find the best deals?

There happens to be so much information out there that people can feel some information overload while trying to navigate the waters of finding accommodation or especially cheap accommodation. 

I am going to go through the places and organizations that you can go through to find cheap accommodations. Here are 6 ways to find cheap accommodations.

6: Couch Surfing

Lots of young budget travelers will do some couch surfing. Couch surfing is a term used to talk about people basically crashing on the couch of other people’s homes.

Couch surfing is an organization formed to help people find places to crash. It was named Couchsurfing. So people can create a profile go out, and contact people to see if they are able to host them in different countries.

 It is a free alternative to living in a hotel, hostel, or homestay. This will give you the ability to meet a local, learn about some local culture, plus it is quite budget friendly. Free equals free.

 There are often pros and cons. Some of the cons would be that these people are complete strangers, and who knows what type of people you may run into. Always be a little cautious, but know there are good hosts and strange ones. All in all, it is a good alternative to other places.

5: Hostels

One of my favorite places would be hostels. Hostels are not like your old school places that you have heard about a long time ago. These places have certainly grown in their respective areas.

Hostels are usually dorm style accommodations. Some have private rooms, girls, guys, and even mixed dorms to host young to middle aged individuals. It is all your preference. Some offer breakfast and other services.

Hostels are great place to meet and greet people. It is good place to meet some traveling companions. They even do their best to help with you as you travel in their country.

I really like hostels because I can meet new and interesting people. There are some hostels that just take care of you so well. Each one is different so I always look at reviews. You can usually find some on booking.com or Hostelworld. So check and look and have some fun.

4: Airbnb

Airbnb is a shared economy type concept to let locals rent out their bedrooms, homes, or even apartments to individuals. It is a great concept and allows people to live in a home type setting.

Sometimes, we get tired of hotels, hostels, or even we want a piece of home. Airbnb is to provide that place away from home that feels like home.

I have used Airbnb several times. It is an alternative to other routes, and it can be quite cheaper than some other places. I stayed in Chicago for $800 for one month in a centrally located neighborhood. So yes, I like Airbnb.

If you want you can click on the Airbnb link, and get $36 towards your next stay if this is your first time signing up.


3: House sitting:

If you are looking for a place to live for a long while, you can look at house sitting. When living in South Carolina, I was a big time house sitter. I house sat for so many people.

House sitting is a good opportunity to have cheap housing, the ability to cook food at home, and being able to live like a local.

If you have time, house sitting can give you an opportunity to live like a local and enjoy the life as a local.

Places to look for house sitting gigs would be Housesitter.com. You can take a look at it, make a plan, and find a place to live.

2: Hotel Points and Free nights:

I am not all in to paying the massive amounts of money hotels charge unless I either get a good deal or I am using points to get free nights.

If you have been loyal to a brand like Marriot, IHG, or Hyatt, you may have amassed tons of points and free nights. Being loyal to brands can help you create an abundance of points.

You can then look for resorts, hotels, and places related to the brand and have free nights.

I was looking for places in Bali, Indonesia, and Hyatt had two resorts for like 5,000 points for each night. That is a great deal. Using UR points from the Chase Sapphire, I could purchase a couple of free nights with the Hyatt.

That is just one example. Now, there are a couple of credit cards that give points that you can transfer to certain Hotel brands. That could be beneficial to travelers.

There are also hotel credit cards that will give you bonus points and a free night as well. Many of these hotel credit cards have a fee, but the fee is usually less than the free night the card offers. It is up to you.

1: Using booking sites Like booking.com

Booking.com is one of my favorite places to look for housing. Not all places have great opportunities for accommodation. Booking.com has so many hotels, hostels, home stays, and guest houses to choose for a certain place.

The great thing about Booking.com is the ratings and reviews. They will break down the best to the worst to help you with finding the best deal. It is great to get feedback from those that have stayed at places.

This is either my number one place to look or number two depending on the area, and depending on what type of accommodation you can look for.

There are other great sites to look at like Agoda or hotels.com. 

You can never go wrong taking a look at sites to get a cheap deal.

So I just broke down 6 ways to find cheap accommodation. These are not in any special order. These are some of the ways I try to get cheap or free places to stay.

Here they are once again:

  1. Booking.com
  2. Hotel Points
  3. House sitting
  4. Airbnb
  5. Hostelworld
  6. Couchsurfing


If you have places you like to use to find cheap accommodation let me know.

“Life is short and the world is wide.” – Simon Raven

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