This is a collaborative post.
Aside from flights, one of the most expensive aspects of going abroad is the accommodation. However, accommodation doesn’t have to be expensive. If your main purpose is to travel and you’re not worried about having the luxuries of a hotel room, there are plenty of options out there that you can look into. Below are just a few budget forms of accommodation worth trying and how you can save money on accommodation abroad.
Staying in a tent is a bit more basic than many other forms of accommodation. However, it’s very cheap and can be very fun if you’re an outdoorsy type of person. Kids often love camping – you’ll find family campsites all around the world with lots of children’s entertainment. Camping is also the main form of accommodation when going to a festival or staying somewhere remote.
You’ll need to invest in a decent tent and some equipment, so there is this cost to factor in. However, once you’ve got a tent and the right camping equipment, it’s pretty much just the campsite fees to worry about, which are typically very cheap. Of course, you don’t even have to stay in a campsite – those brave enough can try some wild camping for free.
Stay in a caravan/mobile home
Caravans and mobile homes are another cheap option. Unlike a tent, you get your own kitchen facilities, bed and toilet. Some even have facilities like A/C and a television. Space is pretty tight, but it’s cosy and can be ideal for a family holiday.
Buying a caravan or camper van is very expensive, but does give you the freedom to travel and stay wherever you want. A more affordable option could be to stay in a fixed caravan or fixed mobile home on a campsite or caravan park. Fees can be very cheap compared to a hotel – a week in a mobile home is often the equivalent of two nights in a hotel.
Stay in a hostel
Hostels are like hotels, but with much more stripped-back facilities. You get a bed and that’s about it (in many cases, you may have to share a room with strangers).
The advantage is that they’re priced much lower than hotels. In fact, you can pay as little as £10 per night in some hostels. They tend to be popular for solo travellers and young people – they’re often a great place for meeting fellow travellers and will usually have a bar and buffet breakfast facilities. It’s also easier to find an affordable hostel in a central city location than it is to find an affordable hotel.
Try homestay accommodation
You may be able to find a local individual or family renting out a room in their home for you to stay in. This is known as homestay accommodation. Some hosts may be willing to cook you home-made meals and even take you on days out. Many people choose homestay accommodation because it provides the opportunity of living like a local. You could even use it as a chance to develop your foreign language speaking skills by staying with a foreign-speaking family. Homestay accommodation can be suitable for solo travellers or families.
Homestay accommodation tends to also be very cheap. You won’t be charged too much for your room and meals may well be included for free. You’ll usually find this type of accommodation advertised alongside travel lodgings.
Consider voluntary work
A rewarding form of travel could be to try some voluntary work. This could be volunteer work in Ghana teaching English or working with disabled children. Alternatively, you could work at an animal sanctuary in Sri Lanka or Thailand.
In return for doing voluntary work, you’ll usually be given free or discounted accommodation, along with food and drink. This can make it quite a cheap form of travel (even if it’s not quite a holiday). Volunteer trips are popular among young people on their gap year, but are open to people of all ages.
Look for off-the-beaten track hotels
If you’d prefer to stay in a hotel, a good way to save money is to look at hotels that are out of the way. Hotels that are close to attractions tend to be the most expensive. If you’re willing to sacrifice a sea view or walking access to local landmarks, you could save yourself a lot of money.
There are lots of other ways to save money on hotels. You can read a few tips here.