I was just reading that some budget hotels in New York are charging over $300 a night (we’re talking Super 8 here folks) which leads to one of the best money saving travel tips that you can arrange – stay with friends!
I don’t understand why more people don’t do this. Here are some of the advantages I see.
1. Save a ton of money on accommodations: When my friend came out to visit me here in Japan, had he stayed at a hotel, it would have cost him a minimum of $2000 for hotels alone.
2. Save on meals: When in a hotel you have to eat the majority of your meals outside at restaurants. Visit friends and you can cook your own meals most of the time. Even if you pay for all the food, you still come out ahead.
3. Sites: Staying with someone who knows the area where you’re visiting means that you get to see a lot of the sites a normal tourist would never see. This is especially true in foreign countries.
While I can’t speak for everyone, I love it when people come to visit. Living in a foreign country takes a lot of energy and when I know someone is coming out to visit, it’s an event that I always look forward to. It’s a pleasant break for me when people come to visit.
That being said, the 8 years I’ve been in Japan only a handful of people have taken me up on the offer to come out and visit. I’m not sure exactly why. I’m sure part of it is that Japan is expensive even when you can stay with someone…
I know when I travel, I try to stay with friends whenever possible. It is always a pleasure to catch up and spend some time with them which makes the vacation a whole lot more enjoyable and saves a lot of money (or I should say allows me to spend the amount I budget for the vacation in more fun ways not having to pay for a hotel room)