In about a month, Brian and I are heading to Germany for a 3 week trip. I’m super excited. The trip is entirely paid for in cash – though I won’t go into the details here. We’ve planned the trip down to the last dollar and have really tried to maximize experiences and value.
Over the next few posts, I’m going to talk about some of the tricks and tips we’ve used.
There are plenty of options for travellers looking to save a few dollars.
Staying in a hostel is the most frequently cited suggestion for frugal accommodations. That’s because it’s true! Hostels are generally cheaper than hotels. We’re staying at a hostel in Frankfurt and it is about $25 euros per night per person. We decided to get a private room a shared bathroom for slightly more: $60 euro per night for two people. Hostels usually have free wifi and sometimes free entertainment options.
Hostels are usually more cost effective for single travelers. For example, when I was in Quebec, I stayed by myself in a hostel for $18 CAD per night. I also walked in on my naked male roommate at one point… such are the hazards of shared accommodation!
But hostels aren’t the only option. Brian and I also like to stay in Bed and Breakfasts while traveling. B&Bs are usually a bit more expensive than hostels, though not much more. They’re often cozier and more intimate – great for couples. We are spending three days in wine country and staying at a B&B for about $75 euros a night. The best part is getting a hot breakfast each morning!
Often, when traveling with two or more people, the cheapest form of accommodation is renting an apartment. Brian and I did this in New York and we’re doing it again in Germany. We’re spending seven days in a Berlin apartment for $35 euro a night. $35 euros! We get a whole apartment to ourselves, complete with full kitchen and bathroom. This saves us even more money because we can cook some meals at home. If you’ve never tried renting an apartment while traveling, I highly recommend it – Craigslist or Air BnB are both good options.
For us, we decided to use a mix of cheap accommodations (apartment rental, hostel) and indulgence (B&B). Some of this was intentional (we wanted to have a bit of a getaway to wine country, for example) and some of it was due to circumstance (there were no good apartments in Frankfurt). In total, we spent about $500 euros each for three weeks of accommodations throughout Germany. Half of those accommodations include breakfast and all include wifi.