I am going to take a moment in between countries to talk about sleeping arrangements. Night trains, hostels, and campsites create the cheapest overnight accommodations.
First of all, I used http://www.hostelbookers.com/ to find information in booking overnight accommodations. This became my lifeline for finding hostels; this allowed me to research and reserve a bed as I traveled along. Some require you to book in advance before arriving, however, at many locations you can just show up. I would recommend looking ahead to avoid walking from place to place hoping for something to be available.
I love staying at hostels. The environment conveys an inviting and community feel. I think of them as the traveler’s dorm; everyone’s in the midst of their travels and excited to share experiences, tips, and stories with each other. A lot of hostels provide sheets, cookware, utensils, and internet – many will charge you for such amenities as well. Overall, you can find a large range of prices depending on how private and fancy you want your stay to be. I honestly can sleep through anything, so I stayed in rooms with a lot of bunks to save on funds.
Campgrounds align themselves with hostels based on the cheap factor. I stayed at three different sites when in Italy. One had a pool on site, another had a bar, and the other had an amazing view over the city of Florence. Each charged on average 13 Euros a night (about $20). I’ll talk more about each site when I post about Italy.
Lastly, night trains may not be the most comfortable (with the reclining seat option), but will allow you to kill two birds with one stone. If you roll together the amount you would put down for a hostel room and a reservation fee that you normally have to pay, then this is a great deal! Just pray that your train car has a low occupancy on it, so that you can use the other seats to stretch out on – as long as we are praying… hope for no loud children in your car too.