Having some experience in travelling SE asia heres a few tips that could save you a bunch of money or just simply give you better value.
If you’re travelling on seriously low budget, most likely you are not arriving your destination by plane but rather on a bus or a train. Often the local people know the transportation timetables and wait for you with their offers for accommodation. After all, its easy to spot someone with huge backpack that theyre looking for a room.
You might want to check out the first offer, but my advice is that you’ll check a few other guesthouses that are in the neighborhood. If the proposed guesthouse is far away, you might ask if they could give you are ride perhaps on a motorbike. Sometimes you are being told that the ride is free if you stay at the proposed guesthouse at least one night.
Often the budget accommodation options are generally in the same area. Have a look on a few places before making up your mind. A lot of guesthouses know that old phrase “location, location, location” all too well and you might actually get a lot nicer room for less money if you just bother to walk a few meters.
Also its possible that the initial room price gets lowered if you mention that you’re going to have a look on other places as well. Another thing to consider is to ask for a discount if you’re staying longer than just a couple of days.
you can try to bargain if its low season or you can ask if they have something cheaper than the room you’ve just shown.
It may sound obvious but nevertheless, always check the room first before taking it. Check the room for general cleanliness and make sure the fan works, there is water in the shower and the bed is relatively clean. Beds often look clean but you could just run your hand on the sheets to feel if theres some dirt around. Some places dont change the bedsheets too often and just make it looks nice. If the place is otherwise okay but dirty bed or something, you might say that you’ll take the room on the condition that they do the necessary changes. Also see if theres electricity outlet and theres nets in windows and openings against mosquitos.
If you agree to rent the room, make sure that both parties agree and understand whats the rate for one night and whats included in the price. Once in a while some mysterious taxes come up from nowhere when you’re checking out and paying for the room. If theres a breakfast included, you might want to ask what kind of breakfast that is. Lastly you can ask what other services they might have at the guesthouse, for example laundry, internet, use of pool, rental of bikes or motorbikes, transport services and so on.