When it comes to your holiday, any chance to save in one area will leave more in your pocket to enjoy your time away. While you add up the costs of your trip, you’ll probably find that the hotel you’re planning to book will eat up a substantial portion of your budget. Why not think outside of the box and avoid hotels altogether? You could find yourself better off for it.
The best alternative to the standard, overpriced hotel room is a holiday let. Private holiday rental properties are available all over the world and are especially popular in Europe. You’ll usually have the option of renting on a week- by-week basis. This is an especially good alternative for families and groups, as you’ll have more personal space and a more homely atmosphere than you’d find in a hotel. You’ll also be able to save further on food costs because the property will come with a kitchen and similar amenities, allowing you to cook for yourself and avoid expensive meals out. You can find these properties easily through holiday let websites and by looking at the apartments and houses advertised on sites like Gumtree and Craigslist, as well as sites where people rent out their own homes such as Airbnb.
If you’ve got your own home and want to do some travelling, why not consider a home exchange program? If the idea of allowing strangers into your home makes you nervous, rest assured that the websites that facilitate exchanges have good security and verification systems, and allow you to communicate extensively with your prospective swap family for a while beforehand. You can also have neighbours or friends check up on your home while you’re away to ensure that everything is as it should be. This can be a really creative and inexpensive way of visiting somewhere new and staying in comfort without breaking the bank.
If you’re off on a gap year for your travels or are looking to explore different parts of the world on a small budget, using sites like Couchsurfing and Global Freeloaders could be a great option. These sites find you a home to crash at your destination, simply by connecting you with somebody who has a free sofa and a desire to help out travellers. Be sure to communicate with the person before you show up at their home so that you’re sure you feel comfortable with them, and check that their profile has lots of positive reviews and a full profile. You could discover an interesting local perspective on the area you’re visiting, and make a new friend.
For many travellers, the best way to beat hotel prices is to swap for a hostel instead. No longer just the mainstay of filthy students, hostels are often clean, well maintained and friendly. You don’t have to share a dormitory with a load of strangers either; private single or double rooms are available in many hostels these days, and still at a fraction of the cost of a hotel room in the same area. If you’re needing to take out credit to pay for your holiday it’s better to go for less prestigious accommodation so you don’t end up in debt. Check out reviews before you book and compare prices on sites like Hostelworld and Hostelbookers.
If you’re up for a bit of an adventure and like to get outdoors, why not try turning your holiday into a camping trip to cut costs? This is an especially good option if you’re planning on holidaying within the UK, if you can stay dry. If you’d like a little more shelter than that but still don’t mind getting a little dirty, programmes like WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) offer free accommodation and food in return for you doing a few hours of work per day to earn your keep. You could save a fortune on travel, see the world and improve your green credentials all in one go.