Once you have finally booked your flights to your destination the next biggest cost of travelling is accommodation. No matter the length of your trip, this is one thing that will definitely eat into your budget. However, these days there are so many options when it comes to finding cheap accommodation.
I have listed some of the best websites for cheap accommodation:
For many years booking.com has been my go-to website for finding cheap accommodation. You can find a wide range of accommodation types, traveler reviews and allows you to filter the types of accommodation and what you would like your accommodation to include. Booking.com shows the cost of your accommodation (hotel, hostel, apartment, etc) upfront but does not include any city taxes you may have to pay once you reach your destination.
The thing that I love about booking.com is that you can book now but pay later. This allows me to secure my hotel before it sells out but gives me extra time to save the money for my trip. For example; I am heading to Oktoberfest this year and I know that accommodation books out months in advance, however, I have not yet saved enough money to pay for it. So it is great knowing that I am all booked and not going to miss out on accommodation.
The other good thing with booking.com is if you create an account with them you can become a genius (or frequent traveler) member and this unlocks benefits such as welcome drinks, free breakfast, 10% discount or late check-out (depending on the hotel or hostel you are checking into).
When Airbnb first became popular a few years ago I was very hesitant to book to stay in someones home. Fast forward to 2019 and it is one of my favourite sites. You can choose the type of place you are looking for, whether you want a private room or the entire place to yourself. Airbnb usually requires you to pay upfront, but you can often pay half of the cost now and half of the cost closer to your stay.
I usually choose Airbnb when I am staying somewhere for more than a night and would like some of those home comforts and the option to have a kitchen. Remember, when trying to find cheap accommodation you need to take into account things such as buying your meals versus cooking your meals. I will often pay a little more for accommodation if know I can cook my own meals.
I also find that using Airbnb allows you to live more like a local and really get to know the feel of a place. Similarly to booking.com, Airbnb gives you the ability to filter your searches to narrow down to what you would like to find in an apartment.
Similar to booking.com, if you are new to Airbnb use my code to receive up to $76 off your first booking. All these wee savings really do add up.
I have found my experience with Hotels.com to be very similar to Booking.com. It offers a wide range of accommodation from hotels to hostels and apartments. You use filters to set your expectations and budget, whilst relying on feedback from fellow travellers. The one thing that I LOVE about hotels.com is if you book 10 nights you can collect a free night.
The nights you book don’t have to be at the one place or in a row. The value of your free night is the average of your paid 10 nights. However, if you’re like me and about to embark on four-month trip of Europe, those nights will add up quickly and save money!
Hotels.com will send deals and discounts via emails so watch out for those.
I love Trip Advisor for the wide range of reviews and for the travel community. I don’t often use it to book accommodation, but I do like to check out the reviews before I settle on accommodation. However, if you do book through Trip Advisor, it compares many of the different booking websites. This is a function I should utilise more often as you can grab some great bargains.
Trip Advisor is a brilliant tool for finding the best things to do and see at your destination. It also allows you to book cars, flights, experiences, and restaurants.
Just remember, that reviews are just other peoples thoughts. Their expectations may differ to yours. People to tend to only leave reviews when they have either had an amazing time or an awful time. There doesn’t tend to be any middle ground.
Other websites to utilise
The websites I have listed above have been my go-to for the past few years. However, there are some other websites that are worth mentioning:
*Comparison website: Hotels combined
*Another comparison website: Trivago
* Need a hotel last minute? Try Hotel Tonight
* Similar to Airbnb try:Go with Oh
* Home Away is another site to find apartments
* Hostels only website Hostels.com
* I do find Hostelworld.com a little more expensive but it’s great for some ideas of places to stay.
What are some of your best websites for cheap accommodation? Do you have a trick for snagging some bargains when it comes to booking hotels or hostels?
Shop my travel essentials:
Did you find this post useful? PIN IT!