Q&A with a Reader
Thanks for all the information at your website!
I have a question that might be of interest to a lot of your readers.
In the interview you gave to Andy Graham at hobotraveler.com, you made a short comment. You said that you often stayed at hotels rather than renting houses, condos or apartments. As I recall, you alluded to staying at hotels as an efficient and inexpensive way to control travel expenses. I know you also house-sit, but hotels are much more available than house-sitting gigs.
Can you give us any additional information about how to save on expenses by using hotels as your main source of housing? I have heard many complain that housing is one of the greatest expenses for the retiree traveler who wants to travel long-term.
This would also be a good topic for a short ebook for the budget-minded retiree: Affordable Travel: How to Keep a Roof Over your Head Without Sleeping in a Tent :).
Thanks for writing and for bringing up the topic of housing – both in retirement and while traveling. Yes, it is the largest expenditure in most households. If one can adjust the cost of housing in one’s budget, you can live just about anywhere in the world.
We think your idea about a short ebook on this topic is a good one… funny… I have been thinking of putting together another article on this topic anyway, because actually, more and more options about housing are becoming available all the time. It’s a new day!
Regarding housing expenses/living in hotels while traveling, you might take a look at our Travel Housing Page for some ideas. There are links to hotels, apart hotels, room rentals, snowbirding options and more. If none of these locations work for where you might be traveling, you can always ask a hotel where you are considering to stay, if they have a long term price, or if they offer a discount for longer stays of a week, month, or longer. In our experience, many hotels in Asia and all through Latin America will oblige with a discount. It might not be enough of a discount for you, but on the other hand, we have received incredible deals in this manner. Don’t forget to inquire about a Senior discount, a Third Age discount, a Pensionado discount and so on.
When you are negotiating a deal, realize that when you are paying for long term, (a month or longer) that you might need to pay for your own toiletries and that cleaning might only be once a week instead of daily. You might need to provide your own drinking water.
Room rentals (like a pension in Europe) are available around the world also, and this often gives you access to kitchen facilities which will save you money on a daily basis. This might be where staying in hostels can come in handy as they always have access to kitchen facilities.
No matter where you are, assume you can negotiate. If the hotel only gives you a “skinny” off the nightly price, just find another place.
Sometimes there are deals online when you book. Or you can always arrive in a location and stay a few nights, and then go out and research hotels in person. These might be ones that are not listed online (often prices are higher online so as to compensate the booking agent) and arriving in person will afford you a better deal.
We speak to all of these methods and more in our Travel the World for Less report.
I hope you find this information to be useful to you.
Enjoy your adventures! and feel free to write any time.