Budget Travel in Europe – Accommodations

      IMG_0266  Amsterdam  IMG_0783  IMG_0945 (1)

European cities are full of amazing opportunities to save on your accommodations.

I’ll break down some of the best options for you to save money while having an enjoyable stay.

Couchsurfing

  •  Couchsurfing is an online community where members can request to stay at others homes, or accept to host a fellow traveler.
  • Accommodations can very from a spot on the couch, mattress on the floor of a living room, or a spare bedroom.
  • Couchsurfing is not just a free place to stay. Most hosts enjoy guests who are interested in the cultural aspect of travelling, and will make an effort to get to know the host and the cultural community in that city/country.  If you are willing to get to know someone on your trip (I promise it will make your trip much more interesting), this is a great opportunity for you.
  • Be prepared to spend some serious time building a profile and contacting hosts.  Just as you would want to see what the person is like who may be staying in your own house, they want to see the same. Get verified, and have friends endorse you positively.
  • You may want to attend monthly meet ups in your city before you embark on a couchsurfing trip. It will give you a feel for it, and others will surely give you hints on how to make your travels more enjoyable.
  • ALWAYS have a backup accommodation in mind in case plans change or you do not feel comfortable in the hosts home.
  • Try to thank the host with a small gift. Most will kindly decline if you offer it in advance (since it isn’t for a monetary gain, instead the experience of getting to know people from around the world), however even making dinner for them, or a nice bottle of wine is a nice gesture.
  • I traveled throughout Europe Couchsurfing and LOVED it. It took a little extra organization and planning before, however we met amazing people and I only have great things to say.

Hostels (Hostels.com , Hostelworld, HostelBookers)

  • Check out the above sites for the most popular used hostel search and booking sites.
  • Hostels can vary depending on location, however they usually range from 2 person rooms – 20 person rooms and cooed, female only or male only dorms.
  • Hostels are a great choice if you are travelling alone or looking to meet people. ***Keep contact with them.  Make plans to stay with them when you are in their area!!!***
  • Prices range anywhere from 10Euro/night-100Euro depending on the location and date, however on average are MUCH more cost effective than a hotel.
  • Be aware that hostels have varying services. Some include bed linens, some not. Some include breakfast, some not. Some require a membership for all hostels in that organization – if you don’t have this membership which is usually a one time fee, they will charge you an extra charge per night. Please make sure to look at the small print when booking on hostel sites as they last minute charges are added on once you arrive.
  • I highly suggest bringing a long or renting a locker for your stay in hostels. Not everyone is as always honest as we would hope they would be… 😦

AirBnB

  • Online community that helps people rent out their homes to people looking for accommodations.  Nightly-long term.
  • Rentals of both private rooms, and entire houses/apartments.
  • Often same price or a little more expensive than hostels. However I did have an experience where I was in Amsterdam for Queensday long weekend, and hostels were hitting 50+Euro a night for 20 person mixed dorms -> I was able to share an Airbnb apartment with a friends for a total of 70Euro/night (so 35Euro each and we had our very own place!!)
  • If renting a private room, hopefully you can meet some awesome people!
  • Fairly safe – peer reviewed, insurable.
  • Very nice to be able to keep your stuff there and have it safe.

Bed & Breakfast (https://www.bedandbreakfast.eu/,     http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/)

  • Bed and Breakfasts offer you a great way to visit a location and have a feeling of “home”.
  • Varying in price, however on average more expensive than hostels, and cheaper than hotels.
  • Great option for couples!
  • Prices are usually all inclusive. No hidden fees for  linens, food, etc.

Hotels (BookingVenere,  Eurobooking. or any major hotel booking site). 

  • On average, hotels are your most expensive bet when it comes to accommodation options.
  • This being said, their are some great budget hotels that offer beautiful accommodations for very good prices.
  • This is a great option if you are travelling with a couple and prefer more privacy.
  • Many hotels in Europe offer breakfast included!

 

My recommendations:

  • Couchsurf – Best experience of my life, saved a ton of money, learnt a ton about the culture and lifestyles of various countries than any other possible alternative. It was also great on the budget!!!!
  • Have a backup hostel just in case.
  • Want a relaxing stay somewhere, Airbnb or a cheap beach hotel should the trick.
  • When our travelling, talk to everyone! You never know where they live, and they might even offer to host you when you’re around there next!
  • Unless you plan on spending a ton of time in your room, choose places based on cleanliness, safety, and location. When you are out travelling everyday the time you spend in your actual room is very minimal.  As long as you have somewhere where you can head back to at night which is clean, safe, and easy to get to, you’ll be rested for the next day of adventure.

 

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