How Cheap Can I Sleep?
As a traveling family, in addition to the day-to-day challenges we are facing, finding places to put our head in new places can be very challenging as well. When we look for a new place to “camp out” for a while, we must consider several factors such as cost, space of the room, space of the hostel/guest house/hotel, potential of social options to us the mainly to the kids, safety, and convenience. You can imagine how challenging it can be when we arrive to a place we have not idea about and the only information we got is according to someone else opinion.
In the past, we followed recommendations of some travelers we met and sometimes we found ourselves so exhausted and disappointed. And from to time we (thought we tried not to rely on this book) took the Lonely Planet Guide advices about certain accommodations and we arrived only to find out that things changed a lot since the book was written. In addition, just like in wrote in my travel blog, Gabi and I have to take into account our privacy when we consider a new place.
Throughout our journey, we had the privilege to ‘taste’ various types of accommodations with minimum conditions such as spending two weeks in tent in Huanchaco, Peru or spending two months in a very basic cabin in a remote area of an Ecuadorian jungle. On the other hand, we enjoyed the high end class such as one week in a five-star hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. And everything else came between. You can read more about it in post Liquefied Homelessness.
When we started the trip, our first stop was NYC, USA. I don’t have to tell you how expensive it can be booking a family of five into a simple hotel in Manhattan. There is no way we could start our economical, low-budget journey around the world spending that much money in one week. If we did not make a solid choice to seek cheap options, our trip would be over long ago. 2-3 nights, no including anything else, at a hotel in Manhattan can cover one month of travel in SE Asia that include transpiration, food, accommodation and perhaps a souvenir or two. Got the point?
So what do we do? How can we find affordable options when we are traveling in more costly destinations such as NYC, Tokyo, Moscow, and Granada?
So here it is. First, we found this amazing site, airbnb.com, where you can book a place of others who left for vacation or they just have their place vacant. Over there, you can find listing of many houses, apartments, or rooms. The prices are associated with each of your preferences. But the point I am trying to make here that you can even negotiate these prices. Remember, just because it says, for example, $74/night, it doesn’t mean you have to pay this price. We contacted the owner/landlord of the place we liked via this site and asked him for a discount. There is no shame in that people. And guess what? We got a major discount of a flat in NYC and it was awesome. Also, if you want to find cheap apartments in Granada, for example, or any other place in the world, just follow what I had told you and I am confident you will discover options that fit your budget and comfortably host your family.
Another great option is to use CouchSurfing.com. Free comfortable accommodation is always the best choice for low-budget traveler. You will be surprised how many good people out there will to provide you their place and their time to make your visit in their hometown interesting and cheap.
If you have similar stories to share with us about how you managed to save money on accommodations in different place in the world, let us know.
Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Television In Room)
Image courtesy of The Nomadic Dad at www.lovely-travel.com (RV)