Travel can prove to be an expensive affair, especially, if you don’t plan it right. Do we plan our own trips? That’s one question we never get tired of being asked. YES! That’s what makes our trips unique. And while others might cringe at the thought of staying up and searching for cheap fares; we consider it part of the process. Our trip begins with the excitement, sometimes sweat and tears, of reaching our chosen destination! While there is little one can do about pricey ticket fares (few cheap airlines exist), you can save money depending upon where and how you choose to stay.
1. B&B & Homestays: Bed and Breakfasts (B&B) would top the list of any budget traveller. And while we haven’t tried a traditional B&B, it’s something, which is highly recommended. After all, on a trip, all you need is a good night’s sleep. Homestays are perfect to stay with a local and learn about a culture – minus the gimmicks. If you’re fine with basic amenities and home-cooked meals, either of these, would prove to be a good option.
2. Budget Hotels: The definition of budget, when it comes to hotels, is relative. But, search well and you might get a good deal. What’s more, some budget hotels also offer breakfast (like B&Bs) in the booking package. If you cannot let go off basic ‘comforts’; you could opt for a budget hotel.
3. Hostel : We opted for a hostel, in Iceland, as our per diem costs were turning out to be a nightmare. And although staying in a 16 bed dorm wasn’t my most memorable travel experience – it was an experience in its own right. So, the trick is to book in ‘ADVANCE’, to choose individual rooms or fewer bunkmates. Some hostels also have an attached bath. But the biggest advantage of staying in a hostel would be your location! Add to it, the possibility of stocking/cooking your own food and meeting new people!
4. Camping : Thinking of non-traditional, cheap, and close to nature staying options? Camping it is! We had stayed, before, in makeshift camps in the desert and mountains. But these were speciality camps with an attached bath and bed. In Iceland, we tried camping. Costs reduce significantly, if you have your own camping gear – although renting equipment isn’t expensive either. All you have to do, is pay for a night’s stay in your pre-designated camping site and stock food supplies.
Useful Sites:- www.amazon.com
Off-late, country specific camping equipment rentals are also available. A Google search will yield optimum results.
5. Overnight Train Journeys : Another recommended way to save accommodation costs would be to travel during the night. The Euro-rail (albeit expensive) offers you the option of window sightseeing, making conversations, and sleeping. Similarly, across the world there are multiple travel options. Take a train, bus or drive a car.
6. Couchsurfing: OK. This is something we haven’t tried and I’m hesitant to suggest it! But, some of our friends have tried it. And that’s why I’m listing it. It’s a good way to meet locals, I suppose. 🙂
Useful Sites:- www.couchsurfing.org
7. Finding a Long Lost Friend: We have friends across the globe. And ever since we started travelling, we’ve got countless invitations. Although, we prefer to keep this as a last option. But, if you’re really cash crunched and need to save costs – it’s your best bet! If nothing works, drop by a relative’s place.
Useful Sites:- Your contact list on email and Facebook! 🙂