Home Away From Home

“I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”

-François Rabelais

One challenge when traveling is finding a place to stay, especially when you need to be as cheap as possible about it. We’d rather spend our money on seeing different sites or fun activities rather than the bed we sleep in. Hotels are out of the question. There’s no way we can afford that. In the past I’ve stayed at hostels because that’s the way most backpackers do it and it’s pretty affordable. So that’s definitely an option. But we’ve looked into other places to stay as well. Here’s a look at some different things we are thinking about trying out:

  1. As I already stated, hostels. A great website for finding available hostels and their prices is through Hostelworld. Ranked the number one website in the world for booking hostels, Hostelworld offers basic information about hostels across the world. You will often find various pictures of the hostel, it’s location in the city you’re visiting, bed rates as well as reviews by fellow backpackers. Sometimes Hostelworld even offers deals and you can book a bed right on the website. There’s a few other interesting features as well, such as city guides, a blog and insurance info you might want to check out. They also have a sister website, Bed and Breakfast World if you’re into that sort of thing, but it’s pricier.
  2. If you want to stay somewhere for free, try Couchsurfing. I’ve had a friend do this and she absolutely loved it. She got to meet some really interesting people while traveling by couchsurfing. Basically it’s a website where you can look for and list a couch or floor to sleep on for free. People using the website write a little blurb about themselves and may include photographs. If you are interested in staying with someone, you send them a “couch request” for when you’re visiting that city. A lot of times the people you stay with will show you around the city or spend time hanging out with you. Although you don’t get an actual bed, it’s a great way to meet people, you get to stay there for FREE and you don’t have to sleep in the same room as 20 other people you don’t know (at least I hope you wouldn’t).
  3. Another option similar to couchsurfing is Airbnb, where people list rooms in their homes, or their entire place, for rent. Some people may require that you stay for a certain length of time or will charge extra for each additional guest. Others just want a little extra cash and will rent out their spare room for a night or two. Just like with couchsurfing you may meet some great locals who can take you around the city with the added benefit of an actual bed. Airbnb is nice because it offers a secure way to “book” a room,  fraud protection and verified photos among other things. Some of the rooms listed would be roughly equivalent in price to two people staying in a dorm room in a decent hostel. However, one thing to note is that Airbnb does charge an additional fee when you book a room. The fee changes based on how long you are staying somewhere and the price of the room you want to rent. So if budget is your top priority you may want to do a little additional math before going ahead with Airbnb.

So there you have it. These are some options Kelly and I are considering for our trip. Maybe we will try out each at least once to give you a better idea of how each works and which we liked the best. Does anyone have any other suggestions on where to stay while traveling?

Stay warm!


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