Sleep cheap, or free. After nearly a year on the road we learned lots of tricks to save money on accommodations.
No, we didn’t win the lottery, although that would be a great trick!
We simply do our laundry by hand, milk our own cows and sleep in places that look like this:
Just kidding. I took this photo on back roads in Casablanca which look very different from the tourist parts of town where we actually stayed. We didn’t plan to be here. Our taxi driver was just trying to jack up the meter, but that’s a story for another day – at least I got a bizarre photo.
And to Really Sleep Cheap:
I am my mother’s daughter, therefore – my idea of roughing it is Holiday Inn. However, my daughter did go camping with friends and sleep in this tent. For those who camp, tents are a great way to keep the budget down. Similarly, if you are in a country for a long time, hiring or buying and reselling a camper van is another great way to travel . . . for someone else.
Sorry, I prefer a bed, walls, a concrete floor and a toilet. If you travel like I do, keep reading. If you camp, you already knew your best hotel alternative, so take a short cut to the comments now.
If you just came to laugh, think about this quote from American pop star Britney Spears:
“The cool thing about being famous is traveling. I have always wanted to travel across seas, like to Canada and stuff.” ~Britney Spears
Sleep Cheap – Travel Tips to Save Money on Accommodations
[This section was too long for an AtoZ Challenge post so I moved the guts of it to: Where Can I Stay? – How To Find Alternative Accommodations – Spare The Budget, Skip the Hotel.]
What we have left is the list of ideas, the detail is gone.
- Home Exchange – This was our big secret. We did two home exchanges totaling over 1/4 of our accommodations.
- Couch Surfing
- House Sitting
- Backpackers and hostels
- Campsites (I know, I said no tents, but they often have cabins)
- Cruise Ship
- Short Term Rentals / B&Bs
- Religious Accommodations
- WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)
Do you remember my travel tip for the letter N: Negotiate everything. Well it’s back. Whether you try one of the locations above, or go to a hotel – if you know what you are doing, you generally don’t have to pay full price. Here are a few money saving tips for hotel stays:
- We like to walk in without a reservation. Most hotels don’t want the empty room and are happy to give a discount, especially if they normally pay a commission for bookings.
- If it is peak season, a busy destination or there is some other reason we want to book in advance, we start with Booking.com’s special e-mail list for even better deals. Once we find a possible location, we:
- Call Before we book on-line. We often get a better deal by asking for the best price available. Remember to smile even on the phone, people like to help friendly people.
- Staying just outside the city can often save us heaps of money, but it may be inconvenient depending on what we want to do at the location.
How do you sleep cheap?
This post is for the AtoZ challenge. My topic: Travel Tips I Learned the Hard Way