Years ago in my early days of travelling I honestly thought that hostels were the only way you could stay in a country without breaking the bank, this isn’t the case for me anymore. Not since I discovered that when it comes to double rooms, hostels can rip you off and you are better off staying in your own apartment or get a hotel room for the night!
So here I break down my top five booking sites where my partner and I get some insanely good deals!
Ah, MeshTrip. My new found love. Having spent the past two years using various comparison sites, it always got my guts in a twist by how they always pull from JUST hotel and hostel sites. Listings with no character. EXPENSIVE! But MeshTrip is very different. This comparison site pulls over a million “instant book” listings from sites such as Airbnb, 9flats and vacation homes. Because they include just short term instant book listings, you don’t have to wait around for your host/hotel to get back to you and confirm the booking, it is done with a single tap of a button! So you are not just bombarded with expensive bland hotels, you actually get some awesome listings from some of the cheapest websites out there and you can get INSTANTLY excited about your upcoming trip!
Another plus for using this site is that you can forget about trawling through 10 different booking sites and have all your options in one place! No more tabs blocking up your browser!
It is really hard not to have heard about Airbnb if you read my blog or watch my videos as I am a woman obsessed. I use it for absolutely everything now (almost). Finding locals to stay with really enhances your time in a country and can even make you friends all over the world. You can check out my Ten Reasons To Try Airbnb here if you still need convincing!
It’s not only a great cultural experience but the prices can be INSANE! This villa pictured above cost only $85 per night, that came with our own private pool, four poster bed and it overlooked the rice paddies. We have paid as little as $16 a night for our own room before, it really does cater for all price ranges!! If you fancy getting $34 off your first trip then click here ?
It is really rare that we actually want to stay in a hotel. Scott would be more willing than me because I always crave character when I visit a place, somewhere warm and cosy with a family feel. Hotels are just hotels. No matter where you go, they are four walls, all white with no personality. However, Trivago does not just find you hotels, it can also help you discover some cool BnB’s and fancy resorts (if that’s what you like!)
Whilst travelling through Indonesia, my birthday was approaching and Scott asked me which island I would like to be on for that special day. After jumping from Gili Trawangan to Lombok, I seriously wanted to explore Gili Air, so it was settled. Unfortunately, Airbnb didn’t show much which we liked, so we headed to Trivago and found a stunning private apartment for only $45 per night. The best part? The outdoor bathroom!!
The hub of all hostels, both HostelWorld and HostelBookers offer the biggest range of youth hostels in any area in the world. Even though we don’t stay at hostels as much anymore, even though we really try to because the social aspect is incredible, but private rooms can be astronomical!
There really isn’t much else to say about HostelWorld, they offer super cheap accommodation options to budget travellers and even though I rarely use them anymore, it isn’t because I hate hostels, it’s simply because travelling with a partner makes things very different!
lastminute.com may have seen it’s best days, with the introduction of newer, bigger and better booking sites now, it may have to consider retirement. However, on that note, let’s not give up on good old Last Minute just yet! When I started to use the site I was baffled by how ANYONE could find these deal cheap. But then I started to spend more time on the site, really searching through the listings, altering my dates and playing with locations and WOW. You’ve still got it LM! Even though I hate the website’s layout, I am a big fan on some of their last minute deals!
Leave it late!
Leaving everything to the last minute may be your most genius idea or the biggest mistake! There is a balance to this last minute booking malarky! Unlike airlines whose prices increase the less seats available, accommodation is different. A hotel or hostel hate the idea of having empty rooms so they are more likely to push rooms last minute for a lower price. So by contacting hotels directly the day before you could find yourself with a lovely saving! On the other hand, leaving it to the final hour will leave you with only a few options as all the best deals and greatest stays are already booked out!
Play with your location!
Staying in the centre of a big city is obviously exciting and convenient, however, will come with a nasty price tag! Most booking websites will bring up a map view where you can alter the distance from the city to show some of the outer suburbs. Not only will you experience an off-the-beaten-path location where tourists are fewer, you can also save yourself a small fortune! Just remember to check beforehand how easy it is to get into the city to explore. You may save yourself $20 per night, but you will soon spend that on transportation to get to all the attractions!
Hostels aren’t always your cheapest option!
Most travellers have the misconception that hostels are your only option. That everything else will just be too expensive. This really isn’t the case anymore! Especially if you are travelling with others, websites such as Airbnb can give you super cheap private rooms for a fraction of the cost of a hostel! Don’t be afraid to explore your options by using sites like MeshTrip to see what is out there!
Where do you book your accommodation? What are the tricks you have learnt on the road?
This post does include affiliate links to products or companies which I have personally used and would highly recommend! If you click on an ad, at no extra cost to you, I make a small commission from the sale. All of which goes straight back into my travels and my YouTube channel to bring you even more PsychoTraveller goodness!