70 websites for finding and booking accommodation: how to live cheaply abroad?

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Travelers Club has collected links to all the travel accommodation booking sites we know in one place. Here you will learn how easy it is to spend the night in almost any city in the world at an adequate price or even for free! Or find a truly unusual place where you will remember your vacation for a long time.

The post contains the largest database of hostels in the world, the largest service for renting accommodation from owners, sites for booking unusual designer hotels, overnight stays in exchange for help with housework or pet sitting – in general, options for every taste. Take your pick!

Hotel aggregator websites

Personally, we open these sites first of all when we are going to travel somewhere. As the name implies, they combine information from various booking systems, such as: Booking.com, Hotels.com,  (одні з кращих цін по Україні), agoda (good for traveling in Asia), Trivago, expedia and many others. Aggregators compare prices, look for discounts and special offers, and you can find not only hotels but also hostels and guesthouses there – it’s very convenient when everything is in one place.

  • momondo – is a free meta-search engine that allows users around the world to compare airfares, hotels and car rentals and get new travel ideas.
  • Kayak – is a meta-search engine that aggregates hotel listings from various sources. It offers a comprehensive search, including price comparison and filters. However, booking through Kayak redirects users to external websites, which leads to potential mismatches.
  • Priceline offers a unique “Name Your Price” feature that allows users to offer hotel prices. It often offers significant discounts, especially for last-minute bookings. However, the non-transparent nature of this feature means that you won’t know the name of the hotel until you book.

We recommend checking both before you travel. Often the choice of hotels and prices differ (depending on the city).

Hotel aggregator websites

Accommodation from the owners

It is often more convenient to book an entire apartment, room or house with the owners for a short or even long term. This can happen if you are traveling in a large company and want to live separately, traveling with a child and want to get comfortable conditions, or simply want to experience local life and live at home, not in a boring hotel.

  • airbnb – is the world leader in owner-occupied housing in more than 190 countries. Their concept is “Welcome Home”. That’s exactly what you want to do if you want to be on a trip, but at the same time feel at home, and it’s worth using the service, this is the main advantage. We lived like this in Thailand, in Bali in Indonesia, in Ukraine, Georgia, and highly recommend it!
  • homestay.com – is perhaps the second most popular service for renting housing from owners.
  • vrbo.com – group website homeaway.
  • 9flats.com – analogue to airbnb, but with less spin.
  • Wimdu.com – is an online platform for booking short-term accommodation around the world. The site offers a wide range of apartments, houses, villas and other accommodations available for rent from private individuals. Users can easily find and book accommodation by viewing photos, descriptions, reviews, and prices. Wimdu also provides an opportunity to communicate with hosts directly through the platform, ensuring the safety and reliability of the transaction.
  • homeexchange.com – is an online platform for exchanging housing between people around the world. It allows homeowners to exchange their house or apartment for a certain period of time with other users. The main goal of the platform is to create opportunities for budget travel by allowing users to stay in other people’s homes rather than hotels. It also allows people to experience new places, cultures and societies, as well as create deep international connections.
  • apartmentsapart.com – is an online platform that specializes in renting apartments and condos. On this site, users can find and book accommodation for short or long-term stays in various cities and countries. Apartmentsapart.com offers a wide range of accommodation options, including studios, one-bedroom and multi-room apartments, to meet the needs of different categories of customers.

Accommodation from the owners

Sites to find hostels

Hostels are an ideal option for those who are looking for interesting socializing, but are willing to sacrifice comfort for a low price. A hostel does not mean that you will live in a dormitory, sometimes there are double rooms. However, most often these are 4/6/8/10-bed rooms for men only, women only or mixed type.
Some hostels will give a head start to hotels in terms of comfort, while others have an atmosphere of wandering and freedom. But you need to choose and read reviews so as not to end up in a hostel 🙂

  • hostelworld.com– is the largest database of hostels in the world. They have a good useful blog and free pdf maps of tourist cities on their website.
  • hostelsclub.com – charges a fee of €2 for its services, but there is a €10 membership card that allows you to avoid paying a fee and receive discounts of up to 30%.

Sites to find hostels

Free overnight stay

The best way to understand a country and its people is to get to know the locals, or even better, to live with them for a while. International hospitality sites provide such opportunities when people invite guests to their homes. But don’t think of them as just a free night’s stay, but rather a cultural exchange, interesting communication, an opportunity to improve your language skills and make new friends around the world.

  • couchsurfing.org – is the most famous hospitality website with millions of users. We had experience living in China, Thailand, and Ukraine. In turn, we have hosted guests from the Netherlands, Colombia, Venezuela, and Greece – it was fun 🙂

You can use it for free or pay for verification (verified users are more trustworthy and find hosts faster).

  • bewelcome.org – is a non-profit organization based in France for finding housing and work.
  • Campspace.com – is an online platform that connects people looking for camping and recreation with private land owners. The site offers unique opportunities for travelers who want to get to know local communities and enjoy the outdoors.

Exchange of houses

  • homeexchange.com – The idea is to exchange houses, because they are empty while traveling anyway. It is ideal if you live in a popular tourist city, although some people may want to come to a provincial town. The site has more than 65 thousand homes in 150 countries, but the service is paid ($150 per year).
  • homelink.org – a real global home exchange community
  • lovehomeswap.com – you can choose your ideal home and location from thousands of beautiful homes in more than 100 countries
  • thirdhome.com – is the premier travel club for second home owners who share a passion for luxury and exploration
  • intervac-homeexchange.com – is a leader in facilitating home exchanges between families, singles and retirees.
  • homebase-hols.com – a resource that offers more than 2 thousand homes for exchange. Another classic example of a vacation rental site.
  • www.gti-home-exchange.com – is a website very similar to the previous one, but with fewer offers. Most of the “temporary” homes are located in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Italy, and the UK.

Housing in exchange for household chores

These sites should not be seen as a way to get a free night’s sleep, but as a new and unusual experience and an opportunity to help people and the planet’s ecology for a week, a month, or even more. The bottom line is that you work for a few hours a day and in return you get accommodation and meals.

  • wwoof.net – is a global movement that unites volunteers with farmers. As a volunteer, you will live with a host, learn a lot about local life, and help with the farm chores. This service is focused on organic farming. The service is paid (one-time) for each country.
  • helpx.net – organic farms, teaching children English, building schools and hospitals, rescuing animals, and much, much more can be found on this site.
  • workaway.info – is a leading community for cultural exchange, working holidays and volunteering in 170 countries.
  • findacrew.net – The service allows you to find a yacht or ship on which you can work on a cruise and where you need helpers.
  • Crewseekers.net – is an online platform that provides crew and yachtsmen matching services for sailing adventures. The site offers yacht owners and captains the opportunity to find qualified and experienced crew members for their yachts, as well as sailors and yachting enthusiasts to find opportunities to travel and work on yachts around the world.

Services for renting cool and unusual hotels

If you want to live in a lighthouse, in a tree house, visit eco-friendly hotels or hotels only for vegetarians, try glamping (glamorous camping) or just chill out, there are special websites for this.

  • quirkyaccom.com – is one of the largest websites for booking unusual accommodation. The geography is wide: Europe, America, Africa, Asia.
  • greatsmallhotels.com – small cozy boutique hotels.
  • tablethotels.com – the best luxury and boutique hotels.
  • hiphotels.com – stylish apartments, where you can find official websites and phone numbers.
  • onefinestay.com – luxury apartments in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Miami.
  • biohotels.info – a catalog of eco-friendly hotels. Unfortunately, only in Europe.
  • bringfido.com – The site finds hotels that allow pets. You can also find other places to visit with pets.

By the way, unusual housing can be found on Airbnb.

Services with big discounts on hotels

  • hoteltonight.com – a special app that collects great discounts for today, tomorrow, or the next few days at hotels that still have rooms available. Most of the options are in North, Central and South America, Europe, and Africa, Australia and Oceania.
  • joinovernight.com – users organize into communities and give discounts “for their own”.
  • hotwire.com – find 4-star hotels at 2-star prices
  • roomertravel.com – Here you can buy someone else’s reservation at a discount. Someone couldn’t go and sells their reservation on the site. You get a good discount, and the person gets money for a non-refundable room.

More unusual ways to live for free

There are even sites similar to home exchange services, but you don’t have to have your own home 🙂 Just take care of someone’s house or feed their pet while they’re away, and you get to live for free.

  • mindmyhouse.com – More than 20,000 homeowners are waiting for you to arrive. The registration fee is $20.
  • housecarers.com – Another option is to live for free while taking care of someone’s home. Membership is $50 per year.
  • luxuryhousesitting.com – operates mainly in the United States and Europe, and this includes luxury housing. Membership costs $25 per year. You can sign up for Vipassana courses, where you take a meditation course for several days. Vipassana means seeing things as they are. You communicate with a mentor, meditate almost all day, live and eat for free, and the food is only vegetarian.
  • dhamma.org – a database of meditation centers.

Booking accommodation in different countries

The political situation often dictates its own conditions – in some countries, conventional hotel rental sites do not work. For example, in Iran, there is no booking engine due to sanctions (or rather, there are, but the most expensive hotels), and airbnb is also not available, so you have to use local services. Where, the main booking systems are not yet working, but with the help of aggregators it is easy to find a suitable option.

  • trip.com – booking accommodation and air and train tickets in China and around the world.
  • oyorooms.com – search for hotels and guest houses in India.
  • flipkey.com – for North, Central and South America, as well as Europe.
  • zenrooms.com – Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka.
  • onefinestay.com – luxury housing in London, Paris, New York, and Rome.

We think that in each country there is still more than one specialized service for finding vacation housing that works only there. Friends, what other websites do you use to book accommodation? Share your experience in the comments!

We use it ourselves and recommend it to our friends:

The best sites for travelers

  • farvater.travel – search for the most profitable tours among 120 reliable tour operators.
  • tripmydream – search and compare airfares among 100 agencies and 728 airlines.
  • Tripster – more than 4000+ excursions in 500+ cities around the world from local residents.
  • hotline.finance – online travel insurance, including for visas.
  • Kiwitaxi.com – international car transfer booking service. 70 countries and 400 airports.
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