Beyond Airbnb: Alternative Accommodations To Keep Travel Costs Low

For a short period after its launch, Airbnb became the hot way to cut back on travel costs. Apartments and homes listed on the site were cheap to rent out. But recently, as the reach of Airbnb has expanded, prices of many accommodations have come close to matching those at hotels in major cities. So how do you keep prices down? These alternative accommodation options are a start. 

Hostels
A hostel is a budget-oriented, low cost hotel-style place to stay. Many involve shared rooms, but some offer private accommodations. They also often feature kitchens, which are a major way to save when it comes to travel: you can purchase breakfast food and eat in the communal area before starting your exploration of your destination. Sometimes, hostels serve meals and host special events for travelers, which is an awesome way to meet your fellow travelers. Definitely bring flip flops for the shared shower, and be sure to check the mattress for bed bugs (though honestly, you should do this any time you travel). 

Our favorite place to book hostel is this website. Be sure to read reviews before you book.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
Traveling as a “WWOOFer,” as the insiders call it, has a lot of perks, but it does also involve some work. Here’s how it works: you sign up to work on farm for a set period of time. In return, they house you and feed you. It’s a great way to get to know the agriculture of your destination. It can also allow you to get close to locals. 

Want to learn more? Check out the Federation of WWOOF Organizations here

Camping
Hear us out on this one: camping can be an awesome and cheap way to travel, as long as you do your research. Campsites are often cheaper than hotel stays, and they give you the opportunity to enjoy nature in an immersive way. 

If you don’t have gear, ask around. It’s likely that a friend or a co-worker would be able to lend you a tent or cooking equipment. If not, look into rental services in your area. You can use a website like Outdoors Geek to find rental gear. Most national parks boast campsites, which you can learn about finding and registering for here

- Alicia McElhaney / She Spends Issue #59