The more we travel the more we learn. I’ll share some tips and tricks for real backpackers who want to find a cheap but nice accommodation. First of all: Enjoy the journey through a different culture and allow yourself to learn. Be friendly, know exactly what you want, be patient.
- Leave your heavy backpack at a cafe and take one hour to find your accommodation. If you carry your backpack you seem to be desperate. This is no good foundation for bargaining (which you have to, for sure!). You tend to take any room when you carry your backpack all the time, just because you are tired of it. – Take some time to find a good accommodation and be patient.
- Would you like to cook on your own? Having a kitchen saves you a lot of money and in some countries you may get fed up with the usual food. Being able to make a tea or coffee at any time is something I personally appreciate very much. If I don’t want to rent only a room it’s best to go to a local restaurant and ask there if they know where I can find an apartment or a room with kitchen. Normally people are very helpful and if they can’t offer you something themselves they call a friend or neighbor. Be patient and friendly and let things go their way … and you end up with the perfect accommodation for a reasonable price! Mention the amount you want to pay and let people decide if they make it possible or not. Extra tip: not only the beachfront is nice! Sometimes the most beautiful places are a 5 minutes walk from the beach in the jungle where it is a lot cheaper and more local.
- Bargain! Decide in advance what you want to spend and what you can spend maximum. Don’t hesitate to say a low price. Sometimes people will laugh at you first but I’ve almost never experienced that they let me walk away without making the price possible. Once you have been offered a room for that price it’s easier to bargain because you can say that the neighbour offered you a room. Normally that helps.
- If you’re happy with the room and the price, take it. I recommend to find three options and to decide then. Say thank you for each offer and that you come back maybe. Exchange phone numbers if it is a homestay for example and not a guesthouse with a reception. Don’t feel bad to not decide instantly! Respect yourself and your budget and the locals will also do that. Stay friendly but don’t feel obliged to take a good offer. Business stays business.
- Know that 1.) things will work out 2.) they work out differently! So don’t be stressed. Normally locals are very relaxed about payment of the rent, about the duration of your stay etc. Enjoy that! Isn’t it nice that you don’t have to decide from the beginning how long you are staying? This gives you so much freedom. Don’t worry! It won’t bring you anything.
Don’t be disappointed but accept what happens as an adventure. Relax and let go of control. This will take you somewhere new!