Lodging is an enormous expense, typically second to air travel. If you want to long term travel, you have to learn how to do lodging lite.
For our travels we stay a variety of ways depending upon what we are trying to get out of the experience.
Hostels: Hostel World and Hostels.com. The usability and ratings systems on both are top-notch, and we have yet to be disappointed by the website services (that’s not to say we haven’t had issues with some of the hostels, but that is another story).
Hotels: Hotels.com*. Dorm life is nice until it’s not, and when we want some peace and quiet to just unwind in after a long travel day, or just for some RNR, having every 10th hotel free is a nice way to splurge and save.
*A note on Hotels.com – Book a hotel before Midnight CST/CDT. They do not allow same day bookings if it is past this time, and this has caused us grief on multiple occasions.
Comparison shopping: Kayak. Out of every comparison search engine we’ve used, this is a good way to find the cheapest listed place at that time. Just clear your caches so you can avoid a surprise price hike (due to “increased demand” from all your searches!).
Staying with the locals: AirBnB has been a go-to for us no matter where we have gone. You can usually get a room / whole house / apartment for fractions of what it would cost to get a hotel in the same place. Make sure to confirm where you would like to visit before you book, because sometimes they can be further afield that you would like…but overall with proper planning you get great deals in beautiful cities for much less than a comparable hotel. Click here to get the scoop on how to be great guest.
Adventurers: Desiring a more off the beaten path travel experience? The lodging saga continues with How to Travel for Free (or Nearly Free!) –>