Saint Augustine rightly said that ‘the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.’
However, not all of us are fortunate enough to travel luxuriously and accommodate ourselves in deluxe hotels or resorts. When traveling on a budget, spending money on accommodations takes our expenses a notch higher.
But what if we told you that you don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket while traveling and can cut the cost of accommodation? Here are a few hacks that will help you find cheap accommodations and stay well within your budget.
1. Go for volunteering
There are innumerable readily available volunteering options available across India and even the world that range from teaching in a local school to working as hotel staff. This deal includes a free stay for your time, free food, and some places even pay you for your services. This way you can save money on accommodations but also food. So, it is a win-win. However, check your work hours before signing up for the program as you are there to travel, not work.
2. Live in Hostels
In recent times, hostels have gained much popularity among budget travelers as they provide cheap and comfortable accommodation. You can conveniently find a bed in a hostel between ₹200 to ₹1000 anywhere in India, and is also applicable to all top holiday destinations. Hostels are affordable and a comfortable option for people who like to travel on strict budgets.
Another great benefit of staying in the hostel apart from being cheap is that these hostels provide a highly social atmosphere. You get to meet and socialize with people like yourself. This is one of the reasons why solo travelers do not get bored after traveling for months. Staying in a hostel is the best way to go forward if you are looking for cheap accommodation, and there are also several trustworthy websites where you can find good hostels.
3. Renting an entire property
Yes! It’s not as expensive as you think it is. If you are planning to stay at a place for more than a week, The best option to save money is by renting a property. The major benefits of renting an entire property include a home-like space that is bigger, better, and at a fairly inexpensive compared to a hotel or resort.
This may not seem like a cheap option and apartments, or Airbnb can get expensive for a solo traveler, but if you are traveling in a big group or staying in one place for a long time, this can save you good money.
4. Stay with the locals
The most pocket-friendly way to cut the cost of accommodations is to not pay for it at all. Most of the time, the locals are happy to provide accommodation to solo travelers for free. The home-cooked meal, local folklore, stories and experiences, and the hospitality offered are just the additional bonuses of staying with the locals. This way you can also learn a lot about the place and the underrated hidden gems that are not popular among the tourists.
Some of the popular websites that you can use to search for accommodations provided by the locals are Couchsurfing, Bewelcome, Stay4Free, and HomeStay. Remember to check the reviews about the host left by past travelers before book your stay with them.
5. Call up the desk for additional discounts
Whether it is a hostel, a guest house, or even a hotel, calling up the desk and asking them about their rates can certainly prove beneficial compared to when you book a room online on the website. Usually, the hosts end up giving you an additional discount or create an exclusive package that will suit you. You can also mention if you have stayed in the same place before as they are likelier clear to give you a discount if you are a loyal customer.
If you are a person who enjoys privacy and doesn’t like sharing a dormitory or living with strangers and want a private room for yourself, find a guest house. Guesthouses can be found in every part of India, and they provide simple, affordable rooms without the perks of a hotel that is you will get no room service or VIP treatment. Guesthouses are an ideal option for those who are looking for budget accommodations but are not willing to compromise on personal space and privacy, as they are cheap and you don’t have to socialize with anyone.
These are yoga and spiritual retreats where you are supposed to follow an ashram discipline. Ashrams are another affordable and cheap accommodations option for people who have no problem following a strict regimen and discipline. Ashrams offer you lodging and meals at minimal cost, and they are also very peaceful places if you are seeking calm and quiet. You can easily find an ashram anywhere in India.
8. Booking during peak season
Make sure that you have booked your accommodation in advance if you plan to travel during the peak holiday season. Prices generally tend to soar during the peak season, or the affordable accommodation options are fully booked. It is always safe to book at the earliest once you’ve decided your destination and are planning to take a vacation during the peak season.
9. Camping outdoors
If you are an outdoorsy person, camping is another amazing option to cut the cost of accommodation, and on top of that, it allows you to be close to nature and makes your journey more fulfilling and real. You may have to invest in buying your tent and sleeping bag, but in the long run, this will save you a lot of money for your future travelers. Camping will not only give you cheap accommodation, but it is also an adventurous experience. If you are camping inside someone’s private property or a popular tourist location, you may have to pay a little amount, but other than that it is a relatively cheap option. However, make sure that the place you are choosing to camp is safe and free from any risks.