Finding the best budget accommodation is key when you’re trying to save money on your travels. These are my top budget accommodation booking platforms for planning my trips.
Some people have one preferred type of accommodation (hotel, hostel, short-term rental) and they stick to that for every trip they take, but I like to switch things up. I don’t necessarily have a go-to type of accommodation anymore. Instead, I choose where to stay based on the trip: where I’m going, how long I’m staying, whether I’m traveling solo or with others, and sometimes even based on my mood. But the one thing that’s ALWAYS important to me when choosing accommodation is my budget.
While the average traveler might expect to spend $100+ a night on accommodation, for me that is a SPLURGE. I really prefer to spend closer to $50/night maximum. Depending on where I’m traveling, that can either be super easy or really difficult. I do have varying definitions of “budget” based on the trip, but I’m always trying to spend as little as possible.
For the sake of budget accommodation, I usually end up in hostels, but I really like staying in short-term rentals when I can. Hotels are fun if I can find a good deal. And when all else fails, I start getting as creative as possible.
Switching from one type of accommodation to another does make the planning process a bit more involved at times. However, thanks to plenty of practice, I know exactly where to look to find the best budget accommodation for any type of trip. Whether I’m on the hunt for a cheap dorm bed or something a little fancier, I always know exactly which budget accommodation booking platform to turn to in order to get the best deal.
So today I’m sharing my top 4 Budget Accommodation booking platforms.
These websites include every type of accommodation, and they are my tried and true favorites. I know I can always find a good deal and get exactly what I want for a price that makes me happy. Because there’s nothing I hate more than spending my entire travel budget on a place to sleep!
Best Budget Accommodation Booking Platforms
I like to stay in a variety of budget accommodations, but my usual go-to is a hostel, especially if I’m staying in a city. It’s the best way to keep my accommodation costs to a minimum while also getting a chance to meet other travelers. Hostelworld is the best website to find hostels wherever I’m going.
All you have to do is search for your destination, add in your dates, and all the hostels nearby with available beds will pop up. From there, you can read all about the hostels, look through photos, and check customer reviews. And, of course, you can check the prices! I always look for the best price while also keeping cleanliness and safety in mind. Once you find the perfect hostel, you can even book it through the site.
AirBnB is a really cool alternative to more traditional types of accommodation. I love having the space and comfort of my own place, along with a kitchen for cooking (which helps cut down on food costs too).
As a solo traveler, it’s not always the cheapest option. In some cities (especially in the U.S.), rentals can be very pricey. But I do like to check here if there are no hostels around because I can usually find a couple of really great, budget-friendly options. And if I can’t find an entire apartment to rent out, I’ll move on to checking for private rooms. Those are always within an affordable price range.
Other than that, AirBnB is my preferred budget accommodation option when I’m traveling with other people. It’s so nice to have an apartment/house to share with friends, and it usually ends up being super affordable when split between multiple people. It’s also a lot of fun to see all of the unique places you can stay and what they have to offer.
When I’m stateside and I want to stay in a more traditional hotel, I check Hotwire first. This is my favorite budget accommodation booking platform for hotels, and I’ve found some really great deals. I can usually find 3-star hotels for under $100/night. This option is still a bit of a splurge for me, but it’s much better than paying full price for hotel rooms.
Their Hot Deals section gives you all the info you need to choose the best hotel based on price, location, star-rating, amenities, and more. There is a catch, though: it doesn’t tell you which hotel you’re booking until after you’ve paid. That can be stressful for some people, but I’ve always been happy with the outcome (and the price!).
With lots of experience, I’ve even learned how to research well enough to figure out where I might be staying before I type in my credit card info. As long as you pick hotels with a high customer review rating, the amenities you need, and your general preferred location, you will find a good place to stay.
When I really want to immerse myself into my travels and meet locals, Couchsurfing is my top budget accommodation pick. I have to be feeling extra social in order to really feel comfortable Couchsurfing, so I don’t always choose this first. However, when the mood strikes, I love using Couchsurfing to get a different experience. It’s particularly fun for me when I’m road tripping around the U.S. and only staying in places for a couple of nights at a time.
Couchsurfing is by far the cheapest accommodation option, but “free” isn’t the only factor to consider. This is the ultimate budget accommodation, but it’s a lot more than that too. I wouldn’t recommend this option if you ONLY care about saving money and have no desire to meet people or interact with your hosts.
Couchsurfing is great for your wallet, but it will also give you a great experience and a new view of your travel destination.
If you don’t know what Couchsurfing is, read this post where I shared some tips for Couchsurfing.
There are plenty of other websites and apps that will help you book budget accommodation and find good deals. I will definitely write more about those other options in the future, but these are my personal preferences when it comes to booking budget accommodation (especially in the U.S.)
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