Accommodation is one of the biggest travel cost I have and reducing this usually lead to big savings!

It doesn't matter what your travel style is, but one thing we all have in common when it comes to paying for accommodation is that we don't want to pay a fortune for it. The truth is, one way I'm able to travel for longer is by cutting down on accommodation costs. Since I have to stay somewhere every night, reducing this expense has saved me a lot of money off the total cost of my travel. This are ways I find a decent place to stay without exhausting my funds.

Free Accommodation

The best way I get free accommodation is by staying with someone who already lives in the country I'm visiting. This usually works best because I get to stay with a local who usually provides me with a free place to sleep, local information about food, transportation, things to do and very importantly where the LDS church is located, and also someone to hang out with! There are a few websites that can make this happen:

Global Freeloaders
Hospitality Club

 I mostly use friends referrals or Couchsurfing. Whith this options the goal is to help you not only save money on accommodation, but also learn about the local culture. I've used couchsurfing twice since I started traveling, and I think it’s one of the greatest things that ever happened in travel world. What draws me to this type of accommodation style over and over again is that I get to see the local side of a city. I get taken to parties, and restaurants, and sites that aren’t in any tourist guidebook.


Backpackers are another option for budget travelers. Usually rooms are dormitory-style with all the facilities shared. Many people think of backpacker as for the younger crowd, but most people do not often realize that many backpackers offer small rooms, singles, and doubles designed for solo travelers or couples. The stereotype that they are dirty, crowded, and a gross places to stay at is not true. Most of them are new, really clean, and comfortable.

Backpackers dorms are the best value for budget travelers. The bigger the room, the cheaper the cost. Yes, you have to share a room with a lot of people, but if you are on a budget and traveling long-term like me, it is your best way to save money. If you are traveling in a group, you could get one of the dorms for your entire group and not have to share with strangers.

Finding Cheap Accommodation

There are a couple of websites I use to find cheap accommodation deals. Most people don't travel because they think they have to spend thousands on hotels, which discourage them from even thinking about travel. This are my go to website 

I usually go with booking because they offer the best value for money type of deals deals. For instance I used this site to find accommodation in Mafia Island and for 5 nights I paid R1200 for a double bedroom with sea view, shower and breakfast included. Now that's a great deal because the same room cost R450 per night excluding brackfast. In Zanzibar from the same site I paid R850 for 7 nights in a single bad private room, with aircon and sea view. 

Traveling doesn't have to be expensive! My friends meet me in Zanzibar and for 7 nights it cost them R4000 including return flights and accommodation. Which means if you save R500 for 6 months you can actually make travel a big part of your life. 

The next time you plan your holiday, consider these options as they will help lower your accommodation costs. Get out of the expensive hotel mindset! This will help you reduce your expenses, freeing up more money so you can do activities, eat out, and overall, experience the destination you've been wanting for so long to visit.