So you are on your semester break and want to take a vacation somewhere, you’ve check the price for the plan ticket, now you need to find a place to stay. Accommodation is a major cost when you are traveling. Sure, you can stay in a hotel but many students are on a budget and hotels can be expensive.
Hostels are usually the first choice for a cheaper alternative to hotels. Two popular hostel booking websites on the internet are hostelworld.com and hostelbookers.com both have listings of hostels from all around the world and from my experience. You can also check out the listings on the InternationalStudent.com travel center where you can book youth hostels online also , as well as a number of other services.
But if you’re sick of hostels and don’t want to share a room with multiple strangers or sleep in a dirty bed (although many hostels are very clean and meeting random people can be a fun and rewarding experience) or just want a different kind of experience, you might want to take a look at airbnb.com. This site allows people to rent out a room or even sometimes an entire house. If you are traveling with a group of friends this might be a better deal than staying in a hostel. In most hostels you are paying for each person individually, but if you can find an apartment for 4 people and split the cost, you may end up getting a better/better place for less money.
If you really are tight on money or just enjoy meeting people, check out couchsurfing.com. This site is a community for people who have an extra couch or bed to connect with people who need a place to sleep for free. The website already has over 2 million members, and has been increasingly growing in popularity. Keep in mind that you’re stepping into a stranger’s house. While the site has some securities features, many of them are optional. You should always take precautions personally if you do decide to couch surf.
You may also want to consider Servas.org (similar to couchsurfing.com). This is a non-government organization with connections to the United Nations. The security procedure for Servas is more formal and includes an interview with an authorized Servas member.
Do you have other suggestions that are not listed on here? Leave a comment and share your secret!