My Pretend Life

How I Find Cheap Accommodation Abroad

I have said this before and I will say it again; in order to travel on a full-time basis, you have to get creative! One of the biggest creative skills I have developed is to find cheap accommodation abroad. As you might already know, accommodation and transportation account for the biggest expenses a traveler has. In order to minimize the accommodation cost, I use three essential tools that allow me to get the best bang for my buck.

Airbnb: Best Way to Find Nice and Cheap Accommodation


If you haven’t heard of Airbnb yet, do yourself a favour and click here. This link is my personal invitation for you to join Airbnb and receive $45 Canadian on your first booking. Yes, that is how much I believe in it! This app has saved me so much money while providing me top notch stays all over the globe. I am not exaggerating!

In case that you are already using Airbnb, here are a few tricks I used to make sure I get the best deals possible:

  1. Always read reviews and make sure that the place you are interested in is exactly as it is described. Your best allies are other guests.
  2. Check how far you are from attraction points. This might not seem so important but trust me, if you are far from where you want to visit, you will be spending all the money you saved on transportation.
  3. Once you have decided on a place, message the host and ask for discounts. This is especially applicable if you will be staying for a week or longer. I cannot count how many times I have gotten much better deals just by messaging the host and simply asking for a better price. Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.

Walk Around and Ask in Person

Are you more on the adventurer side? I get it, so am I. The best deals I have found have been for long term rentals (one month to three months). However, these accommodation arrangements haven’t been made on Airbnb or through hotels. These have been arrangements that I have found by walking through the town I am in or the city I am in and asking locals if they know of any rental spaces.

If you have been following my Instagram, you might have noticed all the nice places I stay at. Believe me when I say that 50% of these spaces have been found on as I walk through and negotiate face-to-face with the owners. This is how I find very cheap accommodations since there is no middle man to pay fees to.

Shared Accommodation

Cheap Accommodation hostels

We all have different preferences. If you prefer to stay in places where you get to make new friends, things are already arranged for you (tours, activities, etc.), or breakfast is served as soon as you wake up; then you might want to consider hostels. There are a few reasons why I like hostels and a few why I don’t.

I think hostels are amazing if you don’t mind sharing common areas and bathrooms. You usually have the option to choose between a private room or a shared dorm. I have done the shared dorm experience many times and 95% of the time my dorm-mates were respectful and polite. Then there were those few odd times where there was one person who didn’t care about anyone else and was loud, obnoxious, or left the lights on.

I know, I sound like I really didn’t enjoy my experiences. This is far from the truth, but I do have to be honest about the few times it didn’t work out for me. Hostels are fun and a great way to make new friends with whom to explore the city you are visiting but just be mindful that there are a few odd occasions which are annoying.


Of course, there is always the option to stay in hotels, villas, all-inclusive, and even castles. Those are not necessarily budget accommodation options, and therefore I didn’t mention them. Regardless of how you choose to travel, I know that you will have a blast.

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