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Get Creative Methods of Accommodation on Your Next Vacation

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Spend Less on Accommodations and More on Fun

I love to travel, but when I do, I don’t have a huge budget. However, I don’t let that stop me. I don’t go on vacation for the accommodations because I spend very little time there. I would rather have that extra money for entertainment. Therefore, I get creative when determining where to stay. One way to do that is by searching for accommodations other than hotels here Creative Methods of Accommodation. There are numerous other ways. I think you’ll be surprised by some of them. Some are even free. Nevertheless, I absolutely will not give up a few things. For instance, it has to be in a safe part of town, relatively quiet, clean, not too secluded, and it must have a good bed.

Rent a Furnished Apartment in Paris

A few years ago, I decided to attempt a trip to France. I had always wanted to see Paris, but I knew it would be extremely expensive; therefore, I would have to get extremely creative to pull it off. I was traveling with a friend, so splitting the expenses would help immensely.

Places located in Paris were out of the question. One night would cost as much as I wanted to spend for the whole week. Therefore, I began my search outside of Paris. We found a great deal on a fully furnished, one-bedroom apartment in Montmartre, which was less than a half hour from Paris. Amazingly, the price was $66 US per night, so that would be $33 each. It was walking distance to two metro stations. The apartment was a very nice Parisian style place built in 1902 and renovated in 2008. It was very small, but as always, we didn’t plan to spend much time there. We wouldn’t be in France for an extended time and we had a lot to see. It did have a bed plus a sofa bed, which gave us ample sleeping room. The kitchen was fully equipped, so that gave us an opportunity to save on food as well. We stayed for a week, which gave us enough time to see many of the sites that we planned to see. The accommodations were a grand total of $231 each.

When not in Paris, the city of Montmartre was a fantastic place to be located. It seemed to attract young people and had a multitude of art galleries, shops, and historical monuments to see. It’s a picturesque city sitting on hilltops with some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen. In addition to the apartment we rented, we found there were many low cost hostels and budget hotels there as well. It was also much more inexpensive to eat there than in Paris. Considering how convenient it is to Paris, Montmartre would be hard to beat for places to stay in France.

Save Hundreds in South America

One of my favorite travel destinations is South America. Not only is it one of the most beautiful and fun places I’ve been to, but one of the most economical as well. We decided to make Quito our home base. We secured a great modern room at the Hostal Huauki Bed and Breakfast for a mere $10 each per night and rented it for five days. It had an unbelievable location in the middle of bars, clubs, restaurants, museums, and much more. We spent the first couple of days in Quito and didn’t begin to see everything.

We I took a bus to Baños, which took about three and a half hours. Buses and taxis are very cheap by the way. We heard it’s a great place to hike. In addition, we wanted to do some rafting, so we did both. The landscape was incredible with waterfalls and hot springs. We did a short rafting trip with a group and it was as great as we expected. As beginners, it wasn’t too rough, but enough to be exciting.

Back in Quito, we walked around old town for a day of exploring and taking pictures of the beautiful historical aspects of the city. We spent a day and evening in Mariscal and took part in the exciting nightlife there. There is so much to do in Ecuador such as horseback riding and zip lining, which is a unique and wild way to see the rainforest. Nothing surpasses the views that are almost everywhere you look. Excellent places to hike are endless.

The next stop of our trip was Rio de Janeiro. Being a favorite vacation destination, hotels are expensive. We decided on a controversial form of accommodations called couch surfing.

Couch surfing is a way to travel with free accommodations if you’re willing to chance having a few inconveniences such as actually having to sleep on a couch. It’s a network of thousands of people willing to put each other up for free when visiting their city. Everyone has a profile on the site that gives information about him or her and about the accommodation. If you are interested in a particular place, you contact the person and set it up.

Some people think it’s a risky way to go; however, in most cases, it goes well. Therefore, we decided to give it a try in Rio. It was much better than I expected. We lodged with a nice guy and we actually had our own bedroom. He was great about letting us in on places to go. In addition, he even furnished the transportation and hung out with us a few times.

We took a cable car up to Sugar Loaf Mountain. The views were indescribable and it was a definite photo opportunity. We wanted to see Ipanema beach, which lived up to its reputation. We relaxed on the beach and watched a game of futvolei, which is similar to volleyball, but with no hands. The people were outgoing and incredibly beautiful. Rio was a memorable experience and the accommodations were $0. Now beat that. Couch surfing has become one of my favorite ways to go.

An Extended Vacation in Mexico City

House sitting is not only an alternative way to get free accommodations, many times; the accommodations are beautiful and luxurious. Most of the time, it’s someone wanting you to take care of their pets, water their plants, and just take care of their house while they’re away. There are several sites where you can sign up and set up a profile showing which locations you’re interested in and what you are willing to do. Additionally, you can search for people requiring a house sitter. The site I used was “Mind My House.” There are people worldwide searching for house sitters. I was able to find one in Mexico City. The job was caring for two poodles and a cat and watering a few plants for three weeks. Naturally, you’re expected to take care of the house and leave it in the same condition you found it. Not only was the house very nice, but a housekeeper and groundskeeper came once a week.

I assumed three weeks would be plenty of time to see everything in Mexico City; however, it wasn’t even close. Being an amateur photographer, I literally took hundreds of photos. We took a journey back in time while visiting the Teotihuacan Pyramids called the Ancient City of the Gods and the Shrine of Guadalupe. We climbed up the magnificent Pyramids of the Sun and Moon and saw the Butterflies Temple, the Avenue of the Dead, and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl.

We spent an exciting day at Six Flags of Mexico City, which is the largest amusement park in Latin America. We rode heart-stopping rides and saw entertaining shows all day.

The area that has been the main gathering place since the Aztecs is the Plaza de la Constitución. You’ll recognize it by the enormous Mexican flag. Many annual events are held here. Several historical buildings border the square. These are just a few of a multitude of sights to see in and around Mexico City.

I highly recommend house sitting as a means to take an extended vacation and still be able to stay in super nice accommodations. The best part of it is that those accommodations are free in most cases. At times, the owners will charge a small amount, but it will still be much cheaper than a hotel.

So there you have it. As I said, there is an abundance of methods to travel and save hundreds on accommodations. Consider all the time you do not spend in your room and you’ll surly conclude that it only makes sense to spend that money on fun. Next time you start planning another trip, why not get creative, and spend your money on the important things.

By John R.

Wayfaring Student is an alternative media platform that aims to inspire people to take the leap and pursue their dreams, whatever those may be.

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