Cheap Traveling Tips – Can You Find Cheap Travel Accommodations?

Travelers often wonder if they can find cheap travel accommodations after trying many hotel traveling sites. Well, the answer is yes. There are different kinds of cheap traveling tips that you can access. Some are host networks, work exchanges, house sitting, house swapping, and hostels. We will review each type.

Host Networks

CouchsurfingOne network that is very popular among travelers is CouchSurfing. CouchSurfing is a network of individuals that will open their home to travelers. This gives you the opportunity to not only travel cheaply, but you get to interact with your host who is a local resident that can provide you with a lot of information about the area that you are visiting. You must sign up and create a profile before being accepted as a member. You can be a surfer (someone who travels and stays at other homes) or a host (someone who provides their own home to surfers) or both. Their is no charge for joining but a recommended donation of $25 to cover network cost (this is totally voluntary). Hosts are not allowed to charge for staying with you; however, it is accepted that a surfer may offer to reimburse for cost of food or other items consumed. Also, gifts are permitted by surfer which could be a material gift or help such as cleaning the house, cooking, gardening or any help that the surfer may wish to offer. The network has a system that screens and helps to provide safety to all members.

Another network which is very popular is AirBnB. AirBnB is network made up of hosts and travelers and provides a means for them to find each other. A traveler can search the site for accommodations, but cannot make reservations until the traveler creates a profile with AirBnB. Hosts creates a listing after creating their profile. Unlike CouchSurfing, AirBnB is not free. The hosts actually get paid for renting their property at a price that is set by the host. It is usually much cheaper than any hotel stay in that area where the host resides. The host pays a service fee of 3% to AirBnB when the reservation is confirmed. The traveler pays a service fee of 6-12% to AirBnB when they make the reservation. AirBnB accepts major credit cards, Paypal, and other various types of payments. The rent charge is sent to the host less the service fee charges.

CouchSurfing would be more appealing to someone who has an itinerary which is very flexible whereas AirBnB is better for travelers with a more organized travel plan.

Work Exchanges

HelpxWork exchanges are networks that provide food and accommodations in exchange for work. One such exchange is WWOOF which provides food and accommodations for work opportunities on organic farms. You usually live with your host and work on many farming tasks 4-6 hours per day. You may also sign up as a host if you need help with your organic farming. A subscription fee may apply for 0 – 72 USD or 0 – 56 Euros depending on which country you may be going to.

Another work exchange network is HelpX. Although similar to WWOOF, it is not limited to just farm work. It could be painting, many general labor task, or even cooking. You can register for free, but to have full advantage of all offers, helpers could update to a Premier membership for 30 USD or 20 Euros.

A third exchange network is Workaway. Workaway helpers are called Workawayers and will pay $29 for an individual for a two year registration or $38 for a couple for a two year registration. If you have the time and the ability, a work exchange could work for you with an opportunity to meet people from other parts of the world.

House Sitting

House SittingHouse sitting is a great way to travel with little to no cost. The offset is that you will be required to care for the home while you are there including things such as upkeep, pet care, yard care, gardens, and pool areas. The responsibility of paying the cost of utilities is negotiable between the sitter and the owner. The owner gets the advantage of having someone care for their home and pets while they are away. When the sitters register, they will pay a registration fee. Such networks include HouseCarers which charges $50 per year registration and Trusted Housesitters which charges $ 96 per year registration. Check out these sites to decide which one best suits your needs. A lot depends on where you want to go.

House Swapping

House SwappingHouse swapping is another way to travel for less. The idea here is that there are two people living in different places who swap homes at the same time. They stay in each other’s home while vacationing. A popular movie called “The Holiday” shows this type of arrangement. You usually join a site for a fee. You then can log on and search for homes in the area that you want to visit. Arrangements are made between the home owners. You can swap apartments, but you better check with your landlord if they allow this. Swapping vehicles can also be arranged if the owners agree to this. Some of the sites are Home Exchange.com which charges $150/year and International Vacation Home Exchange which charges $159/year or $375/year depending on which plan you choose. You will need to communicate with each other by email, phone, etc. before making the exchange to get to know each other and feel safe. If you are uneasy with this, then maybe house swapping is not for you.

Hostels

HostelFinally, there are hostels which is another method of cheap travel. Hostels are found all over the world. Hostelworld.com is a great site to find many hostels in the world by searching and booking as you would with a hotel. You can also get hostel bookings all over the world with Booking.com. Hostels are very budget oriented where you can rent a bed. Usually it is a bunk bed in a dormitory setting where you may share a bathroom and sometimes, even a kitchen. Guests are usually a younger crowd, but it is by no means limited to younger people. Backpackers frequent such places. It may not be as luxurious as a hotel, but it is a lot cheaper.

Summary

These are some of types of accommodations that are available at a much cheaper cost. Some are more adventurous than others. Explore and check out some of the ones that may fit your traveling style.

14 thoughts on “Cheap Traveling Tips – Can You Find Cheap Travel Accommodations?”

  1. hahahahaha I LOVE this! because I tlaltoy agree!!! traveled with my family in the end .. was EXACTLY the same (no joke-every point you have! ) Even funnier it was also in Italy that we were together! hows the travelling going Andrew?

    1. Marcilio,

      Thanks for dropping by with your comments. The idea of bringing the family and using some of these cheaper accommodations is a great idea.

      Bob

  2. Hi, Bob! Great tips on how to travel without breaking the bank. Do you have any tips for people traveling to South America, in particular to Brazil? I own a blog called “Getting to know Brazil in Pictures” and I try to portray some aspects of Brazil in photographs. Since this also deals with travel tips, I think we can exchange some information about interesting travel arrangements to this region.

    1. Daniel,

      I am glad that you like the idea of cheap travel accommodations. There are so many ways to travel with less expense if you are willing to think outside the box.

      I do not have any tips on Brazil at this time. However, it is an area that I have an interest in and it might be a good idea to blog on this area. Brazil has much to offer and a great travel spot.

      Bob

  3. Hi Robert,

    Great article here – I’m guessing that one of the biggest things that stops people traveling is the expense.

    This is especially true if you’re traveling from a country like South Africa, where the currency is weak (roughly 15 South African Rands to 1 US Dollar!).

    I hadn’t heard of some of these opportunities before, they’re good to know about.

    A friend of mine and his wife just finished a stint around Europe doing the housesitting thing and they thoroughly enjoyed it (they went through Trusted Housesitters).

    Great article and good options here for folks who need to travel on the cheap!

    Take care,
    Sean

    1. Sean,
      Thanks for the visit. It is amazing how few people knew about some of these options. I mentioned Trusted Housesitters in my article. I hope this helps others in finding a cheaper way to travel. There may be some who want all the luxuries and are willing to pay for it, but I have found that more would prefer to find bargains.

      Happy Traveling.

      Bob

  4. Hello there,

    Great resource on cheaper ways to find accommodations while traveling. I think I’d like to try house sitting one day. I’m not super adventurous so a hostile or couch surfing isn’t probably the best idea for me. One day a possible work exchange would be interesting to mix it up a little bit. What’s the most fun you have had with alternative lodging?

    Thanks,
    Anthony

    1. Hi Anthony,

      Thanks for stopping by My Travel Guide Tips.

      There are different kinds of accommodations for different types of travelers. It appears that you have found your preference with house sitting. I enjoy the CouchSurfing with the idea of interacting with someone local to get the full experience of the area that I am visiting. Hostels are usually catering to the younger crowds but by no means is that an absolute. I got a kick out of your misspelling of hostel ( as hostile). I do not know if it was intentional, but it was clever.

      Bob

  5. Upon opening this site I was shocked by the color combinations on the landing page, but was delighted by the content, as one that travel’s and would always prefer to do so in comfort, I was happy to know about some of the things you mentioned, very informative, this is for sure a site to which I will return. I am sure you will be adding more useful information in the future
    Your links are well done, I can see how this site will convert well.

    1. Sheree,

      Thanks for visiting “My Travel Guide Tips”. It is amazing that there are so many types of travel ideas out there that many do not know about. Some of these ideas on this article are for the very adventurous. I am glad that you like this and look forward to seeing you again.

  6. I recently heard of hostels as my oldest son was thinking about it because he wanted to move to California. I had never heard of anything like that before, then my husband said a girl that he worked with used to do the couch surfing thing? Sounds very interesting for someone that wants an adventure. I would probably go for the house swap thing. Very informative and helpful. Thank you. The only question that I have is about the work exchange. Is that a monthly price, or 1 time price?

    1. Trina,

      Yes, there are hostels all over the world. They are usually catering to a younger crowd of people, but I know of cases where some older travelers felt very comfortable in them. It is an adventurous way to travel. The work exchange is a one time cost which can be for two years.

  7. Couch sitting sounds really good what are the conditions and are the “coaches” vetted as wouldn’t want to be in the company of a prolific serial killer

    I really want to do south America so would couches speak english

    What places would you recommend in the world and were would you avoid

    1. Steve,

      Your concerns are not unique. Many of these sites have a profile questionnaire that will weed out much of the bad apples. If they were not safe, the networks would not do well. A lot of these have been around for a long time. When you set up a visit to any of these places, you would be communicating with your potential host for some time to get familiar and comfortable with each other. If either of you feel uncomfortable, you can opt out of the arrangement. Do your homework before making the trip.

      When you contact your preferred host, you can determine if they speak English. As far as places to avoid, it is a very big world and I suggest that you research the area of your interest on the internet to find out if it is safe. I would not consider going anywhere in the Middle East with all the problems going on there right now. Good luck with your research and Happy Traveling.

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