Whether you want a cheap hotel or are looking for a working vacation, these apps will help you see the world on a budget.
You don’t have to be rich to travel, seeing a new country is not as expensive as you might think. This is especially true when it comes to booking your accommodation. There are tons of apps available to help budget travelers find a cheap room or even nothing at all.
Some of these apps require you to trade in your services for accommodation, while others offer a free couch you can sit on or help you find a bed for under $ 10 a night. Money is no longer an excuse, if you want to see the world now is your time.
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With over 35,000 properties located in 170 countries, Hostelworld is a great app for finding budget accommodation in just about any location. Depending on the country, you can easily find a range of places to sleep for less than $ 10 per night. The app offers dorm-style rooms at very low prices, as well as private accommodation if you’re willing to pay a little more.
What really makes this app great are the extra bonus features. This includes the hostel’s chat feature which allows you to contact other guests who will be staying the same time as you to make connections prior to your arrival. There’s also the Hostel Speak feature, which lets you instantly translate your words into 43 languages.
Couchsurfing has been a staple for budget travelers looking for a free place to crash for over a decade. Once you’ve chosen your travel destination, you can reach one of over 14 million users and hosts in over 230,000 cities around the world. While the company has recently started charging a reasonable monthly or annual subscription fee to take advantage of its services, it’s still cheaper than booking a hotel.
What makes Couchsurfing so great is the ability to stay with a local, either in a guest room or, as the name suggests, on their sofa. It gives you the chance to make local friends and learn about the best restaurants and major sights in the city, all from someone who actually lives there.
The app also has a Hangouts Couchsurfing feature that lets you connect with nearby couchsurfers who want to meet. It also lists thousands of Couchsurfing events around the world, providing even more opportunities to meet new people while you travel.
If you want to travel with a cause, Worldpackers is a great app to check out. The company has hosts in 100 countries who will offer you a place to sleep in return for help. Worldpackers offers three different types of programs that you can choose from:
- Work exchange: this is where you exchange your skills for accommodation. Jobs include cleaning, managing a hotel front desk, building, or even helping with managing a company’s social media account.
- Social impact: This program involves volunteer work as part of an NGO, a school or a social project. Here you can help build an orphanage, teach children English, or work in a Tanzanian women’s program.
- Eco program: If you want to get away from civilization, this program is for you. Here you will work either on a farm, in an eco-village, or with permaculture.
While it is possible to use Worldpackers for free, there is an annual subscription model if you are interested in unlimited contact with hosts and exclusive discounts through the company. However, without paying you can still apply for as many work programs as you want. To get one, your skills must match the job or the host is not likely to approve the application.
Dorms.com is an amazing app for finding cheap hostels in almost any country. The company has more than 30,000 hostels in its database, many of which offer private and shared rooms for as little as $ 5 per night. You can also find a range of budget hotels, guesthouses, guest houses and apartment hotels.
When shopping for cheap accommodation, the listings on Dorms.com have a lot of information about each property. This includes activities and entertainment options, such as cooking classes, tours, bars and games. The app also includes a ‘Take me to my hostel’ feature so you can easily find your reservation and information to help you find sights.
If you are an animal lover who enjoys budget travel, TrustedHousesitters may be exactly what you are looking for. With the app, you can find pet owners across the world who are looking for someone who can watch their home and pets while they are out of town.
This will give you a free place to stay, usually in a rather nice house, for free. Usually all you have to do in return is feed their animals, walk their dogs, and keep the area tidy.
The available locations all depend on where the hosts live. This means that you may find yourself in a suburb outside of a city or somewhere in the countryside. You will also need to travel on their schedule, planning your trip during the time they will be out of town. It can range from a few days to several months. So if your travel plans are flexible, this is a good option.
To find the lowest price for a hotel, it’s hard to beat the Hotellook app. When you type a search in Hotellook, the service compares hotel deals from 80 different online booking agencies. This means you can see the best prices on Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, Expedia and more with just one quick search.
The prices on this app can range from insanely cheap hostels that cost well under $ 5 per night to expensive five star resorts. However, regardless of the price per night, you can be pretty sure that you are getting the lowest price for the room you are booking when using this app.
Which Application Should You Choose?
If you’re looking for a cheaper Airbnb alternative when traveling, you have a wide range of options.
For a cheap hostel, Hostelworld and Dorms.com have some great deals. If you are looking for a free stay, Couchsurfing is probably the best option if you don’t want to trade in your work for your stay.
However, if you don’t mind volunteering your time for your accommodation, check out TrustedHousesitters and Worldpackers. For a nicer room at the lowest possible price, it’s hard to beat Hotellook.