Matt Forney
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How to Save Money on Accommodation When Traveling

accommodation

You don’t need to pay through the nose to get decent lodging when you’re on vacation. In this video, I share with you my tips and tricks for getting cheap, inexpensive accommodation when you’re on the road or abroad.

Remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more updates. Video transcript by Eve Penman.

Transcript

Hey there, kids. In this video I want to talk a bit more about how to save money on lodging when you are traveling. Now, this has been a sort of series I’ve been talking about. Last week I had a video that talked a bit more about the cost of things specifically in the Philippines, and the week before that I had a video that was about saving money on airfare.

Now, in this video I’m going to talk a bit more about how to save money on lodging itself. This is applicable not only to the Philippines but to the U.S. or any other country you want to go to.

Now, there are a whole bunch of options when it comes to finding places to stay in cities. You don’t necessarily have to go to hotels, big fancy hotels. If you’re willing to—pardon me there. If you’re willing to research a little you could save a good deal of money.

My number one resource when it comes to finding cheap places to stay in the city is Airbnb, mainly because you can get actual apartments, not just hotel rooms. They’re usually much cheaper than hotel rooms, located in much better locations, and just tend to be a bit safer.

Now, also, depending on where you are, I mean, if you’re going to, say, a country, to, say, pick up chicks, having an apartment is a big advantage over, say, a hotel room. Because a lot of these girls, if they aren’t excepting you to marry them, they expect to have some kind of relationship with you. And if you have an apartment, that shows that you’re serious about putting down roots and that you aren’t just some transient backpacker who wants to just screw them and run. So, having an apartment is not just, you know, it doesn’t just have material benefits, it’s also beneficial for your relationships.

Airbnb, it’s very simple to use. Just go on to Airbnb.com, for the dates that you want to go to a particular place; punch in the city and you’ll be able to find tons of places.

Now, I owe this tip to my friend Dom Torres over at DomTorres.com. There’s a link to his blog in the description, but the price that’s listed on an Airbnb listing, that’s not necessarily the price that you have to pay. You can actually haggle down with many of the providers and pay a lot less money than you ordinarily would.

For example, this particular said, I’m recording this from my apartment here in Davao City, I got this off of Airbnb. And when I contacted the owner and was inquiring about renting it, she gave me a special deal because I told her I was going to be here for two months, so she wanted to get me for that whole time so she gave me a big discount. So if you see a listing you like, you want to see if you can haggle the price down and try and convince the owner to give you a deal.

And remember, you should always ask, because even if you don’t think you’ll get it, because this goes not just for the Airbnb listings, but for anything you want in life. Always ask for it because the worst that will happen is that you’ll be told no. Big deal.

Another good option, at least here in the Philippines, I’ve talked about this in the prior podcast—not prior podcast—prior video. There’s a special type of housing here in the Philippines for travelers called apartelles; a mix between an apartment and a hotel. Apartelles have some of the amenities of hotels, such as they have maid service, but they’re places where you can stay long-term without having to sign a contract, sign a lease or make some huge commitment.

So, if you’re going to come to the Philippines, specifically research apartelles in the city you happen to be going to. You should be able to find some good deals.

And, again, with these prices, at least here in the Philippines, you know, you can haggle down the price that is quoted at you by the owner. You don’t have to pay exactly what they’re asking. In fact, they expect you to haggle. Don’t ever, ever pay the price when it comes to something like this because, again, if you ask for a lower price the worst you’ll be told is no.

Another good option, particularly if you’re a serious budget traveler, hostels. There are even hostels in the United States. Now, a lot of people—I mean, hostels are something of a—you get a lot of idiots, left-wing hippie types who go to hostels, but you can also meet some cool people. And more importantly, hostels tend to be very centrally located in big cities and they tend to be a lot cheaper than a hotel of the equivalent of size, equivalent location.

Now, the thing with hostels is a lot of them do offer private rooms, so you’ll be paying a bit more, but even so, a private room at a hostel is going to be cheaper than a hotel room in the same area. So research hostels in your area and you can find some good deals.

When you book a hostel, I recommend Hostels.com if you want to search for hostels in the area that you’re having to go in. Make sure you read the rules and regulations they have, because some of these hostels have weird restrictions on who can’t stay there and who can stay there.

For example, I stayed at one hostel in New York City, one that restricts their services to people between 18 and 34.  They make you show photo ID and if you’re older than 34 they cancel your reservation. Here’s another fantastic story.

Now a lot of the hostels in the New York City area prohibit people who are from New York state specifically from staying there. Now, this is fairly common at hostels and it makes sense. They don’t want, say, transients from the local area just taking up space in the hostels, so they restrict local residents from staying at them, but most hostels in most cities will do this in a way that makes more sense.

I believe the hostels in Chicago restrict people based on the ZIP codes on their photo IDs. Or they’ll, say, restrict, say, they’ll require a non-American passport to stay, and that stuff makes sense. But I went to New York City a few months ago for a meet-up and to see a concert. I booked at this one hostel in Brooklyn. I get there and I’m just waiting; I’m having the guy process me and he tells me, oh, sorry, New York state residents are not allowed to stay at this hostel, even though this is not stated anywhere on their website.

What I should have done, clarified before I even booked the place. I probably should have just given them a call and asked them if they had that policy. You know, bully on me. But basically make sure you read the rules and regulations before you commit to anything, because a lot of these places will not return your—when you put down the down payment, that’s nonrefundable. Like I said, you don’t want to end up paying money for something you won’t be able to use.

And another option for saving money in big cities would be, when traveling would be Couchsurfing. I’m really not a big fan of the website Couchsurfing. It’s kind of pretentious, it’s sort of Facebooky; people are more interested in showing off how cool they are. But at the same time you can use it—if you’re good at working that sort of angle, you can get places to stay for free or cheap there, I recommend going on Couchsurfing.com. And that pretty much covers it.

Like I said, if you are a conscious consumer and you know where to look and you know what kinds of deals you can find, you can stay in big cities or expensive places for relatively cheap. There are obviously limits to this technique, but you can travel more than you think you can, and you can do things you think you wouldn’t be able to. You don’t need to be rich in order to travel, you don’t need to be rich in order to stay in a centrally located area, like in New York City or Chicago, wherever. You just need to know where to look, and if you know where to look your experiences of traveling will become that much more fun.

Now, illegitimi non carborundum, don’t let the bastards grind you down. I’m Matt Forney and I am out.

Read Next: How to Save Money on Airfare

  • citizen49a

    Always try to negotiate everything in Asia or South America. Sometimes travelers don’t do this because the item they’re buying is cheap and the discount is inconsequential to them. There’s also sometimes a feeling that the local they’re buying from will appreciate the extra 25 baht or whatever.

    The truth is that the local expects to bargain, and this is really a part of the interaction. He’s going to think you’re a dumb sap if you don’t try to bargain with him a little. If you want, you can bargain him down 30%, then smile and give him back say 1/2 of the discount you haggled out of him. A lot of guys will get a kick out of that.

    Also, always ask to see the room before you give the clerk money. Photos over the internet are good, but I’d still want to look at it in person before handing over the cash, especially in out of the way venues.

    You’re not in Cleveland anymore. Once you give up the cash, you bought the room. It doesn’t matter if the AC doesn’t work or it smells like cat piss. The principle in the 2nd and 3rd world is once the money changes hands, the transaction is complete. You didn’t check your end of the deal out first, well, you just made a bad business deal. Better luck next time.

  • Yup. Inspecting the room beforehand is a good idea, and does not seem to be frowned upon (at least it wasn’t in China, at the hotels that I stayed at). It can help you to make new friends or perhaps more if you play the game right too.

  • befunknote

    I work at a hostel. Please never come there. I would kick you out in an instant because you are a scumbag.

  • Hell_Biker

    “Liked” not because i agree with you, but because I got a literal laugh from your comment.

    The only difference between this dude and the people you idolize is that this guy admits that he’s an asshole. The others try to mask it with an air of self-righteousness.