‘Budget accommodations’ is music to my ears! Finding a good, decent place to live on little to no money is most of our dreams. At the end of the day, it’all part of the experience right?
Once you start reading my blog, it is apparent that I rarely use anything other than couchsurfing. I’ve yet encountered a moment bad enough to make me not want to stay at a stranger’s place. Weird, right? But trust me, it’s loads of fun!
The Sikh religion has nurtured some of the most generous people. Gurdwara is a place of worship, yet, it also provides free accommodation and meals for those in need. While some temples are not the cleanest of spaces, they are beautiful, respectful and relatively safe. The ones I’ve stayed at even had AC! Not to mention the most amazing meal I had at the Gold Temple in Amritsar.
Free accommodation for laboring around a farm. Labor is a harsh word. From what I hear, it’s generally a relaxing atmosphere with time spent at a lavish farmland, with good people and fun animals. Great program for those who’d prefer to travel at a slower pace.
Similar to WWOOFing, workaway is the exchange of labor for food and accommodation. You can call it volunteering as you will, but workaway generally has a greater range of selections when compared to WWOOFing’s focus on farmland.
Alright, this is for you fancy folks! If you like the idea of free accommodation yet question the whole idea of sleeping on someone else’s dirty floor, home exchange is for you. The concept is simple- trade your home for some else’s in your dream destination. These places range from town houses to luxury stays, beach side views to mountain foot getaways. I’ve never used the site, but I guess is that the people you are swapping with would expect a home of similar value in return, or not?
Homestay is time spent abroad spent in the home of a local family. I guess you’d call this the baby of couchsurfing and Airbnb. While it garners the community-vibes and local experience as felt on couchsurfing, it also guarantees certain facilities and amenities as seen on Airbnb. For those that like some company but need personal space (or a guaranteed bed), homestay might just be what you are looking for!
I do love Airbnb. Really, most of the places I’ve stayed at had beautiful rooms with great hosts. They generally resemble the tidiness of a hotel, with many hosts kind enough to throw in a few maps to help navigate the streets of a foreign land. Yet, Airbnb remains a place for romantic getaways or group vacations. There is generally little interaction with hosts and too much alone time for a solo traveler like myself.
How can we speak of cheap accommodations and not hostels? There are tons of dorms cheaper than the likes of Airbnb and homestay. It’s generally a fun environment with loads of youngsters, drinking and chatting. But it can be a bit too much when you try to adapt to 12 stranger’s sleeping/ non-sleeping habits.
Still budget not cheap
The accommodations mentioned above isn’t for everyone. For those that enjoy the anonymity of hotels, sites like Expedia have decent deals. My favorite though, would be Hotwire. The site provides you with the hotel’s location, star rating and other specifications. However, it leaves out the actual hotel name so everything is pretty much a mystery. Who doesn’t like a good mystery? Especially a $80 four-star stay in downtown London.