After airfare, accommodation is pretty much the next big thing that eats up our budget in traveling, especially for those who are just on a short vacation. Here are some tips on how to find cheap accommodation on your next trip.
Check the Internet: A lot of small budget hostels still don’t have their own websites. You will usually find them in other host website like Hostelbooker.com. I frequently use this site because it provides you with hostels that belong to different price range and at the same time some feedback from previous guests. This will give you an idea on what to expect when you arrived at the hostel of your choice.
Stick with your Budget: My daily budget for accommodation ranges from $3-$5 (in Asia) and I always try my best to stick with it. I don’t mind if there’s no airconditioning or if the space is small, as long as it’s within my budget, you’ll find me there. You wouldn’t really stay the whole day in your room anyway, or would you? But of course if you have a bigger budget to spend, then by all means get a more comfortable room.
Share your Room: Look for a roommate. There are thousands of independent travelers roaming the planet and there’s a high chance that you’ll find one to share the room with. Most prices of single room are almost the same or just slightly lower than a twin room. You can save a lot in sharing your room although you also have to exercise vigilance in choosing your roommate. I never had any bad experience yet but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Let the Drivers Bid: When you get off the train or bus stations, there will be a lot of drivers that will offer you some accommodation. Usually they get some commission out of this. Take advantage of this “offer frenzy” and bargain hard with them. Do not make any commitments. Just tell them that you want to check it out. This is how I usually get a free ride from the stations to my next hostel.
Search the Area for a Cheaper Hostel: After getting to your hostel, take some rest and maybe shower. I’m sure you’re tired from a very long overland trip. After that, you might as well check out the neighborhood. If you’re staying in a backpacker’s area, there’s a lot of other hostels around. So take a walk and check their prices, you may start bargaining with them as well. Who knows, you might just get a cheaper deal.
Ask Other Backpackers: A lot of backpackers are very much willing to share their information. Ask where they’re staying and how much they’re paying for it.