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As many of you know, I’ve been travelling Asia since the beginning of this year. Although Pete and I have successfully secured work to earn money on the road (certified Digital Nomads, don’t you know), travelling on a budget and finding budget accommodation is still one of our main priorities.
I’m a firm believer in budget travel being one of the best ways to experience a new culture. Street food, local markets, and cheap accommodation offered by local establishments are by far the places we’ve experienced a more authentic side of the place we’re staying in.
Not only that, travelling on a budget means we can afford to work less and travel more!
We’re not earning anywhere near what we made in the UK, but when you spend your money on what makes you happy, and limit the rest, travelling long-term is a whole lot easier.
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One of the biggest drains on any traveller’s funds is accommodation. We all need a place to sleep, and these costs can really rack up. Learning how – and where – to find budget accommodation is essential. We still have standards too, so we want a great value place at low prices.
To guarantee the best deals on your accommodation, check out a few of the travel hacks we’ve been using:
When I first used Airbnb last year, I was slightly terrified at the prospect of sleeping in a total strangers spare room. Now, it’s my first port of call for finding great deals on accommodation.
Airbnb finds rooms or entire homes often hosted by local people with the space to rent out. It’s actually a great little money earner if you’ve got a spare room!
In my experience, the reviews and descriptions provided on the site are perfectly accurate so you know what you’re getting, and you can sometimes find rooms right in the heart of the city at a fraction of the price of surrounding hotels.
The best part?
If you’re staying for a longer time, you can receive a percentage discount. We’ve had some places offer as much as a 49% discount when staying a month or longer.
This is a big reason we choose to stay a lot longer in each destination, and makes the digital nomad lifestyle far easier on a budget! If you haven’t used AirBnB before, defintely give it a try.
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If you’re looking for an Airbnb stay, search for a week rather than 6 days, or a month rather than 3 weeks and you’ll often find a far better deal for you money!
If you haven’t signed up to Airbnb before, signing up through this link will give you $35 off your first stay, and will also give me $75 of travel credit – win-win! Click here to sign up to Airbnb and book your next stay today.
I’m not always massive advocate of using booking agents for accommodation, but booking.com has surprised me with the great value deals they have for hotel rooms.
In some locations, especially the more remote cities and towns, booking agents will not have the contact details for local budget accommodation, and you can often find a better deal by calling the hostels and guesthouses you find online directly.
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However, if you’re staying in a larger town or city, take a look at it. They often have some really great discounted deals and provide detailed reviews of the accommodation listed, so you can be sure you’re getting good value for your money!
If you create an account and leave regular reviews, they’ll also upgrade your status on the site and offer you exclusive secret deals on future accommodation.
Most recently, we managed to book a stay at the beautiful La Paloma Spa in Phu Quoc, Vietnam for just £14 per night!
As with Booking.com, Agoda can offer some great discounted deals on accommodation for a lot of destinations, both in major cities and more remote locations.
(hint: always filter from lowest to highest, but do pay attention to the rankings!)
I find Agoda a little annoying as they list the price of a room per night rather than for the total stay I’ve listed, but this is a minor annoyance when you consider some of the great deals to be found there.
If you’ve left finding your next hotel a little late, jump on Agoda to see the last minute deals they have listed – often you’ll find something at pretty good value!
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Forums and Blogs
Travel blogs aren’t just there to look pretty and make you jealous – many contain useful information and great tips on local accommodation, sightseeing tips, food, and more!
If I’m struggling to find value accommodation for our next destination, I’ll often search “*destination name* travel blog” into Google and see what comes up.
More often than not, some useful travel blogger has written a full review of the destination, and included a few links to good budget accommodation too.
Word of Mouth
Every long term traveller values a great deal. Talk to the people staying in your hostel about where they’ve been – you may find someone is doing the exact reverse route of you, and already has insider knowledge about your next stop.
If you haven’t left yet, use Facebook, twitter etc and ask people for reviews. The best accommodation is always the place people can’t wait to tell you about – so see what turns up.
Word of mouth can be a great way to find out about some hidden gems that haven’t hiked up their prices to match the amount of attention they get.
How do you find budget accommodation when you travel?