Alternative accommodation that can save you big money while travelling

You can travel twice as much with the same money if you vary your accommodation.

Alternative accommodation that can save you big money while travelling

Indians are known to splurge on many things – weddings, education, food, and more. And travel is no exception. To crunch some numbers around it, in 2018, Indians spent $94 billion or Rs 6.5 lakh crore on travelling – both international and domestic. That’s about 182 crore trips. It’s estimated that this spend will rise to $136 billion or Rs 9.5 lakh crore by 2021. 

About $15 billion of the travel budget in 2018 went towards accommodation. Of that amount, luxury hotels accounted for 11%, mid-market and budget hotels made up 48%, and ‘others’ (unrated hotels, hostels, BNBs, etc.) accounted for the rest. 

You can bring down your travel costs significantly if you explore the ‘others’ section of accommodation options – the sweet spot for every seasoned traveller. 

Related: 8 Must-have things for a frequent traveller


This is an increasingly popular lodging option for travellers today. There are several online platforms that allow you to book a homestay in the city/country you’re visiting. They cost about one-fourth of what a 3-star hotel in the same location would cost you. 

For instance, a typical homestay in Goa will cost you about Rs 1200 a night whereas a hotel can cost you upwards of Rs 5,000. Homestays also offer the opportunity to live and interact with the locals and this can be a very enriching experience. 


A favourite of millennials and backpackers, hostels are the go-to budget travel option. Typically cheaper than homestays, they make ideal lodging options for solo travellers. You could find a good hostel in Goa for less than Rs 1000 a night, depending on the type of room-share you select. 

Hostels are also a great way to meet new people, including other travellers from across the globe. They offer the perfect opportunity to do your own thing while also mingling with people. 

Related: 5 Domestic holiday destinations to visit under INR 20,000


If you’re on a tight budget and not too particular about the kind of place to stay in, couchsurfing should be just the right option for you! Online platforms can help you meet and connect with people in the place you’re travelling to before you travel. 

The best part is that on most of these platforms you don’t have to pay anything for lodging because the concept is free hospitality and experiences. So, while you are free to take your host out for dinner or get them a gift, you don’t have to pay them for letting you stay at their home. 

Things to remember

While opting for these alternative stay options can significantly bring down your travel costs, you have to be clear about what you are okay with and what’s non-negotiable. For instance, you may be fine with hostels but not be comfortable with couchsurfing. 

  • Check every review of the homestay, hostel, etc. very carefully because that’s often the key to knowing everything you need to know about the place. 
  • Make sure the location is central or close to the places in the city that you plan to explore. 
  • Try to book a place that offers free breakfast as part of the deal. 
  • A lot of religious places in India, such as Gurudwaras and temples, offer accommodation for free or at a nominal price. But you have to make bookings well in advance to ensure a spot.

Now that you know the trick to cut down your travel costs, get down to planning your itinerary for your next dream location! If you are looking for ways to create travel fund for your next trip, here's a good read for you


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