I get this question asked a lot. I have been travelling a lot recently and people usually ask me, how do you manage your expenses ? Everything is so expensive abroad and especially in Europe, hotel prices are skyrocketing in peak season, that middle class families in India just cannot afford it.
Usually I break down all my expenses into 5 Parts
1. Flights + Visa
3. Internal transport
5. Sightseeing and other activities
I have aelready blogged about how to find the cheapest flight tickets, you can check it out here
Speaking of accommodation, think if it as a place you are going to sleep at night and nothing more. Unless you are a visiting a place that screams of beautiful resorts like Maldives or Santorini, you do not require anything fancy. We Indians have a lot of restrictions, limitations and fixed ideas. We really need to get out of this, and really focus on what is important. The way I see it, accommodation is a place that you need at night to sleep comfortably (understanding of the word comfort can vary from person to person), wake up in the morning to do your business, get ready and head out to explore the place you are visiting. It just needs to be clean and safe. If you are able to understanding this aspect of accommodation I am sure you can get cheap accommodation anywhere in the world.
Most of us think and know of accommodation as hotels and resorts. Indians cannot think beyond that and log onto Trivago for their accommodation. In this blog I am going to be sharing with you guys other options that are available for you to stay the night for a better price and you will be shocked how only so much money got you a place like this .
Whenever i want to book an accommodation. I usually look at the following options.
Usually this is the last place I look for accommodation unless i am visiting places like Maldives, Santorini, Seychelles etc. It’s not that i do not like hotels and resorts but i like to save it for places where staying in those places is an experience in itself. Recently I stayed at one of India’s most luxurious resorts and i had the best time. I like luxury resorts just as much as the other guy, but the point is to be selective and priorities on what you want to do when you are traveling to a particular place.
Pros: Easy check in and check out, Room service, Housekeeping, Great infrastructure
Cons: Expensive, too commercial, noisy, No local feel.
I absolutely love the concept of AirBnb, of people opening up their homes to complete strangers, and i highly recommend it. We spend all of our 21 night in airbnbs when we drove across Hungary and Slovakia. It such a fresh and a unique way to experience any country. You get to see how people live, interact with the locals and you get great locations where a hotel can never be built. For all those who feel it is unsafe or you wont get the comforts, check out my YouTube video on one of our stays in Hungary, it will put any 5 star resort to shame at half the cost.
Pros: Excellent Locations, Local experience, Economical, Your own kitchen in a foreign land. Lots of options. Get to meet new people
Cons: occasionally difficult check in process, otherwise I cannot think of anything else
When I backpacked across thailand i only stayed in hostels. They are great way to meet new people, learn about their cultures. Hostels abroad a re really clean and tidy unlike the idea of a hostel you have in India. at some hostels you have a 24 X 7 kitchen and bar where you can chill with fellow travleres and exchange travel stories. The biggest advantage also lies with how economical they are. A decent hostel will only cost you700-900 Rs per night. You can save all the money you were gonna spend on hotel accomodation and spend it in other experiences like Scuba Diving or Sky diving.
Pros: Hihgly cost effective, Great way to meet new people, Make freiends from all over the world. Get inspired by how other people are traveling the world.
Cons: No privacy, common kitchen (I don’t mind but some people may), Concern about safety of your Valuables.
I dont know how many of you will be open to the idea of couchsurfing. For those of you who dont know couchsurfing is platform where you get to host people from all around the world absolutely free of cost and in return you could couch surf to any part of the world for absolutely free. You just have register yourself and select with whom and where you want to stay, wait for the host to accept amd you have free accomodation for the night. I personally have never tried it but has heard some amazing stories about couchsurfing from my friends
Pros: Free of charge accomodation, Get to host people in your home from all over the world, first hand local experience by living with your host.
Cons: can be shady for solo travelers, expect very less to zero ammenities, have to do a thorough back ground search on your host.
Worldpackers is a really good platform that connects people who are looking to offer free accommodation in return for some work which fits your skill set. Your skill set can be as simple as teaching English, managing a web page, helping at the reception of a hostel. There are tons of jobs to choose from that do not require a very specific or a high skill set, in return they offer you accommodation and food with couple of days free for you to explore
Pros: Free accommodation, Get to meet a lot of new people and learn about cultures.
Cons: Minimum contract is 2 weeks – 4 weeks, very basic accommodations, very few free days for you to explore places around
So these were some of the ways i try and sty at different places and make my travels affordable. You can do it too. Out of all the options I have listed my favorites have to be Airbnb and Hostels. Once you travel like this you will not feel like travelling any other way.
If you still have doubts about any of the listings check out my YouTube video on the same topic for more clarity and feel free to contact me for any other queries. My details are in the contact me Page
Until next time, Keep on traveling