Top 10 Sites to Find Cheap Accommodation While Traveling

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Man booking an apartment through Airbnb

Resourceful traveling is easier than it sounds — all you need is to dedicate some time to research, which will pay off during the trip. Luckily, many websites and apps can minimize the time spent on finding the best deals for a decent and affordable accommodation.

Agoda

Chilling near the sea with a newspaperAgoda works alike Booking.com: all you need is to enter desirable dates and destination to get a list of available hotels on site. Many travelers have pointed out that compared to the aforementioned Booking and other accommodation sites, Agoda.com has cheaper rates. Their “Book now, pay later” option is praised as well — it often lets you get the best accommodation like front rooms with a view for a cheaper price opposed to what you’d immediately pay for the cheapest room from the direct search list.

The site is also known for offering the best deals in Asia. You may also check out explorer deals that offer from 5 to 15% off on selected destinations or everyday deals that go as high as 17% off. According to customer reviews, browsing via Agoda app can get you even higher discounts.

Expedia

Hotel corridorWhen it comes to cheap accommodation deals, Expedia is a certain runner-up after Booking.com and Agoda. Like the similar services, Expedia has a convenient option of free cancellation of reservation while you’re looking for various options.

However, the main advantage of this site is a variety of bundle deals — packages of hotel and flights, hotel and car, and even all three combined. Bundles often save up to $200, especially if you choose an economy class seat for the flight. If you’re only passing by, there’s an option of booking a hotel or a car only for a part of the stay.

Tingo

Girl relaxing near a poolWhile not especially popular, Tingo is nevertheless a great service for resourceful travelers who want to find cheap accommodation. Tingo is a part of the TripAdvisor Company, which ensures its safety and makes it foolproof.
The principle of this service is the following — Tingo refunds money if the price of the room you booked falls after you have booked it. The key strategy here is to use the site wisely. First, check your preferred hotel’s price on other booking services. If it is equal to what you see on Tingo, there’s a good chance the refund will work for you.

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HotelTonight

Hotel signHotelTonight service is good for spontaneous trips, as the service lets you book rooms for the day of the search, the day after and the following week. The principle of its work is quite simple — HotelTonight unifies rooms unsold by hotels in a single database to offer the best option for a decent price.

The service works internationally with deals available in the US, Europe, Africa and the Pacific. You may customize the search by opting for “solid” — more expensive, but posh options or “hip” to find a simpler but cheaper room. Booking via HotelTonight is available on their website or an app for iOS and Android.

HostelWorld

Girl sitting in a hostel with a travel guide
Thanks to the Internet, the stereotype about all hostels being nasty and dirty is practically ruined. Truth is, most hostels that are available on Booking.com and similar services care about their reputation and want to ensure the best experience for those who stay. That’s why free Wi-Fi, clean kitchen and discounts for sightseeing or fine dining are a baseline for hostels in most regions of the world.

HostelWorld is one of the most reliable and old booking services, operating since 1999. Nowadays the site has a simple and clean design, more than 36,000 properties in over 170 countries and 24/7 customer care. Here you can find affordable deals with free cancellation.

Airbnb

Girl in an apartment full of plantsNaturally, a list of cheap accommodation services isn’t complete without Airbnb. The simple and foolproof service is well-known to many travelers around the world. This popularity is easily explained: booking a room or the whole apartment is often cheaper and more comfortable than staying in a 3 or 4-star hotel for a much higher price. Hosts often offer great tips on sightseeing, public transport or simply a good chat.

Using Airbnb will be more efficient with several tips: scroll all the reviews to get a realistic picture, communicate with the owner and search specifically if you have strict criteria on mind. If you haven’t registered yet, you follow the link to get a travel credit of €35 with the Airbnb referral program.

Roomer

Hotel room with a numberThis service lets you buy someone else’s non-refundable reservation with a decent discount. While it may sound a little shady, Roomer ensures safety for its customers: many offers are made directly from the hotels that don’t want to lose money over a canceled reservation.

In case you are the one to sell your non-refundable deal, you will still receive money from your sale even if the buyer won’t be able to use the reservation. Besides, Roomer takes care about everything that follows buying someone else’s reservation, including double-checking with the hotel and notifying you with confirmations so there’s no need to worry.

UniversityRooms

Room in a dormEven if you are not a student, living in a student facility might be a great way to save money while traveling. UniversityRooms service has been featured in media like TIME, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post and many others.

You can easily find a room according to your preferences, be it a single, twin, or family room. Many properties come with ensuite bathrooms and even a bed and breakfast service. All rooms are cleaned prior to the guest’s arrival. Now, UniversityRooms is available in more than 15 cities in 9 European countries, the Americas and Australia.

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House Sitting

Empty room with plants
One more nice option for a tight travel budget is house sitting or taking care of the host’s house in exchange for free accommodation. Often, it means simply cleaning around the house and taking care of plants but sometimes owners leave their pet as well. This option is working best for long-term travel starting from two weeks: you get a free and cozy place to stay for a little amount of work.

The most popular sites for such deals include housecarers.com, trustedhousesitters.com and mindmyhouse.com. To make the experience safe, house sitters need to provide references from family, friends or work that ensure they are trustworthy candidates.

Hospitality Exchanges

Friends having a party near the poolLast but certainly not least, the good old Couchsurfing may help in case of a restricted traveling budget. Moreover, it’s also the best way to immerse in the culture of your destination country: many hosts cook traditional meals, offer a tour around the city and give the best advice when it comes to unhackneyed sightseeing spots.

Couchsurfing has a multiple-level verification system that makes sure both host and guests are safe. Moreover, people usually tend to stay at the host with multiple good reviews, many pictures and detailed account information. Other similar to Couchsurfing services include hospitalityclub.org and globalfreeloaders.com.

Photo sources: unsplash.com, Ditty_about_summer / Shutterstock.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.

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