Backpacker accommodation guide

Whether you are travelling in a group or solo the biggest cost for any traveller is accommodation!

Now while some countries are indeed cheaper to travelling than other accommodation still takes a large part of the budget. It is important to remember when you are travelling, of course, accommodation prices will fluctuate, but the type of accommodation plays a big role.

For example, hostels can be cheaper compared to hotels, however, even the price of the same type of accommodation can vary massively in prices depending on what luxuries you would like.

So let’s delve into the different types of accommodation available to you when you are travelling.


Hotels are likely the most expensive type of accommodation on this list, rooms in hotels will be private which increases the price, but also know when for their high-quality service which of course comes with a high price tag.

Most backpackers tend to stay away from this type of accommodation as it isn’t always the most sociable which is something that most backpackers typically look for.


Hostel prices can vary massively but most offer the same quality as a hotel can at a cheaper cost! As well as a mix of private and dorm rooms allowing you to meet other travellers it is no wonder many backpackers chose to stay in them.

Another great thing about hostels is that there are many options on what is offered at them, from tours (some of them can be free) to Wi-Fi, bars, food options as well as launderettes. With many digital nomads and backpackers found here, it is a great way to make friends and meet other people you can read more about it here and here.

Air BnB

If you are looking to stay somewhere for an extended period on your travels then I would recommend an Air BnB. Offering a cost-effective way for staying in a location for a month or more when you are travelling or even if you want a private space that isn’t a hostel this is a good option for you and something I would recommend.

Couch surfing

This is one that defiantly holds mixed reviews however is very popular among the backpacking community.

If you don’t know what couch surfing is then is pretty much what it says on the tin, you can stay at a local person’s house and sleep on the couch some may even offer you a room.

This something I have never tried myself however is a low-cost accommodation option and a good way for anyone who wishes to live with the local people while they are travelling and experience more of the local culture.


There are many things which can fall under this definition you might decide to house sit for a while when the owners are on holiday or even look after their pets or some form of an exchange, for example, if you are studying aboard you may be offered a homestay.

Homestays can also include volunteering options, in exchange for potentially working on a local farm or working for these people you can stay there for free in return for your help.

Want to know more about volunteering and travel then check out this blog post for a more in-depth guide.

As I said homestay comes in various options and is something done by backpackers but may not always be the most popular choice for some is still a good way to possibly cut costs.

Stay with friends and family

The cheapest form of accommodation has to be staying friends and family that you know in that particular area now some might say you have to pay a small amount while staying to cover food costs, while others may not.

Either way, it is a great way to catch up with old friends and get to stay a few nights without costing you anything making it a two in one.


When I think of this form of travel it is is more than the old school style of backpacking! Where you walk or hitchhike from one place to another and pitch a tent wherever you end up that night, going across a country.

You still get people who do this in the countryside and wild areas of a country!

If you plan on wild camping and following and leave no trace policy (it is very important to follow this policy if you do plan on wild camping). This type of accommodation can be completely free as you don’t need to pay for anything, however, make sure you check the wild camping rules where you are travelling as this is something that cant be done in every country.

If you’re someone who doesn’t mind roughing it this could be an option you however if you do prefer a few more luxuries such as a shower then paying for a campsite is also another option. The cost can vary but be probably typically around the same price as a hostel which is why most backpackers tend to stay in hostels as opposed to camping, however, if you want to be more with nature this may be a good choice for you.

Van life

This has grown in popularity over the years and something that I would like to try in the future!

While van life can initially have very high costs to start it will pay back over time. This way of travel has freedom with it, allowing you to easily change location without having to wait around for flights or buses.

Saving you money on accommodation as well as transport costs with only fuel being the item you need to budget for.

Comment below your favourite type of accommodation and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram more travel-related content

Enjoy navigating the globe


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