• At times, spring for a nicer hostel/hotel – we admit that we are not the hard-core travelers ready and willing to brag about the $3 deal we got for a bed in a bar that hosts around-the-clock cock fighting. However, we are still on a budget so the average hostels often lacks some creature comforts. As a result, we found that stopping and splurging for a nicer place (one with hot water, mattresses not made of solid wood, and lacking “the last couple was murdered in this bed” feeling) for a couple nights helps put a smile on our faces. Now, we are not talking about a Hilton or anything outrageous, but sometimes spending a few extra dollars makes a difference to one’s attitude.
  • Long-term rentals – Renting longer term provides cheaper per day rates.  We stayed 3 weeks in Lima where we found an apartment for $240/week.  The place was 2 bedrooms and included a kitchen which meant we could cook our own meals to save even more money.  As an added bonus the apartment was in a residential neighborhood so we lived a bit more like the locals. Caveat: stay a night or two in a hostel to check out your rental options before booking long-term or it could be a very long stay in a loud neighborhood.
  • Check out Couchsurfing: It was great for a few reasons – we saved money, we made a new friend, and we learned quirky and interesting things about the area we would have never been able to find out on our own. We purposefully looked for someone older and well-traveled instead of the shared house/student accommodations.
  • House-sitting can be a wonderful alternative and a great way to see the world.  Check out these 2 great articles for more information:
    • Married with Luggage article: How to See the World by House Sitting
    • Hecktic Travels blog (by the wonderful Pete & Dalene Heck): House Sitting 101