I'm travelling to London, Paris and the south of France, possibly Spain and Morocco in July / August, for the first time and by myself! I would love some information about cheap accomodation and maybe some hints about travelling alone. I'm in my early 50's and while I'm happy to stay in basic accomodation and would like opportunities to meet other travellers, I need to sleep at night ... in other words, how do I avoid noisy hostels while sticking to a limited budget?!
I would have a look at www.couchsurfing.org and set yourself up a profile. The site offers travellers the chance to connect with likeminded others, and although it's popular with younger people it wouldn't surprise me if there are members your age who also participate.
The general principle is to offer a bed or sofa for the night in exchange for a meal or any token gesture of goodwill - but the accommodation is always free of charge. The best thing is the host is typically local and well connected, often able to set you on your way with a good steer for things to do, places to visit and maybe even your next night's host.
The couchsurfing communities tend to organise weekly parties where surfers and hosts can get together to meet up and share tales over a drink.
Other than that, the Lonely Planet or Footprint guides are good and have very full accommodation listings. I also highly recommend www.hostelbookers.com for a very easy to use and clear website for getting the cheapest prices for hostels and hotels.
Good luck and enjoy your trip!
Ted almost 8 years ago
Couchsurfing is definitely a good way to get around without having to pay for accommodation. Also check out the youth hostel association http://www.yha.org.uk/) - dont be put off by the name...anyone can use them. They can be placed in some great locations and offer both dorm style rooms and also private rooms with private bathrooms. I like the communal feel to them.
Another good website is www.eurocheapo.com which has some basic places on it for not too bad a price. I would be looking at B&Bs rather than hotels in the UK and Paris, and if you are going to base yourself somewhere for a few days, it might be cheaper to rent a studio/small apartment.
Camp sites are another great alternative as are bunk houses. almost 8 years ago