1. Couch Surf– The couch surfing community offers a platform where locals and travelers network. Hosts offer accommodations to travelers and are not allowed to charge for lodging.
2. Go Hosteling– Hostels have come a long way. When you hear the word hostel the image of a bed-bug infested dorm room full of strangers might form in your mind. While that might have been true of hostels of old modern hostels now offer private rooms with bathrooms (for an additional cost) which makes them feel more like a hotel. Hostels are a great way to meet other travelers if that is one of your goals. Hostels are even listed on some online travel websites such as hotels.com and booking.com or you can check out hostelworld.com and hiusa.org for more hostel info.
3. Barter for Lodging-Leverage the skills you have instead of cash in order to get lodgings without paying for them. Many times bartering for lodging will get you accommodations in exchange for helping the property owner with some sort of work that needs to be done.
4. Housesit-Housesitting is defined as watching other people’s property while they are away on business or pleasure. Utilize platforms such as trustedhousesitters.com, mindmyhouse.com, or nomador.com to find one of these coveted gigs. Be sure that you do your research on the owner of the house you plan to sit for.
5. Camp-If you love the outdoors camping can be an inexpensive way to cut the costs of accommodations. See cciworldwide.org, or campingcardinternational.com for additional information.
6. Find a Travel Companion– When you travel with a friend you can split the cost of lodging. This is a great benefit of having a travel buddy.
7.Seek Lodgings offered on a smaller scale than a hotel– Book lodging on sites such as Airbnb.com, Innclusive.com, or Cross-pollinate.com in order to rent a room or an entire apartment or house. The platforms allow you to obtain accommodations at a fraction of the cost of a hotel.
8. Use Groupon or Living Social– Living Social and Groupon have been known to have offers for Lodging at a reduced price. Just make sure you read the fine print. Pay particular attention to any language on “Double Occupancy” , “Single Supplement”, or “Resort Fee” requirements.
9. Utilize loyalty programs-If you are a part of a loyalty program such as Hilton Honors or Hotels.com Rewards you could use previously acquired points to offset the cost of lodging.