How to Find the Best Traveler Accommodation

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Here’s my guide on how to find the best traveler accommodation. There are lots of options for finding the best traveler accommodation. The one you choose depends on what you want and how long you want it for. In this article, I will detail my favorites and a few I should have tried but never got around to. It covers:

  • Hotellook
  • Couchsurfing
  • AirBnb
  • Housesitting
  • Local Rentals
  • Volunteering (working for accommodation)
  • Houseswaps

How to Find the Best Traveler Accommodation


For short stays, this is the first place I go. HotelLook searches all the major hotel comparison sites to find you the best deal. It’s much better than searching one comparison site alone. 99 times out of 100 it finds me the best deal. 

It searches all types of accommodation. From dorm beds in hostels to luxury holiday homes, and everything in-between. 

Visit HotelLook here. 

Couch Surfing

If you are a people person and want free accommodation, Couchsurfing is for you. I’ve only done it a couple of times… I’m not a people person. But the couple of times I did do it I had good experiences. 

What is Couchsurfing? People offer their “couch” for free to other travelers. It is a whole community. It’s great to meet travelers when you are at home also since you can offer your “couch”. 

It doesn’t have to be a couch of course. An actual bed is nice, but many people don’t even mind the humble piece of floor. 


AirBnB is my go-to when I plan to stay one week or more. Often, booking for at least a week will give you a discount. And it is not rare to get 50%+ off when staying a month or more. 

Besides the big discount, I like AirBnb because there are more places with the ability to cook and work.

Get a special discount off your first AirBnb booking here.


If I can get it, this is my preferred way to get traveler accommodation.

House-sitting is like a mixture of couch-surfing and Airbnb. Actually, it is like couch-surfing but with a whole house.  

One downfall of being a vagabond for me is not being able to have a pet. And more often than not, a house-sitting gig comes with one. You may also have to do other odd jobs around the place.

In exchange for looking after someone’s house, you get free accommodation. And it’s (usually) better than any hotel room since you will have a kitchen and other home comforts.

There are a few websites to check out for this one. Some are better depending on what country you want to housesit in. Two big ones to start you off are www.TrustedHouseSitters.com and www.Nomador.com.

Local Rentals

Depending on what country you plan to live in, this can be difficult. But if you can do it, its way cheaper than hotels or Airbnb’s.

In some countries, you won’t be able to rent locally unless you are a permanent resident. In most others, you need to make a 6 or 12-month commitment. 

Finding a 3-month or even 1-month agreement is possible, especially for a room or bed space. I like to have a whole apartment or small house, but finding them is fairly hard on a short-term basis. I tend to use Airbnb in these cases.

If not, then rent locally. Doing this is different depending on the country. Craigslist, Gumtree, Word of mouth, Facebook groups, etc.

Get accommodation for one week with HotelLook or AirBnb, then use that week to find a place. If you search online, you can often find a place before you go.

These last 2 traveler accommodation options are ones I have not done, but I’ve put them because they are good options. 


In exchange for a place to sleep, you work. Often you get fed as well. The jobs can be anything from farm-work, gardening, carpentry, teaching, etc. This can be through a volunteer organization or via an exchange website.

I researched doing this back in my 20s. I even paid the site fee and applied for a few places, but then never did it. Now days there are multiple sites you can use, but the one I checked out was www.WorkAway.info.

House Swap

If I owned a house or even an apartment, I would do this. 

It is exactly as it sounds. You have a house, and so does someone else. So you swap.

There are a couple of websites that help with this. HomeExchange is one of the better-known ones. 

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Well, that’s all the ways I look for accommodation when traveling, and a couple I don’t use too. In general:

  • For short stays (days) I go with HotelLook
  • For up to a few weeks I search HotelLook, Airbnb, and housesitting.
  • For a month or more I will skip HotelLook and prioritise housesitting. Airbnb is my backup.
  • Finally, for anything over a month, I will also look into local rentals.

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