When I am on the road, I like to know where I am going to be sleeping and how comfortable it’s going to be. One night crammed into a small hotel room with 11 other people is enough to make you think your plans through a bit more. I’ve spent any nights like that so I don’t take chances anymore.
If you want perfect comfort than rent a high class hotel room. I don’t have the money for that and I don’t think that gives you a real experience. If you are going to rent a hotel room then your own pillow with you. Hotel pillows are junk so I suggest travelling with a pillow you know you like. I roll up a memory foam pillow nice and tight and tie it that way. Now I know I always have at least a pillow with me even if I don’t find a bed for the night. The worldly traveler knows the value that hostels provide. Some people are scared of staying in hostels. In general, hostels are good places to stay for cheap. If you do stay in a hostel, lock up all of your valuables and keep a close eye on your wallet. You will be sharing a room with other people. Sometimes things can get a bit cramped and your credit cards may take a walk. You’ll most likely be sleeping on a set of bunk beds or a cot. If you ever sleep on an old cot in a hostel then you will be excited to see a set of twin bunk beds. Don’t dismiss them as something for kids. They can be an oasis for your back.
Look into home exchanges. A home exchange is when you open your home up to someone from another country in exchange for them doing the same. You may end up in the guest room or you may end up in the master bedroom. This is a great arrangement as you are giving someone an even trade of space and can sleep in a real bed rather than on a cot or set of full bunk beds with a mattress that hasn’t been flipped since the USSR fell. Don’t ever exchange money but make sure to exchange all of your personal information and check them out. Don’t want to come home from your trip to a cleared out house.