Madrid is best experienced from the ground, by exploring its narrow streets you may end up in an intriguing park, market, tapas bar or sweet performer”. Those are the sentiments of American actor Emilio Estevez. They capture the essence of travel and remind us that it is not about the most expensive hotels and private jets. However, that’s not to say it is about filthy, grimy hotel rooms.
Ask any travel savvy individual and they will confirm that cheap hotels and hostels do not necessarily translate to roach and rat infested spaces. Smart travelers know how to sniff out decent accommodation that will not empty their bank account. While we may ransack our brains about how to find such places, the truth is there are plenty of them available if we know what to look for. Here are some tips on finding cheap but worthy accommodation when planning your travels.
Look for hostels
Have you ever heard of the HOSCARS? Well, this happens to be the awards ceremony for hostels (Hostelworld.com Customer Annual Ratings). They have been held for the last fourteen years in recognition of the best hostels in the world, which proves that there are some very decent hostels all over the world. The list comprises of very affordable options that fall within a reasonable budget.
Indulge in agritourism
Farm stays have the perfect scenic, relaxing environment sought after by most city dwellers. You can stay on a ranch or a farm house at a very subsidized price or do some farm work to pay for your stay (if the owner allows this arrangement). Either way, it is a pocket friendly option even if the meals are included.
Choose to house sit
House sitting is another popular and cheap way to find accommodation. The properties range from suburban family homes to luxurious mansions and the prices are very friendly. Most home owners usually stock the house with food but in case they don’t, it is still cheaper even if you are buying your own food.
Take a short term rental
There are thousands of people who have a lot of room in their homes or have apartments they don’t use Usually these spaces are fully furnished and can be rented out for a set number of days. This is a great option for group travelers as you can split the cost of the accommodation and food, making it even cheaper.
Volunteer for some camping
Camping is by far the most popular cheapest accommodation option in the world. Tried and tested, it is easy to set up, safe and provides you with the “one with nature” experience. Coupled with cost effective measures like cooking food with firewood and catching your own food (for those who prefer the experience), your pocket will remain completely unscathed.
To find the best deals, scour the internet for websites and chat groups discussing cheap accommodation. Also, talk to travel agents as well as friends who can recommend places they know of or have stayed in Remember, however, that the price is also dependent on the season. It goes without saying that you should try and book your accommodation before the high season kicks in Otherwise even the usually cheap spots will be expensive if not exorbitant.