First, check a hotel price aggregator to compare prices and get a general baseline for per night rates. I like using Trivago and then cross-checking reviews with TripAdvisor. However, be aware that many countries impose a room tax and these extra fees might not be shown until the final checkout.

“One’s destination is Never a new place, But a new way of Seeing things.”

Henry Miller


Hostel is not exactly an accurate representation of a hostel. Hostels are clean and most importantly affordable.

These days, staying in a hostel doesn’t necessarily mean you even have to stay in a dorm as private rooms are available and often much cheaper than a room you might find in a hotel.

Hotel Bidding: Let me be honest, it takes time and patience to do correctly. Especially in the United States, certain websites have popped up like Priceline that allows you to pick your own price.

How long will your trip be?

However, be careful. This option only really works if you’re ok with staying at any hotel Priceline picks for you within your dates of stay, zone, and quality preferences. This means that Priceline will give you a 4-star hotel in section A, but it might give you a 4-star hotel in the part of section A you don’t want to be in. In large metropolitan areas where there’s plenty of fast public transport though, this is OK. There’s a really handy guide here.

There are 196 countries in the world. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newly bitten by the travel bug, it can be difficult to decide where to go. Where you want to go first is widely dependent on your personal preferences.

Perhaps not as cheap as public transportation, but if you need to get somewhere quickly, taxis are the way to go.

Exchange homes! Although you might get more traction if you live in a more desirable area (read: Paris, France not Paris, Texas) and you have to trust that the person you’re swapping homes will respect your home, this is a great option that is cheaper than renting out a hotel room and affords you use of the whole space. Love Home Swap membership fees starts at $20/month, which means that you pay $140 annually – that’s cheaper than a night at 3-star hotel in New York City.