The right accommodation plays a significant role how awesome your trip is going to turn out and how comfortable you will feel when coming home in the evening after a day on the move. All you want is to just feel happy to be back!
Everyone of us has different demands. Meeting these is not always easy. I personally always take a lot of time to find the right accommodation. Depending on the trip I live under completely different conditions: sometimes as a simple hostel, another time more chic at a design hotel and another day in my own big apartment where I can relax completely. It just depends how I feel in that moment.
The balancing act between simple and cheap and elegant and affordable doesn’t need to be a challenge and is definitely easier than you expect it!
I’ve tested different concepts and providers in the last years and found out that every single of them has its strengths and weaknesses, also depending on the region and type of accommodation.
On this site I’m going to show you how I book and how you should also book in the future. So please save this article and my links somewhere, where you have access whenever you need it. If you like my tips I would be happy if you would book your accommodations via this website because then I will get a small commission to help me ensure you can read all this content for free in the future. Of course you don’t pay anything extra in comparison to booking on the website directly.
Now let’s get started how you find and book the best accommodations for your trip:
Beside flights, accommodation is often the most expensive position when traveling. But there are a few tricks how you can save money and live still live in a nice and comfortable surrounding. Whether 10 € per night or 300 €, hostel, hotel or even a whole apartment – you’re going to find the right one just for you!
AirBnB: Live like a local!
I just love AirBnB!
The reason why I like AirBnB so much is that you can live like a local in so many cities and countries while having your own home. I always go for AirBnB if I’m staying at one spot for longer than 3 nights. I just like to come „home“ after a long day in the city instead of coming back to a small hotel room with only a bed and where everything is rather impersonal.
In addition, most of the AirBnB hosts have great tips for you, for example where you can enjoy a lovely cheap meal with the locals or what you should definitely not miss to see if you’re looking for something special and not the popular touristy sights. Sometimes you will even be invited to parties and can thereby dive into the new culture directly – awesome!
Also if you’re traveling with your partner or several friends AirBnB can be a great alternative to hotels. Especially if you consider the fact that you can cook your own meal and don’t need to go out to restaurants all the time. This really saves you a lot of money! The most apartments also provide cooking utensils, oil, spices and standard food like pasta, flour or rice which you are free to use.
Every apartment is different though also in terms of budget. You can live very simple or luxurious. I’ve rented a tiny little apartment in Hong Kong for 100 € per night but also huge villas in Bali for only 30 € per night! By now I haven’t had any bad experiences with AirBnB and catch myself going on AirBnB without even having checked hotels before.
If you want to try out AirBnB, register via this link! If doing so you get a discount up to 20 € for a booking over 50 €. Pretty cool to check it out, don’t you think?
Booking.com: Book cheap hotels worldwide!
If I stay less than 3 nights at the same place I book via Booking.com depending on the region and country. It’s just the biggest hotel search engine of the world with the most hotel deals.
The booking conditions are very good most of the time and you can often cancel hotel rooms without paying a fee which is pretty cool. Additionally Booking.com offers great last minute deals enabling to book your room on the same day even, receive a discount and stay totally flexible with your travel planning. Especially during the off season this works pretty well!
If you’re looking for a hotel room right now please use this link to book it. Hereby you support Off The Path and don’t pay a single cent extra!
Agoda: The hotel portal of South East Asia!
Agoda is the Booking.com for South East Asia. Almost every hotel is present on this search engine and I usually only book via this website. I almost only book last minute deals, mostly one day in advance. Since many hotels offer their free rooms for up to 70% you get really good deals!
On Krabi island I’ve once booked a boutique hotel for 40 USD instead of 170 USD per night. A real bargain and this one was definitely not the only one I made via this website. It really pays off!
Best is you save the website to use it easily whenever you need it.
HRS: German hotel search engine for Germany, Austria and Switzerland
With HRS you can also book hotels worldwide but their strength is definitely the German, Austrian and Swiss market. Here you find the best offers for these three countries.
For short city trips in Europe I often search on HRS!
Hostelword: THE search engine for hostel fans
Hostelworld is the perfect website for hostel fans and the biggest in turn. A few years ago Hostelworld bought Hostelbookers and since then both websites have the same hostels in their portfolio. So if you’re looking for a hostel and a cheap accommodation, Hostelworld is for you!
Did you know that there are even possibilities to sleep for free during your travels? Yes, there are actually a lot of them! You can save a lot of money for accommodations and have more left for great adventures! And the best is: you get to know really nice people, live like a local and do good!
Couchsurfing: Stay on foreign couches worldwide!
Couchsurfing is great! When I still had a fix apartment for example in Brisbane, Bangkok and Berlin I often invited couch surfers to my place and in return I also stayed on couches in the whole world. With couchsurfing you can really save a good amount of money, but also meet very interesting, open minded people who will love to tell you more about them and their country!
All you have to do is register on couchsurfing.org and set up a profile of you – then you’re ready to go!
Housesitting: Take care of houses and pets!
Pet lovers will love this website! You take care of a house and often the pets as well and in return stay for free.
I have tried housesitting in Cape Town and taken care of 3 sweet little cats and a cool house located 400 meters from the sea while the owners did a cruise through the Caribbean. The house was amazing and the owners didn’t need to worry about their beloved pets while being away on the sea – perfect for both sides!
The registration fee for the site is 75 USD per year. For the accommodation itself you don’t need to pay anything extra, sometimes only the costs for energy and water you consumed.
It really pays off to register on this website, especially if you love cats, are flexibel and can adapt your travel plans easily! Good luck with your next housesitting gig!
GoCambio: Skill sharing for a roof over your head
A few months ago GoCambio launched, a platform that offers free accommodation like couch surfing. The only difference is you need to give something back. Not in a monetary way, but related to your own abilities.
This means if for example your English is very good or you’re a talented guitar player and your host would love to learn this ability you can teach him and stay for free. This way you safe a lot of money and spread your knowledge in the world.
To find an accommodation for free you just need to register on gocambio.com,
set up a profile and you’re ready to find a fitting host!
There’s plenty of options for you!
You see there are so many ways to find good and cheap accommodations and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a lonely hotel room or a chaotic hostel!