When You’re on a Budget and a Dorm Won’t Do
Traveling on a budget means different things to different people. For some, it’s traveling as absolutely cheaply as possible. For others, it means having a fixed limit in mind and prioritizing where that money is spent. When I travel, I look for budget accommodations that are clean, safe, and in a good location. Anything else is a bonus. I’d rather spend my cash on good food and experiences. Occasionally I splurge on a little luxury like the Hotel Royal Corin it’s generally the exception to the rule.
The Quest for Good Budget Accommodations
Read almost any travel blog and you’ll hear the virtues of the hostel being extolled as the best in budget accommodations. I’ve considered it a few times, and while I don’t mind sharing a room with a travel partner, I’m just not interested in sharing a dorm room with strangers. I value my privacy and a private bathroom even more. Dorm rooms are generally the cheapest option for accommodations but just aren’t my style. What are my choices? I’ve explored a few budget conscious alternatives for a night in Paris. There’s more out there than you might think.
Private Hostel Room
You may not get that coveted private bathroom here but you will get a room to call your own. Rooms are priced per person per night, so if you’re traveling solo you’ll have to pay for two people to be able to book the room.
Cost: HostelBookers has private double rooms listed for as low as $31/person ($62 for the room).
Private Room through AirBnB
Sites like AirBnB and Roomorama have become popular recently and you don’t need to rent the entire house or apartment – you can choose to just look at private rooms. Generally you will be sharing the common areas with the property owner and perhaps other guests. Be sure to read reviews, contact the owner and trust your instincts when booking. These are private accommodations rather than a public hotel or B&B.
Cost: AirBnB has private rooms listed for as low as $26/night for the room, whether you’re solo or a couple.
If you’ve got a slightly higher budget you can look into renting an entire apartment instead just one room. Staying in an apartment can really give you a feeling for what it’s like to live in the city or town you’re visiting as well as giving you a kitchen if you want to further stretch your travel dollar by cooking your own food. As with the private room, be sure to check out the reviews on the property first. The owner won’t be staying there with you but don’t want to rent from someone shady since they’ve got a key to the place.
Cost: AirBnB has apartments listed in Paris starting at $50/night for up to two people.
These are generally the one and two star places that are either outside of town, in sketchy neighbourhoods or quite old and outdated. Still, they’re cheap. Definitely read reviews before you book. You may find the occasional gem.
Cost: A one star hotel can be had as cheap as $62/night for a single room, $80/night for a double.
Housesitting is the ultimate in budget accommodations because it’s free, but competition can be fierce. Currently on MindMyHouse.com there are 319 house sitting assignments and over 2000 available sitters worldwide. These listings may require you to look after pets or perform a few tasks around the place. Options are more limited but you stay for free.
So if you don’t want to deal with a stranger’s snore or early alarm clock, you can still find budget-friendly ways to travel the world. My upcoming trip is a combination of hotels, motels and AirBnB apartments. What’s your favourite way to travel? Are you a hostel convert, do you prefer hotels and resorts or are you like me and go somewhere down the middle?