Many people don’t consider traveling long term due to money and time restrictions. Of course, these are very valid concerns…but they shouldn’t be enough to keep you from exploring new places, experiences, people and cultures – and they don’t have to. One of the biggest costs with traveling is accommodation. You have to stay somewhere each night and those rooms can quickly add up as your budget dwindles.
Worried about accommodation prices? You don’t have to stay at the Marriott or Hilton – there are other options!
If you really want to save a few bucks, Couchsurfing allows you to stay in the home of locals for free. Create an account, search for hosts in the area you’re traveling to and you’re set. While there are no nightly fees, it is nice (and appreciated!) to try and do a little something for host as a sign of appreciation. Make dinner, buy a round of drinks or bring them a souvenir from home.
Stay in a condo
Keep visiting a place over and over? Want to live in a city like Paris, London or Montreal? Consider renting, or even buying, a condo for your regular visits. There are condos for sale everywhere that could be a great investment of your time and money. Whenever you visit, you can stay in the comfort of your own place then rent out the space when you’re away.
This is a great option for people wanting to spend more than a few nights in a place with a more local – and free – feel. There are plenty of websites and online communities where people list their houses to house sit while they’re gone. These opportunities can range from several days to several months. You get free accommodation while being able to explore the area at slower, more thorough pace and they get peace of mind that their home is being looked after while they are away. Win – Win.
Plan long travel overnight
Have a long plane, train or bus ride to your next destination? No one wants to be stuck in a vehicle sitting for hours, especially during the day. Try booking your trip at night to say you a night’s accommodation and not waste a day on the road when you could be sightseeing and soaking up the scenery. It make not be the most comfortable way to get a good night’s sleep, but the money (and daylight hours) you save is often worth it.
Though many people have adverse reactions even hearing the word ‘hostel’, hosteling has come along way from dingy dorm rooms and sketchy shared bathrooms. Nicer establishments are popping up more and more often, some even rivaling boutique hotels and guesthouses. There are also a variety of room options, from dorms (the cheapest), to smaller shared, room, doubles and singles. Especially if you’re traveling with someone or as a couple, a private room in a good hostel can be nicer, and a whole lot cheaper, than your average hotel room.