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When you plan a trip, the biggest expense you need to consider is that of accommodation. With luxury travel becoming a big deal and tourism catching up in so many places around the world, hotel rooms have started charging exorbitant rates making holidays seem impossible for budget travelers and backpackers. However, the good news is that even in these crazy expensive times, there are several ways in which you can find cheap accommodation and end up having the time of your life. (ALSO READ More stories from our Budget travel section) If you can just do some research and are ready for a slight adventure, chances are that you will have a more rewarding trip than those who spend thrice the amount of money you do. Also Read - Swara Bhasker Describes Struggle of Helping Migrant Workers: Have to Sift Through Filth in my Comments Section

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Here are five ways which are sure to help you find cheap accommodation no matter where you go:

1. Couchsurfing

What can be better than free accommodation along with a new local friend who can show you around? Couchsurfing has emerged as a fantastic hospitality exchange and social networking website wherein guests and hosts choose each other through profiles updated on the site. The testimonials on the website show how successful and rewarding this idea is for those who are looking to explore a new culture by living with a local host. Make no mistake, this is not a cheap trick to get a free bed. You can always return the favor with a nice gesture like buying them a present, groceries or just cooking for them.

ALSO SEE 6 best places to stay in Goa under Rs 600

2. Oyo rooms

One of the fastest emerging hotel networks in India, Oyo rooms has revolutionized hotel booking in the past few years in urban regions. With rooms available for as low as Rs 800 in a city like Mumbai, Oyo rooms is an excellent option for those looking for affordable accommodation.

3. Hostels

Roadhouse hostel - Goa

Major tourists attractions like Goa and Jaipur have hostels you can stay at where a bed per night typically costs Rs 400 to Rs 600. These hostels are a great hub for backpackers to meet other travelers and also plan further activities and trips.

CHECK OUT 19 pocket friendly yet comfy hostels across India for backpackers!

4. Dharamshalas, Ashrams and Monasteries

Many places in India, especially temple towns like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Osian, Ranakpur and Rewalsar, have dharamshalas, ashrams and monasteries for pilgrims to stay at. The rent per night at these dharamshalas is usually in the range of Rs 100 to Rs 300 and is your best bet at finding cheap accommodation. The simple bhojanalayas next to these dharamshalas and monasteries serve cheap yet delicious local food.

5. Tents and a sleeping bag


This one applies mostly for trekkers and adventurers. If you can muster up the courage and the fitness to carry a backpack with a tent and a sleeping bag, you will need nothing else on your trekking trips. Not just while trekking but even genrally, a sleeping bag is enough for you to spend a night in a temple if it comes to that!

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6. Rural homestays


There is almost always a rural area around a backpacking destination. If you ask around, you will easily find a homestay with a host who will be happy to rent out an extra room for a small price (typically a few hundred bucks). You will also get to see life daily rural life and taste some amazing local delicacies. Lavish restaurants don’t even come close!

7. Friends and family

Shame doesn’t come too handy while traveling but shamelessness does. You might not have contacted a friend or family member from a city you are traveling to for a long time. It is understandable that you will feel hesitant asking them for a roof and clean bed when you are on a trip. This is where you need to eat the shame and make that phone call. The amount of money you will save on accommodation and food will only make you more shameless which is one of the major traits of a backpacker. However, if you are the nice kind, buy their groceries or give them a present before you leave.

ALSO SEE Cheap holidays: 5 best places to visit in India under Rs 5000

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