Why Travel Accommodations Don’t Have to Cost You a Fortune

Who doesn’t like money?

I don’t think I know a single person who couldn’t put their hands up and say, “I’d like a bit more money in my life. Except maybe Oprah, but she’s living the dream so she doesn’t have to hold her hands up and say that. I mean, heck, she could probably buy two new hands and hire someone else to hold them up if she wanted to. (Why she would ever do that is a mystery though, so let’s not get too hung up figuring out the logistics of that scenario.)

If you’re thinking about going away, accommodation costs are, for most people, the biggest money-eater of any trip, but there are definitely ways to save; generally, it depends on the type of trip you’re taking.

Yes, it would be great if we could all just fashion portable enclosures made out of old food packaging. But that’s a foolish pipe dream so we need to come up with something practical.

Firstly, how much you pay depends on where you’re going. A city break might end up costing you more than a weekend in the country, for example, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

You can find great, last minute deals online. And don’t assume a room will be sold for the same price from every company. Absolutely not, my friend. Some sites will sell a hotel room for as much as half the cost of others. Isn’t that crazy?

Also, don’t base everything on the star system. Those little points are awarded for services offered, not the quality of the room available.

Comparison sites such as cheaphotels.com are a great way to get a good deal and it’s definitely advisable to use them, but also check the hotel’s own price as they often run special deals of their own. Just be aware that certain sites leave out the fact that hotels might charge a daily room tax. It doesn’t happen everywhere, but some countries will add it on, so make sure you check to avoid being slapped with an extra charge when you arrive.

As an alternative, you could also look into different types of accommodation — it’s not all about hotels, so let’s not get carried away! I feel like hostels take a bad rap in the holiday accommodation stakes, when really they’re just as good as hotels and often far less expensive. You can get single or double rooms, so don’t be paranoid about staying in a dorm — just plan ahead and you’ll be right as rain!

Photo Credit: Nestor Lacle


  1. 1


    I traveled around the US on a motorcycle last summer so we weren’t too picky about being in a central location. Many hotel finders have maps with the price, and going an extra 10 miles would often save us a lot of money.

  2. 2


    It can be even cheaper if you’re willing to get creative.

    If you’re traveling to a bigger city, airbnb.com usually has plenty of options that are always cheaper than hotels. If you’re traveling with enough people for it to make sense, you can even rent a house, either on that site or on another house-specific site like VRBO.com.

    If you want to get even cheaper and have the capability for and don’t mind reciprocity, there are things like couch-surfing and house swap sites.

  3. 4

    Olivia says

    We’re planning a “college visit” for our youngest next fall (sniff, he’s growing up), in pricey Sanford, FL. Airbnb has some good prices, plus it looks like you stay with neat/friendly people.

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    The Priceline and Hotwire methods of booking hotels has worked nicely for me. You can get 4 and a half star hotels at 2 star prices. In my younger days couch surfing was my favorite way to plan an overnight stay (cause nothing is better than free, right) but now that I’m married hotwire and priceline really give me that happy medium.

    and debtlag is right – airbnb is another fantastic alternative. plus you get to stay in a really cool one of a kind place.

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    Yelp.com may be a good resource for finding hotels and motels in city and town you’re visiting.

    We used Yelp to find a good hotel in Disney World a few years ago with continental breakfast included. It costs us less than $30 a night.

    We liked the hotel and stayed there for a week.

  6. 8


    I guess it really depends on a persons lifestyle. Most of us who are concerned enough about our finances to read about it are probably not going to stay in resorts with spas for most of our travels. We probably are more practical about it, realizing that a place to stay while traveling is really just a home base to put your stuff, a place to get cleaned up, and to sleep.

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    My husband likes more luxurious accommodations that what I’d settle for, but Priceline has been great for us. I don’t care if my bid’s rejected–low-ball and see what happens, is my motto! It works out very well for us.

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    We’re crashing at friends and family’s places this summer. :)
    I don’t mind hostels, but they are not really common in the US, right? I have only stayed in hostels outside of the US.

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    Sean says

    I’m a fan of the Secret Hotels on Travelocity. With a bit of research, you can usually figure out what hotel you’ll be staying at. My wife and I have used Secret Hotels a couple times and had fairly good luck.

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