Whenever one travels, the two most expensive elements are airfare and accommodation. It is for this reason that many people are not able to travel nearly as often as they would like. Some people, however, who have no more income than the average person, seem to constantly be taking trips. How do they do it? The secret is learning the art of discount travel - there exist many different techniques to make your trip much more affordable. A good one is the concept of apartment swapping.
Apartment swapping usually works through classified ad sites like craigslist.org, and work as follows: someone offers their apartment for a short amount of time - usually a week or two - to someone in the city they desire to travel to. If it works out, someone in the desired destination city is interested in coming to the city where the ad originates from, and the two people arrange to exchange apartments for a small time.
The beauty of the apartment swap in terms of discount travel is that it reduces your vacation costs almost exclusively to airfare. Especially when the swap involves expensive cities like New York, the swap can end up saving you the bulk of the costs associated with your trip. The other great thing about apartment swapping is that it often occurs at precisely the time in the year where accommodations are the most expensive.
If you look on a site like craigslist.org - which has a specific section devoted to apartment swapping - you'll see that the majority of apartment swaps occur for short periods over the holiday season. A typical ad will be someone that wants to spend New Year's in a different city, for example. And if it happens that you want to spend New Year's in the source city, you can save yourself a fortune and employ one of the best discount traveling techniques.
If you're interested in an apartment swap, go to craigslist.org and look through the ads located in your home city. Conversely, if you're looking to swap apartments, place your ad in the section devoted to the destination city. In other words, ads are of the "does anyone in here want my apartment in x for these dates?"
Of course, nothing comes without a price, and if you're considering apartment swapping for discount travel there are a few points you should keep in mind. The most obvious one is trust: you are letting a stranger stay in your apartment, with all your things. Even if you're not concerned about theft, try and get to know as much as you can about the potential swapper - you want to avoid someone who's going to have raucous parties that annoy your neighbors, or break your things. At the same time, the swapper is also placing a lot of trust in you - you're staying in his apartment with his things, after all - and so often this trust can be sort of balanced out.
If you're willing to trust people, and accept a reasonable amount if risk, apartment swapping can make a visit to another city extremely cheap, and is one of the best discount travel techniques out there.