Travelling is a fun way of recharging your body and mind; however, it is not always cheap. From plane tickets and gas prices, visa and entry fees, to hotel and accommodation prices, and the inflation prices of food and other services, traveling can be astronomically expensive.

Balancing between your budget and travel expenses can deter you from visiting new destinations.

However, there are ways you can save on accommodation, and make travel possible. 

Whether looking to save a few dollars and stretch your travel experience, or perhaps you are a budget-conscious globetrotter, there are creative ways to save money on accommodation while traveling. 

  1. Book in advance

Booking in advance gives you access to discounted prices and allows you to make changes as needed. It also gives you peace of mind as you have secured accommodation, thus reducing travel stress. 

Additionally, early booking gives you more options for choosing your preferred room view, facilities, and services. 

Many hotels offer early birds with special rates or discounted ones.

Book directly with the hotel, hostel, or AirBnb website or owner to avoid miscommunication and scamming.

If you prefer agents, check out hotel booking sites like Hostelworld, Tripadvisor, or, or use your destination’s local tour guide registered companies.  

Travel Tip: If booking through a third party, ensure you call the accommodation to ensure you have a reservation. Also, remember to check out reviews. It will save you inconveniences and headaches. 

  1. Bundle it up

You can easily save on car rental, accommodation, and flight by bundling up. Some local travel agents in many countries offer bundled experiences. 

Additionally, check out sites like Expedia and airline websites for bundled-up discounted rates. 

  1. Embrace flexibility

Be flexible while traveling, and learn to go with the flow.

A flexible schedule can also get you discounted rates. 

Additionally, you can opt for off-season travel; instead of summer holidays, consider spring or fall, and instead of weekends, opt for weekday holidays. 

Most hotels have bookings from Friday to Saturday and weekdays for business travelers. However, most Sundays, they don’t have bookings, thus giving good discounts. Also, on Sundays, you can explore more with less crowd. 

Avoid booking your accommodation to hotels hosting conferences or large events in your chosen locality. 

Lastly, consider booking outside the metropolitan cities or areas for better prices. 

Remember that flexibility means exploring the unbeaten, less obvious path and enjoying it fully. 

  1. Consider budget accommodation

Opt for budget accommodations like guest houses, bed and breakfast, or self catering places that are more cost-effective but also offer unique, comfortable lodging. 

Most budget accommodations don’t necessarily mean sacrificing your safety or comfort; it means embracing something authentic with cultural experiences rather than upscale hotels.   

Most budget hotels offer comfortable, clean rooms on a full board basis; giving you much-needed relaxation after exploring the whole day. They also provide local and international cuisines, allowing you to experience unique cultural immersion and interaction with other travelers. 

  1. Share cost

Sharing is caring, or do we say scaring? In an accommodation-sharing scenario, do it with relatives or friends but not strangers. 

Opt for a suite, holiday home, or apartment (AirBnb) and share the accommodation cost. Not only is AirBnb cheaper than hotels, but it is also more spacious with living areas, kitchens, and access to laundry. Many offer other extra amenities like swimming pools, gym, a kids’ play area, and barbeque areas. 

A short/long-term AirBnb accommodation can offer you a homey travel style on saving mode; plus, you can cook your favorite meals. 

However, remember to factor in costs like cleaning, taxes, or chef when comparing places to rent. 

  1. Swap houses

Look for other travelers within the area of interest and do house swapping. In recent years, house swapping has become a wonderful way of saving on accommodation and exploring new destinations. 

House swapping offers a unique home-from-home travel experience.

  1. Stay in caravan parks or go camping 

Caravan parks offer a more comfortable accommodation option than camping. They come with a kitchen, fridge, stove, and sleeping areas. 

Many holiday destinations offer affordable, clean, and comfortable caravan parks, thus saving you some money. Additionally, most of them are in scenic locations like the seaside or forests.

Campsites are available everywhere, and they offer the best chance to explore an area while on a tight budget. 

Many campsites offer affordable tents and sleeping gear. Plus, most campers always have bonfires, so you can enjoy your evenings while interacting with other campers. 

  1. Consider volunteering

If on a tight budget, consider volunteering and experience unique travel, cultural beauty, accommodation, and meals for free. 

In most volunteering sites, the host provides everything, teaches different cultures, and allows you to explore different scenic areas while interacting with locals. 

Check out sites like WorkAway to find various volunteering opportunities and destinations you desire. It’s important to research thoroughly and perhaps seek legal advice before committing to any volunteering arrangement to ensure your rights and responsibilities are clear

  1. Try housesitting

Housesitting means taking care of the house owner’s household items or pets, and you enjoy staying there for free. Additionally, you still have free time to explore and adventure around. 

Trusted sites like MindMyHouse or Housesitters allow you to connect safely with those offering services. 

  1. Makes global friends

Friends from different continents can offer you places to stay for free or at a fraction of what you could have used in accommodation. Additionally, locals make the best tour guides. 

Having and knowing people in foreign countries is a blessing. 

You feel at home, you have a shoulder to lean on in case of something, and it allows you to deepen friendships. 

Sometimes, it may become hard to approach the subject of staying in someone’s house but here’s a way to approach it:

“Hey, I will be visiting your country in October. Can we catch up?” I would love to spend a few days with you!

“Hey, kindly recommend a cheaper accommodation option in your county or an AirBnb.”

Or go directly to the point. 

“Do you have any extra mattresses or a guest bedroom I could use for a few days? I promise to do some shopping or cook my signature dish/babysit/pet sit/etc”

Feel free to make your request; you never know if they might be making theirs in the future. 

Final thoughts on creative ways to save money while traveling

The key to saving some money on your travel accommodation is being flexible, doing thorough research, and being open to various options.

Accommodation expenses can eat up your budget, but the above tips will guide you on ways to explore, have fun, and capture memorable moments while not worrying about breaking your budget.

Travel, explore the world, and remember to make friends and taste the beauty of Mother Nature. 

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