No one wants to spend a fortune on accommodation costs but everyone needs a bed for the night. Cutting down costs on accommodation for travellers will mean more disposable money to spend on more exciting things like excursions, transport and most importantly- food. The fixed costs and prior knowledge to these costs will help you budget how much you spend and you’ll be able to roughly work out how much money you can spend on other stuff!
So here’s some tips on what apps to use in Asia to make it a smooth ride:
Looking for the cheapest accommodation spots? Then get familiar with HostelWorld.
The App is available to download for free on Android and IOS. The homepage is very simple, you just need to know where you want to go, what date you want to go and how many people you want to go with… Easy right?
According to Hostelworld statistics, 45% of Hostelworld travellers interact with the app during their trip as the app makes it quick and simple to book accommodation when you’re on the move.
The app offers many filters to fit your requirements, if you wanted a hostel in the city centre, in a shared dorm, for under £8, then HostelWorld app will be able to find the place you’re after! Just punch in what you want and it will filter the accommodations down to your exact match- or closest to. The app features a ‘Speak to the World’ section which allows you to speak into the phone and choose a language to translate to, helpful for us Brits who are too lazy to learn any other language! It also has a ‘wishlist’ section where you can add your favourite hostels and save them for later.
Type of Accommodation-
Don’t wing your accommodation, book it in advance. You will discover countless hostels all over Asia, it’s backpacker central out there. If you don’t book in advance, be prepared to haggle your way through because some places are sure to try and rip you off. They may also be booked up during high seasons and have no space for you so I’d recommend to book a day or two in advance.
I mean, how much privacy can a girl get when there’s 12 other people within the same 4 walls? So privacy is kinda non-existent in hostels, but you get used to it, it’s the reason why they’re so cheap. However, hostels are a great way to meet new people! You can stay in a room with 2 people or 30 people, it’s your choice. Most hostels host activities which are optional, and most include a lot of drinking.
I used the Hostelworld app religiously throughout Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, I was literally on the app every few days. Staying in hostels is a lot of fun, they are the most social type of accommodation you can stay in. I felt safe but didn’t have to spend a fortune so if you’re a budget backpacker that’s open to making new friends then I’d strongly recommend downloading this app!
This app has similar features to Hostelworld as they both provide useful information about the properties that every traveller would want to know- prime location or out of the way, breakfast included or not, A/C or fan, £5 or £359, WiFi accessibility or breakdown… you get the picture. You can download this app for free on IOS or Android.
Type of accommodation-
Booking.com compares multiple types of accommodations, the app compares prices of hostels, hotels, B&B’s and guesthouses so this app gives you a wider range of accommodations. If you’re looking for more of a luxury stay that doesn’t involve sharing a room with 14 other strangers and you’re more flexible with money then Booking.com is probably your best bet.
The properties in Asia that are put on Booking.com are commonly resorts, so if you’re looking to treat yourself or have a romantic few nights alone with your partner than this app will be more suitable.
My favourite place to use Booking.com was Bali. I was able to spend a bit more money in Bali so my friend and I treated ourselves to places with a tad more luxury- a double bed instead of bunkbeds!
The app includes offers filters so you can find the place you’re looking for. You can search for restaurants near by and look at their reviews and if hosts have recommended it. You can also explore an ‘experiences’ tab which informs you on fun stuff to do in the area you’re staying in.
Type of Accommodation-
Here we have the fastest growing accommodation sharing site. The difference with this company is that it allows people to turn their regular homes into a homestay for guests while their home is vacant. The properties on Airbnb aren’t as abundant as the accommodations you’ll find on HostelWorld or Booking.com. They’re ideal if you’re in a couple or a group of people and want a private space for a while and want a place that feels more homely.
Airbnb offers you the comfort of a homely stay and allows you to stay in a non-touristy area without paying a tonne for a hotel in prime location. You get as much privacy as you want.
My favourite place to use Airbnb was Ubud in Bali. We set up camp in this rural town in the North of the country for a few days. Staying in an airbnb means that we reduced costs on day-to-day expenses such as laundry and food as we were able to use facilities ourselves instead of paying for services.
The Digital Impact of Accommodation Apps:
I contacted Hostelworld as I was curious as to whether it’s free for a property to put their accommodation on the site. I found out that properties you book through Hostelworld pay a fee which is the same amount as the deposit of the booking. Airbnb also takes 3% commission of the booking from the hosts and around 6-12% from the guests.
HostelWorld has a staggering 36,000 properties in more than 170 countries, which has made booking accommodation easier for budget backpackers, giving them access to thousands of accommodations that have put themselves on the site. However not all Homestays are on HostelWorld, some are only accessible via physical bookings. It’s no secret that Asia is an underdeveloped country and some areas struggle financially, some homestays may not be able to afford to pay the fee that Hostelworld require, resulting in less business for the local, smaller accommodations.