Budget Travel Without the Hostels

Costa rica hotel
Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal; La Fortuna, Costa Rica


When planning to travel on a budget, most people will recommend staying in hostels to maximize time abroad. When it is not your first backpacking expedition or trip to Europe, the thought of DIY accommodations with shared bathrooms might make you want to stay home. As an experienced traveler, I recommend some other options if you want to travel on a budget but you have outgrown the desire to stay in barracks style rooms and wear shower shoes.

Pro Tip 1: Find a package deal to where you want to go. Package deals might include guided tours with a group, but other times it might just be a flight + hotel + car. This will give you greatly reduced airfare, even if you want to stay longer than the set time for the trip.

Places to find a good package deal might surprise you. Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com have package deals that are so cheap, you might worry if they are legit. In my experience (I went to Peru this year on a Groupon), I find that it works best to locate the deal, call the travel company directly to confirm the dates, and then purchase the trip.

Pro Tip 2: Use AirBnB for clean and budget friendly accommodations. AirBnB.com is ideal if you are traveling alone or are in large cities where hotel prices are over the top. Other options include Homeaway.com and VRBO.com

Pro Tip 3: If you are going with a group, organize your own personal tour. Tour companies will set you up with bulk airfare and hotels for groups of 6 or more.

My favorite tour company is Gate 1 Travel (www.gate1travel.com). Their package deals are outstanding and they have a trip layaway plan that allows you to make payments on your trip. If you book a group of 6 or more, you get your hotels for free.




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