Budget-Friendly Travel: Accommodations (2023)

Budget-Friendly Travel: Accommodations (1)

Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or a longer, more remote experience, finding just the right place to lay your head at night can be challenging—but it can be crucial to the overall success of your trip. Thankfully, “budget-friendly” doesn’t have to mean cutting corners or sacrificing where you want to be. With the right strategies in place, it's possible to save money without sacrificing location, comfort or convenience.

Here, we’ve rounded up 15 tried-and-true tips for finding budget-friendly accommodations around the world. Whether you're a budget-conscious traveler at heart, or you’re simply hoping to keep a little extra cash in your pocket on your next trip, these tips will help you find affordable accommodations without breaking the bank.

Budget-Friendly Travel: Accommodations (2)

When it comes to travel, the reality is that sometimes our plans are flexible—and other times they’re not. Ask yourself which parts of your trip are solid (for example, are your flights already booked?), and which parts may have some wiggle room in terms of where you stay and when.

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Do Your Homework on Destinations

Before you book, research budget destinations, as some places are inherently cheaper than others. One of the best ways to save money on travel is to choose destinations that are less “touristy” or have lower living costs. By reviewing some of the cheapest places to travel before you commit to booking your trip, you can save money on accommodations, along with food and activities, allowing you to stretch your travel budget further. It can also lead to unique and unforgettable travel experiences in places you never expected.

Look Beyond The City Center

Some urban destinations are simply irresistible—but there are incredible experiences to be had outside of capital cities, too. Consider staying outside the city limits and in an outlying part of the metro area. Not only can this save you money, but it can also provide a more authentic experience of the local culture. Many cities have excellent public transportation systems that make it easy to travel to and from the “downtown” area, so you can still enjoy everything the city has to offer while saving money on your stay overall.

Consider Off-Peak Travel

One of the most effective ways to save money is to avoid traveling during peak season. You can save money on flights, accommodations, and activities by choosing to travel during the off-season. Additionally, you just may find a more relaxed and less crowded travel experience, helping you to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Consider Mid-Week Travel Dates

While it isn’t always possible to control the specific days we travel, avoiding weekends can be a key strategy for finding affordable accommodations, just as it is for flights. In general, many hotels, resorts and other lodging providers have higher rates on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as sometimes on Sundays. For trips of longer durations, it’s impossible to completely avoid these days of the week—but consider planning your more expensive stays during the lull of the midweek: Monday through Thursday.

Budget-Friendly Travel: Accommodations (3)

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Taking a trip doesn’t have to mean a one-size-fits-all approach to lodging. Before you dive into your vacation planning, consider the different types of accommodations available in and around your desired destination. For example, are you planning to cook? Look for rooms with an efficiency kitchen, a shared meal prep area (as in a hostel), or consider booking a full-size apartment or home where you can stock the fridge.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO provide a wide range of affordable options, including apartments, homes, and private rooms that can be cheaper than traditional hotels. These accommodations often come with fully equipped kitchens and living areas, which can save you money on dining out while providing more space for relaxation.


Hostels offer budget-friendly accommodations and a social atmosphere for travelers on an especially tight budget. Dormitory-style rooms can be very affordable, and many hostels offer private rooms as well. Additionally, many hostels provide free breakfast and shared common areas where guests can meet fellow travelers and exchange tips on budget-friendly travel. Start with sites like Hostelworld that help you search destinations and aggregate the options that are right for you.

Alternative Accommodations

Don’t forget about alternative accommodations—such as camping, RV parks, and house-sitting services. While lesser known and a bit harder to plan, these can be excellent ways to save money while traveling. Camping and RV parks can offer scenic views and outdoor activities, while house-sitting services can provide free accommodations in exchange for certain basic services, such as taking care of a homeowner's pets or property.

Consider A Vacation Rental Exchange

Vacation rental exchange services like HomeExchange can help you save money on accommodations by allowing you to swap homes with other travelers. While it’s certainly not for everyone, this can be an excellent way to save money while experiencing a new location like you’re a local. By eliminating the cost of accommodations altogether, you can enjoy more of what your travel budget has to offer.

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You may have decided the general destination(s) you’ll be visiting, but how well do you know the specific parts of town where you’ll want to spend your time? While it can be tempting to browse for the nicest looking property at the lowest rate, be sure you’re also considering the area, as well as where you’ll be spending much of your time while visiting museums, restaurants and other locations on your list. From there, it’s time to dive into the deals!

Check Travel Deal Websites

Travel deal websites like Expedia and Priceline (which are also known as Online Travel Agencies or OTAs)—as well as metasearch engines like Kayak—can be incredibly helpful in finding discounted hotel rooms and flights. These websites allow you to compare prices across multiple travel providers, including in many cases the hotel or hostel itself, and they can provide access to exclusive deals and packages you may not find elsewhere.

Book Directly with Hotels

While OTAs and metasearch engines are an invaluable resource in finding and comparing rates in the first place, booking directly with hotels can sometimes result in better rates or additional perks, such as free breakfast or room upgrades. This is because many hotels offer price-match guarantees, giving you the same low rate for their properties that you’ve found elsewhere—and they may be more willing to negotiate on upgrades if you book directly with them.

Look For Last-Minute Deals

For those with a real spirit of adventure, last-minute hotel deals can provide significant savings, especially during off-peak travel seasons. Apps like HotelTonight and Booking.com's "Tonight Deals" offer discounted rates for same-day or next-day bookings, often at a fraction of the usual rack rate. Still, it’s wise to do your research on seasonal tourism patterns before relying on this approach, or consider having a back-up plan in place in case you’re unable to find rooms on these sites when you need them.

Negotiate Rates

Sounds impossible to negotiate? It’s actually easier than you think to broach the subject. Once you’ve identified the hotel or other accommodation you’d like to book, don't be afraid to ask for a discount—particularly if your plans include a multi-night stay or multiple rooms at once. Some hotels (and even Airbnb hosts and other rental managers) may be willing to offer lower rates during slower seasons, if you’re staying for an extended period, or if it’s the last minute and their room might otherwise go unsold.

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While it’s never a sure thing, hotels, resorts and other accommodations are in a highly competitive space, and individual properties will frequently offer deals to entice travelers to select their property among the myriad others nearby. As a general rule, always take a few minutes to search for deals, along with special offers (such as “fourth night free” packages and other incentives), and be sure to look at available rewards programs to maximize your spend.

Use Rewards Programs

Once you’ve zeroed in on a particular hotel, check to see if it has a rewards program. Joining hotel rewards programs can help you earn points towards free stays or upgrades, as well as giving you access to exclusive deals and discounts. You could save money on travel expenses over time, while also enjoying perks that can enhance your overall travel experience.

Dig for Discount Codes and Coupons

Before booking accommodations (or rental cars, or activities for that matter), be sure to search online for discount codes or coupons—and don’t forget to check the social pages for the hotel, along with the destination’s tourism board. Deals are also frequently shared on websites such as Groupon, RetailMeNot, or TripAdvisor, allowing you to stretch your travel budget further.

Use Loyalty Programs

Joining broader loyalty programs like AAA or AARP can provide you with discounts on hotels and other travel expenses, as well as additional benefits from roadside assistance to travel insurance. Additionally, some credit cards offer travel rewards programs that can help you earn points towards free flights, hotel stays, or rental cars—every time you use your card.

Before you hit the road, read more in our Budget-Friendly Travel series—including tips for finding affordable airfare, along with tips for strategic packing. This advice is designed to help you save money at every step of your journey so you can truly maximize your next getaway.

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What is the most preferred accommodation for low budget tourists? ›

Hostels. Hostels are the most accessible cheap accommodation for budget travelers.

What type of accommodation cater to budget conscious travelers? ›

Motel accommodation usually features a selection of studio, one, or two bedroom units. Tea, coffee and sometimes cooking facilities are provided, and most units have a television. Very affordable, motels are ideal for the more budget conscious traveller who appreciates the ease of a hotel stay.

Why do hotels want to know if you are traveling for work? ›

Hotels ask if you are travelling for work to better understand your needs and provide the best possible experience.

What is the meaning of travel accommodations? ›

Tourist collective accommodation is a facility that regularly or occasionally provides accommodation for tourists, such as hotels, campsites, short-term furnished accommodation, holiday homes, resorts, holiday centres for children and young people, youth hostels and refuges, etc.

What is a cheap place to stay called? ›

What is the meaning / definition of Budget Hotel? A hotel that provides minimum amenities and services for a lower price than a regular hotel in the area. This type of hotel provides clean rooms that are safe and meet the basic needs of a guest.

What is the most inexpensive and convenient form of travel? ›

Buses are easily the cheapest option for travel that you'll find in any country.

What are the 4 major forms of accommodation? ›

Accommodations are typically grouped into four categories: presentation, response, setting, and timing and scheduling.

What is the most popular form of accommodation for tourist? ›

Arguably, hotels are the most popular type of accommodation for tourists. As a hotelier, you can run your hotel independently, which gives it a unique setting or join a corporation, making your hotel a part of a global chain.

What is an example of accommodation in travel? ›

Hotels remain the classic of the tourist accommodation, offering both room and board (breakfast, half board and board). From single rooms to royal suites, the services provided by hotels also include room service, wellness areas, swimming pools, sports facilities, etc.

How do you justify travel for work? ›

Here's how to make sure your travel qualifies as a business trip.
  1. You need to leave your tax home. Your tax home is the locale where your business is based. ...
  2. Your trip must consist “mostly” of business. ...
  3. The trip needs to be an “ordinary and necessary” expense. ...
  4. You need to plan the trip in advance.
Nov 3, 2022

Is it cheaper to book through a travel agent? ›

Generally not, and especially not for short distances. For the most part, any discount you'd get from using a travel agent would be for a combined package. Still, it never hurts to ask if your travel agent can get you a deal on your flight.

Is it worth going through a travel agent? ›

They can help find the best rooms, book services you didn't even know existed and tie all the pieces together on a complicated itinerary. A travel agent can be particularly beneficial if you don't have the time to do all the research yourself, or if you're looking for help in getting the best deal.

What is accommodation examples? ›

Accommodation involves the modification of an existing schema to understand (accommodate) new information. It may involve creating a new schema altogether, for example, a child may have a schema for birds (feathers, flying, etc.) and then they see a plane, which also flies, but would not fit into their bird schema.

What is an essential travel or stay? ›

Essential Workers or Those Traveling to/from Essential Work. Such as: First Responders, Healthcare Workers. People Who Need to Self-Isolate or Quarantine. People Who Cannot Stay in Their Own Home. Because Someone Needs to Self-Isolate/Quarantine There.

What do travelers expect from different accommodations? ›

Some aspects of the guest experience are timeless. Travelers tend to expect, among many other things, cleanliness, complimentary shampoo, proximity to business meetings or key attractions, and a great view.

What do budget hotels provide? ›

Typically, budget hotels are designed to provide a safe, clean place to stay, with compact rooms that have a bed, clean sheets, bathroom, and basic furniture like a table and a clothes hanger. Extras like toiletries are sometimes provided as well.

Which city has the cheapest hotels in the world? ›

Bag some luxury for less at these low-cost destinations

Antalya in Turkey is the cheapest city in the world for five-star accommodation, according to new research.

What is lower than a hotel? ›

Motels are usually smaller than hotels and have fewer features. Most motels offer single room accommodation only and lack cooking facilities. Unlike a hotel, the front door tends to be accessed from the exterior of the building.

How can I travel with the least amount of money? ›

How to travel for cheap? 8 tips to help you to save money
  1. Pick the right destination to make the best with your budget.
  2. Do your research to find the lowest airfare.
  3. Curb your meals expenses by cooking in your trip.
  4. Live it up with some free events.
  5. Pack light with a minimalist packing list.

How to travel with minimal cost? ›

How to travel on a budget: Our 9 best tips
  1. Come up with a plan.
  2. Travel out of season.
  3. Be accommodation-savvy.
  4. Pack properly.
  5. Book flights in advance…
  6. 6. … and be smart about how you fly.
  7. Embrace public transport.
  8. Don't eat away your cash.

What are the most common accommodations? ›

Here, I talk about what these accommodations are, how they look in the classroom, and how they can benefit your child or student.
  • Testing Accommodations. ...
  • Taking Breaks. ...
  • Preferential Seating. ...
  • Extra Time for Assignments. ...
  • Study Skills Instruction. ...
  • Sensory Tools. ...
  • Outlines, Notetakers, and Recordings. ...
  • Environmental Accommodations.

What are three accommodations? ›

There are three main types of accommodations: academic, behavioral, and environmental.

What sort of accommodation would you prefer? ›

What sort of accommodation would you most like to live in? Answer: I would like to live in an accommodation which would preferably be located in a suburb by a lake, neither too far from or too close to the hustling-bustling of the big cities, surrounded by some beautiful green landscape.

What makes an accommodation the best? ›

A good accommodation will always be attentive to you. Their staff will greet you with a warm and friendly attitude, and they'll do anything you need (within reason) to make sure that you have a fantastic stay. If they notice any problems, they'll work quickly and efficiently to resolve them.

What are luxurious accommodations? ›

A Luxury Hotel is considered a hotel that provides a luxurious accommodation experience to the guest. There are no set standards (such as stars) for luxury hotels. Often 4 or 5-star hotels describe themselves as 'luxury'. This also means that any accommodation type can use the term 'luxury'.

What is alternative accommodation? ›

When talking about alternative lodging we mean anything that's not hotels. This includes vacation rentals, guest houses, homes and apartments, villas – basically, everything else that doesn't fit under the umbrella of traditional, organized, short-term lodging.

What is full accommodation? ›

uncountable noun. If the price at a hotel includes full board, it includes all your meals. [mainly British]

What are accommodation expenses? ›

capital expenses such as the costs of buying or renovating the accommodation. purchase costs of furniture, household equipment and other assets for the accommodation.

What are the primary and secondary types of accommodation? ›

Examples include hotels, restaurants, and theme parks. If the main attraction is a primary resource then secondary resources such as hotel accommodation and transport infrastructure will be required for the growth of tourism in a location.

What should I write for reason for travel? ›

10 Reasons We Travel
  • To get a new perspective. ...
  • To see the world through new eyes. ...
  • To gain appreciation for what you have. ...
  • To get some distance from work. ...
  • To get you out of your comfort zone. ...
  • To admire Mother Nature. ...
  • To learn about other cultures. ...
  • To strengthen relationships.
Mar 2, 2016

What do you write in reason for travel? ›

10 reasons to love travel
  1. Travel to leave our world a better place. ...
  2. Travel to meet different cultures. ...
  3. Travel to learn. ...
  4. Travel to escape reality. ...
  5. Travel to relax. ...
  6. Travel to explore. ...
  7. Travel for humility. ...
  8. Travel to eat.

How do you answer how much are you willing to travel? ›

If they ask an open-ended interview question like this about your willingness to travel, you should state your answer as a percentage. For example, you could say: “I'm willing to travel up to 30% of the time. That's what I did in my last job, and I know I'm comfortable with that amount.”

How does a travel agent make their money? ›

Generally, leisure travel agencies' main revenue is from commissions vendors pay on vacation packages, cruises, air, and other add-ons. However, consultation fees and service fees are becoming more common as agencies try to diversify income sources to become less dependent on supplier commissions.

What percentage do travel agents get for a booking? ›

The commission percentage agencies earn depends on numerous factors, the most important one being which private contracts you have access to. Here's a general rule of thumb on the airline ticket commission range you can expect as a travel advisor: Domestic: 0-5% International: 10-22%

What are the pros and cons of booking with a travel agent? ›

Price: The Travel Agent's Cost

Pro: You often don't pay any more for using an agent because most travel agents get referral fees or commissions for booking your trip. Con: But sometimes you do pay more! Airlines, for example, don't pay commissions so you might get charged a fee by a travel agent who books your flight.

Why use a travel agent instead of booking online? ›

Why use a travel agent instead of booking online? Simply put, you'll have a better trip, without the stress of planning your trip alone. A travel agent can accommodate your interests, budget and time frame with their wealth of knowledge and expertise to make sure that you get the most out of your trip.

Can I save money by using a travel agent? ›

You can actually save money when you book a trip with a travel agent. You also save time because travel agents are likely to be more experienced in finding the deals that are available. This way everyone benefits from booking a trip with a travel agent.

What is a reasonable accommodation and give one example? ›

Providing an assistant as needed may be a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability, if this does not impose an undue hardship. Examples include: An assistant may be needed to retrieve items on shelves, file, or selectively assist a person with quadriplegia with other clerical duties.

What is reasonable accommodation and examples? ›

Examples of reasonable accommodations include making existing facilities accessible; job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules; acquiring or modifying equipment; changing tests, training materials, or policies; and providing qualified readers or interpreters.

What is the difference between accommodation and accommodations? ›

Accommodation is commonly used in the plural form (accommodations) to refer to lodging—a place to stay, usually temporarily, as in hotel accommodations. Sometimes, accommodations means both food and lodging, as in This resort is all-inclusive, so all of our accommodations are included in the cost.

What is considered unnecessary travel? ›

What is nonessential travel? Traveling to a second home, either for isolation or a vacation, is nonessential travel and should be avoided.

What is basic travel? ›

Basic Travel is a fully independent travel organisation, situated in Groningen/The Netherlands. Quality guaranteed. Important: every holiday house has been visited by ourselves. So, we are absolutely sure that all the holiday houses we offer comply with the required quality demands.

How do you travel for living? ›

If you want travel to be part of your primary employment, here are some careers to consider:
  1. Travel blogger. ...
  2. Flight attendant. ...
  3. English teacher. ...
  4. Travel photographer. ...
  5. Travel nurse. ...
  6. Tour coordinator. ...
  7. Destination marketer. ...
  8. Translator.
Feb 16, 2023

What are the 4 types of guest? ›

There should always be a standard of service provided, but different types of guests are going to have different expectations of their trip.
4 Common Types of Hotel Guests
  • Backpackers. ...
  • Families. ...
  • Seniors. ...
  • Business travelers.
Aug 6, 2015

What does accommodation mean in vacation? ›

vacation accommodation means a house, townhouse, cottage, cabin, apartment, condominium, mobile home, recreational vehicle, hotel suite, tent, yurt, houseboat or any other.

What is the most popular type of accommodation? ›

Hotels. Hotels are the most traditional and most common types of accommodation.

What is the most expensive type of accommodation? ›

1. The Lover's Deep St. Lucia Submarine – The Underwater Hotel. Most expensive room rate: USD 292,000 per night.

What are the 4 types of accommodations? ›

Accommodations are typically grouped into four categories: presentation, response, setting, and timing and scheduling.

What are examples of accommodations? ›

Examples of accommodations include:
  • sign language interpreters for students who are deaf;
  • computer text-to-speech computer-based systems for students with visual impairments or Dyslexia;
  • extended time for students with fine motor limitations, visual impairments, or learning disabilities;
May 24, 2022

What is the best example of accommodation? ›

Accommodation Examples

Example 2: One classic example of accommodation involves a child who understands that a four-legged creature is called a dog. Then, the child encounters a cat and refers to it as a dog until corrected by a parent. After being corrected, the child can distinguish between a dog and a cat.

How do I choose a good accommodation? ›

Factors to consider when choosing a hotel – the most important...
  1. Factor 1: price.
  2. Factor 2: location.
  3. Factor 3: what's around the accommodation?
  4. Factor 4: reviews.
  5. Factor 5: amenities.
  6. Factor 6: check in and check out times.
  7. Factor 7: cancellation policy and other fine-print details.
  8. Factor 8: the room itself.

How do I choose the best accommodation? ›

How to Find The Best Accommodation For Your Vacation
  1. Use trustworthy booking sites. Safety first! ...
  2. Choose the location carefully. ...
  3. Read reviews. ...
  4. Consider scores in all features. ...
  5. Use stars as a guide only. ...
  6. Look for extra hidden cost. ...
  7. Check the facilities & services. ...
  8. Book early.
Jan 7, 2022

What is generally the largest of all accommodation? ›

Hotel. A hotel is generally the largest of all accommodation types.

Can living in a hotel be cheaper? ›

When you factor in the cost of a lease, utilities, and other expenses, an extended stay hotel can be much cheaper than an apartment. This is especially true if you are traveling for an extended period. Other reasons hotels are cheaper than apartments include: Hotels offer discounts for extended stays.

How do I vacation on a tight budget? ›

How To Save for Vacation on a Tight Budget
  1. Create or prune your budget. If you don't use a personal budget, start now. ...
  2. Spend less and pay down debt. ...
  3. Use automatic transfer to savings account. ...
  4. Reduce weekly spending. ...
  5. Use a credit card wisely. ...
  6. Pick up a side gig. ...
  7. Sell stuff. ...
  8. Look for travel deals.

How can I travel easily and cheap? ›

Here are a few tips I learned along the way.
  1. Pay with points. ...
  2. Redeem miles wisely. ...
  3. Fly with a budget airline. ...
  4. Want to score even cheaper flights? ...
  5. Timing is everything. ...
  6. Don't feel obligated to fly out of the nearest airport. ...
  7. When you travel together, you can split the costs with your friends and family.
Apr 21, 2022


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