Next to airfare, accommodations usually take up a huge chunk of one’s travel budget. In fact, sometimes, airfares can be cheaper than hotels. This is especially true if you fly on a budget airline. However, there are many ways by which you can find cheap (or maybe even free) accommodations. You just need to exert a little more effort. Here are some ideas.
Be a couch surfer. What in the world is this? If you’re a budget traveler, then you probably have heard of this. I am not into couch surfing, but my friends who are swear by it. The idea is to join a community composed of likeminded people who travel like you do. When you travel, you can look for a host who will offer his “couch” for you to sleep in, and vice versa. I think I shall write more about this in a separate post. Bottom line: you get free accommodations.
Look for last minute deals. This can be risky as you may not be able to score cheap rooms, but if you’re adventurous enough, you just might get the biggest break of your hotel-hunting life. There are several web sites specializing in this, but from what I hear, www.lastminute.com is pretty reliable.
Take advantage of your credit card. Every so often, I would receive promos with my credit bill. More often than not, discounts for hotels are included – if the credit card is used to pay the bill, of course. Keep those discounts in mind as most of them are valid for a year anyway.