David is hoping to travel overseas, but he is on a tight budget and needs to find very low-cost accommodation. Sometimes saving money when travelling is all about thinking outside the box.
I am not looking for cheap hotels – I can’t even afford those. So how can I travel overseas and keep accommodation costs to a minimum when I don’t have a cousin in every town?
A. Nine million references can’t be all wrong. That’s how many people have endorsed the Couchsurfing site. This site services millions of members in more than 230 countries and territories worldwide. It offers contacts for locals who are happy to have you stay, travellers seeking companions and lots of low-cost or free events. It’s a community benefit site, and we highly suggest you take a look.
If you don’t like the idea of staying in a stranger’s home, there is always the option of finding a hostel. Although they are often still referred to as ‘youth’ hostels, many hostels around the world welcome and even cater to a range of ages. The Hostelling International website offers information about where you can find hostels, although it is by no means an exhaustive list.
The biggest problem with hostels is that you will still have to pay an accommodation fee. If you are looking for truly free accommodation, and you own your own home, you may wish to look into house swapping. This involves using a company to match you with a homeowner in another country. Both homeowners co-ordinate their travel and, quite literally, swap houses for an agreed period of time. It can be a great way to experience new places as a local might. And who knows – you may even find romance as well!