Types of Accommodations:
Hotels– Staying in hotels are nice but they can be very costly. Yes, they are generally clean and have some services that hostels don’t, but the prices vary from €50 – €200 per night.
Hostels– are ideal for the traveler wishing to save money. Depending on where you stay you can pay as little as $10 per night and sleep in a comfortable room with 4-10 other travelers. The best hostels are filled with bars, pool tables, ping pong tables, and most importantly young fellow travelers. Most of them have themed party nights like toga or karaoke night. Also, the reception is where all travelers can find information about the city they are visiting. Tip: don’t be afraid to ask the front desk person for suggestions on actives and suggestions in and out of the hostel, they know the area the best and have tons of good information to give.
Hostels are a great way to meet other people because of the shared living space in the rooms. Of course, if you opt to book a shared room make sure you lock your things in a locker. Almost all hostels have lockers but in case they don’t you can always lock our bags and chain them to the bed post. (Bring a small lock and chain just in case).
Personally, I’ve never had my things stolen but you never know who is looking for a new tablet. This is a communal way of living so you will be sharing space with other people and the privacy is limited. Don’t let these facts scare you way from hostels, they are truly the best things for travelers. If your unsure about sharing rooms with others, most hostels give options for a private or double room depending on how comfortable you feel sleeping in a room with strangers.
The best page and application I found for finding great affordable hostels was a hostels.com it’s awesome.
Extra tip: the best hostel I have ever stayed in was Plus Berlin. It was a huge hostel with a game room, in door swimming pool and its own restaurant, also, totally affordable; if you go to Berlin be sure to check out this place, it’s amazing. Also check out the other Plus hostels located in Venice, Rome, Florence, and Prague.
Air B n’ Bs – are nice because you can temporarily rent someone home or apartment and have the luxury of your own room, kitchen, living room, and showers. The price usually matches the quality and location of the unit.
Sometimes the owner will be away so you can have the place to yourself and other times you will be their guest having breakfast together or getting a drink at a near by pub.
Camping – this is another option for travelers who don’t mind roughing it. You must have your own camping supplies, but the experience is an exciting one and costs very little money to stay for a few nights.
Couchsurfing – this is an awesome and unique way traveling and here’s the best part: it’s completely free. If you go to couchsurfing.com you can create a profile and start communicating with people about traveling to their cities right away. Just request their couch to see if it is available and make plans to meet.
Essentially you will be staying with a person for free in exchange for good company and help around the house. Many people are wary about staying in a house with complete strangers, I know I was. But there are people who have verified couches which means that many people have couch-surfed in their home and the Couchsurfing company has done a profile check to make sure they are good people to surf with. You can also read the feedback left on their profile from other travelers and see whether or not this person is a chainsaw mass murder.
Plenty of people have even had their whole travel experience jumping from one couch to another and prefer this way of travel. The cool thing about this type of accommodation is that you have someone who knows the town you are living in a can show you around from a locals point of view. They might give you advice about the right times to go to a restaurant or where to find the best cocktail bar.
The other plus side is the connection you make with your host. Couchsurfing is a community of people who love to travel and want to make lasting connections with other travelers. So one year you stay with them and next year you can return the favor and be a host.
Note: I did have one couch surfing experience where a guy wanted me to pay €25 per night to stay in his flat. And because I was in Munich for Oktoberfest and everything else was booked or really expensive I went ahead a surfed on his couch. This is not normal though and I felt that he was taking advantage of my situation and not honoring the Couchsurfing beliefs. If you ever have this experience I would move along to somewhere else. But everyone definitely should give this a try because it could be a great and new experience, it was for me.