(Last Updated On: May 15, 2018)

Budget travel accommodation options.

Feature picture for forever roaming the worlds post about different budget travel accommodation options

Budget travel accommodation options.

For budget travelers, costs and expenditure are always at the forefront of our thoughts. We budget travelers are always looking to cut corners on needless spending where possible (I mean, we try to) and none more so than for accommodation.

Accommodation can end up taking quite a hefty chunk out of your budget and sometimes even blow them if you’re not careful. Think about if you’re traveling on a tight budget can you afford or want to throw money away on hotel rooms every night?

So, if you’re planning your first trip the question becomes ‘What are my accommodation options on a tight budget?

Well, traditionally backpackers and budget travelers have had hostels to turn to; budget accommodation that provides a community feel or couch surfing. However, with travel becoming more and more accessible, there is an abundance of budget travel accommodation options

So what are they?

Budget travel accommodation options: Backpacker Hostels.

Hostels are still amongst one of the most popular budget travelers accommodation options. Hostels can be much more than a place to sleep, they provide a roof, sometimes food, a place to meet other backpackers and provide a social environment and actually can turn into an integral part of your traveling experience.

Forever Roaming the World has a dedicated section just for hostels having stayed in my fair share of them over the years (practically lived in a few.)

Air BNB

Over the past few years, AirBnB has grown in popularity with budget travelers due to finding low-cost bargains, home comforts, and location. Unlike staying in hotels or hostels you can get a sense of how a local lives, you get to be in and within the community and unlike renting an apartment you have direct contact with the owner. In some cases the owner will be present during your stay, they might just rent a room out to you.

While a good option some due diligence needs to be done on your host as there have been cases of travelers getting scammed, hosts blaming travelers for breakdowns, or even just not being there to hand keys over.

Check here if you would like to know more about Airbnb 

Picture credit: Air BnB

Couch Surfing.

In years gone by, couch surfing was exactly what it says on the tin; sleeping on somebody’s couch, often for free. It could have been a friend of yours, somebody you traveled with previously, or just a stranger giving you their couch.

However, in recent years, couch surfing has grown much broader. You’ll now find an official Couchsurfing website which boasts over 14 million members. You can sign up to be a host or a surfer or just to join the community where you can meet like-minded travelers and locals.

Couchsurfing is popular due to obvious fact that it can be free (A budget travelers favorite word) you stay in a local environment and be part of the culture. Also when you’re in and amongst locals, your host normally shows you around, you get to meet other locals and get the local perspective of your destination.

Get more information on Couchsurfing here.

Photo credit: Couchsurfing

House sitting.

Another option that is growing in popularity with backpackers and budget travelers. So what’s the deal with House sitting?

Well, the concept is quite simple, people who want to go away on holiday or away from their homes for a prolonged amount of time and don’t want to leave their house empty will advertise for house sitters. If chosen you go and house sit, you get your own privacy and can use all amenities. In most cases, you house sit for free but in exchange, you have to maintain and upkeep the house, do some general chores or look after pets the owners have left behind. Obviously, there is an element of trust here and hosts and tenants are vetted before being accepted.

Here’s a few different websites you can sign up to for house sitting services.

Note: some of these sites require you to pay an upfront fee to join their services. 

Camper van.

Who doesn’t like a good road trip? Well, why not take it to the next level and get that feeling of ultimate freedom?

Renting a campervan is such a popular choice for backpackers and budget travelers because you can combine your transport and accommodation costs into one. Not only that but having your own campervan  gives you control and freedom over your journey and at your own pace. You go wherever you want instead of a pre-determined route like you would on public transport or organised tours.

There are other advantages too, some campervans come equipped with a small burner to cook on, so you can save on food costs. You can travel by yourself giving you privacy, with a partner or a group, some hostels allow campervans to park up and let you use their amenities and resources.

While there are many advantages to this method, there are some disadvantages. You may have a breakdown and have to delve into an already tight budget, you might get lonely if you’re traveling solo, you might not be used to the rules on the route to the particular country you’re in, if you’re traveling through winter it gets cold in vans or fuel costs may be just too high. Or like in my experience you start and lose a war – A war with bugs, most commonly with mosquitoes!

There are so many campervan rental companies spread around the world, some more expensive than others, some more reputable than others. If you want to rent a campervan for your trip do some good research.

This picture is part of Forever Roaming The World's post on Budget travel accommodation options:
My baby in New Zealand – ex juicy rental for half the cost of a juicy and gave me no problems.

Camping.

Strip it all away, become one with nature and pitch up a tent or sleep in a hammock under the stars, in the jungle, on a beach or in a campsite! If you like camping or want to really want to eliminate your accommodation costs then this is your choice.

Over the years I’ve met other budget travelers who only camp and managed to save so much on accommodation costs. The good thing about camping is, with the traveling industry growing there are more designated camping areas available and some in absolute picturesque locations.

However obviously if you are looking to camp out there are certain things you should take into account. Like: Having good camping gear in the first place, be aware of any safety issues, keep bug spray on you, be aware where you’re pitching up for the night, is it legal? Is there any wildlife territory you might be intruding on?

budget travel accommodation options

Sleeper trains/buses.

For budget travelers at one point or another, you are going to take an overnight bus or train, in many countries trains and buses include makeshift sleeper areas (makeshift bunk beds, flatbeds, pods, fully reclining seats.) Now the logic for most of us is that in taking an over-night bus/train we will save money on a nights accommodation – Well yes in theory that’s right but the practicality is you won’t sleep that well and will waste the next day catching up on sleep.

However with this knowledge in hand, we still take over night buses, we sacrifice that night’s sleep to save a nights rent.

Budget travel accommodation options taken to the extreme – Rough it up.

Take it to the absolute extreme, if the funds are incredibly tight, you can chance it, sleep in train stations, airports, or other public areas and slum it out. I highly recommend you don’t get to this point. Yes there will be times you don’t have a choice like when you need to catch an early flight or train, or it might get cancelled for one reason or another (ash clouds and any sign of snow in England) but in general, try not to be in this situation.

Budget travelers accommodation options

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There are other budget travel accommodation options that will be available to you but the aforementioned will be the most common that you will most likely choose from. Of course, there will be times you might just want to slip away to a hotel for some comfort too, plenty of budget travelers have done it before you.

Did you find this budget travel accommodation options post helpful for your impending trip? Let me know in the comments below if there is anything else you would like to know?

If you would like further posts like ‘budget travel accommodation options’, other in-depth solo/ budget travel advice and weekly blog posts come and join Forever Roaming the World’s ever-growing community, we would love to have you.

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(Don’t forget to pin budget travel accommodation options).

As a budget traveler or backpacker, costs and expenditure are always at the forefront of our thoughts. A budget traveler will always look to cut out needless costs where possible and that rings true for accommodation. This resource page lists budget travel accommodation options.

 

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  1. I didnt realize how many options there were for budget overnight accommodations. I’ve tried an Air BnB type stay and camping but I’m not sure the others (or camping for that matter!) are for me. Maybe a sleeper train though. Great post.

  2. We had great experiences while couch surfing and met some amazing people all over Europe while doing it. It really made our experience so much better and opened our minds to a new way of thinking. We also tried a program called workaway which allowed us to stay with a family/individual for free in exchange for helping them with tasks of there choosing. This option saved us so much money and was amazing to get to know the culture.

    Christina recently posted…Cliff Townhouse – the Perfect Hotel in Dublin, IrelandMy Profile

  3. Oh wow, I don’t know about sleeping in train stations, that’s risky for me! I’m not a camper, but I like the idea of a camper van, for a few nights only! Couchsurfing is fun, and safe, as long as you know the rules beforehand. And you can never go wrong with Airbnb, at least not so far!

  4. Cool options! We love staying in homestays; doing so makes us feel closer to locals. It makes accommodations part of the adventure. While we often sleep in buses to save on accommodations, we don’t like it as we don’t often sleep soundly on moving vehicles. We love camping though!

  5. I would love to try camping, my friends are scared of bugs and another animals during the night, I need to admit – I’m too a little bit. But definitely want to try it!

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