Traditionally, hostels are the first option that springs to mind whenever gappers or backpackers are looking for cheap accommodation.

Today there is a range of hostels available, which offer clean, safe and reasonably priced accommodation, some even have ‘luxury’ extras, such as internet connection, games rooms and laundry facilities.

There are a number of good apps available for booking accommodation, including, and TripAdvisor.

Here’s some advice from a blogger: “The reviews on the apps are really useful when determining where you want to stay, and sometimes TripAdvisor will show you prices from different sites, helping you find the best price and cutting down on your efforts.

“In addition to the apps, I listen to the recommendations of fellow travellers when deciding on where to stay. The best piece of advice I can offer in respect of reviews you read and hear: think about what it is that you want. I recently stayed in a hostel that received a bad review due to music being played in the evenings, and noise in the common area due to socialising. My response to this was: brilliant! There will be people around to meet! And I booked it and had a great time!”

As for issues of safety and hygiene, our best advice is: use your instincts – if you think the hostel’s simply not up to scratch and too risky, go and find another one.

There are other options for accomodation, of course, such as camping, travelling in a campervan or caravan, staying in hotels, or even in temples and monastries. The pros and cons of each are explored further in the gap-year guidebook.



+44 (0)20 3027 7900

Agoda is one of the world's fastest-growing online hotel platforms. It offers thousands of accommodation options around the globe, from budget hostels to luxury hotels and more.



+1 855 424 7262

Whether a flat for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetise their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.

An Óige - Irish Youth Hostel Association


+353 01 830 4555

The Irish YHA consists of more than 20 hostels throughout Ireland. They have a range of hostels, from large city centre buildings to small hostels in rural settings. Online booking available.

Base Backpackers


AU: 1800 24 22 73; NZ: 0800

At Base it's all about the traveller! Modern, central and fun backpacker hostels located throughout Australia & New Zealand.

UK lists the best prices for every type of property, from small, family-run bed and breakfasts to executive apartments and five-star luxury suites. It is available in more than 40 languages, and offers over 1 million active properties in 225 countries and territories worldwide.



Our fast, easy and efficient guide helps you find the perfect campsite for your holidays. Use our selection of 160 search criteria and our 319 reviews, to find the campsite that really suits you. Fancy a change of air? Campingo gives detailed descriptions of 8341 campsites in 85 countries!

Gap Year Hostel


+65 6297 1055

Inspired, designed and managed by backpackers, Gap Year hostel is a well-equipped modern hostel offering easy access to the heart of Singapore. Features include CCTV and key-cards for security, air-con and high-speed fibre optic wifi for leisure, and complimentary breakfast and tea/coffee for comfort.



+44 (0)208 827 1971

HomeAway connect property owners and managers with holidaymakers looking for the perfect accommodation to share their dream holidays together with families and friends. The beautiful homes on our sites feature more space, privacy, and amenities than hotels, often for less than half the cost per person. We are dedicated to helping holidaymakers create unforgettable experiences by staying together.



The Homestay Web allows you to search for hundreds of host families worldwide and post requests for accommodation on the message board.


+44 (0) 207 406 1800

Youth hostels and cheap accommodation in over 3500 destinations worldwide, with no booking fees.

Hostelling International


01707 324 170

Research, plan and book your trip online with Hostelling International. HI hostels are a great way to travel the world safely - explore new cultures and meet friends.

Hostelling International - Canada


+1 613 237 7884

Contact details for the Canadian branch of this worldwide hostel service.

Hostelling International - Iceland


+354 575 6700

Hostelling International Iceland has 36 hostels all around the country, offering comfortable, budget accommodation which is open to all ages.

Hostelling International - USA


+1 240 650 2100

Hostelling International USA has a network of hostels throughout the United States that are inexpensive, safe and clean.


+353 (0)1 5245800 is an online booking site which operates a network of over 27,000 hostels in more than 180 countries. Provides confirmed reservations at a selection of youth hostels, independent hostels and international hostels.

USA aims to provide all the hostel information anyone could ever want, all in one place. Compare prices and read uncensored reviews for all the major booking websites for each hostel (including Hostelworld, HostelBookers,, and others), so you can see where to get the best deals.

Housing Anywhere BV


+31 090 30 39 23

Housing Anywhere is an international student housing platform where you can book or rent out a room. All advertisers are verified and bookings are made over a secure booking system.

Italy Bike Hotels


+39 0541 307531

Italy Bike Hotels was founded in 2000 by a group of hoteliers passionate about cycling and is dedicated to providing accommodation and facilities for all cycling enthusiasts.



KAYAK provides a price comparison site for hotels and flights all around the world, helping you to easily compare hundreds of travel sites with one search.

Koyasan Sankei-Koh


+81 (0)736 56 2616

Provides details on sightseeing, Buddhist experiences and lodging options in the Koyasan area of Japan, including an alphabetised list of local temples open to overnight guests.

Love Home Swap


+44 0800 131 0000

Love Home Swap helps set you up with over 80,000+ homes in the world's most popular destinations just waiting for you to visit. Choose either a direct swap or use the clever Swap Points and you'll find yourself in your dream holiday house in no time.

Nomads Hostels


1800 666 237

With great locations, awesome activities and friendly staff, Nomads hostels offer budget backpacker accommodation across Australia & New Zealand.



+44 (0)203 514 7775

Roomlala is an user-friendly online platform that puts people with spare rooms in touch with people who need somewhere to stay. We have more than 1.3 million members in over 40 countries.

Scottish Youth Hostel Association


01786 891400

There are over 70 SYHA hostels throughout Scotland. You can book online but you must be a member - you can join at the time of booking. Registered Charity No. SC013138.

USA enables people from all corners of the globe to arrange home exchanges for their next vacation. Best of all: no money changes hands and accomodation is free!

Swiss Youth Hostels


+41 (0) 44 360 1414

They have 52 hostels, ranging from traditional Swiss chalets, to modern buildings, large historic houses and even one or two castles.



TalkTalkBnb connects travellers with hosts wanting to improve their language skills. Find free accommodation in exchange for speaking your mother tongue with your host!

The Hospitality Club


The Hospitality Club is a global collection of members who assist each other with travelling opportunities, be it with a roof for the night or a guided tour through town.

The Tasty Ski Company


+44 (0)7538 761 767

The Tasty Ski Company has a selection of catered ski chalets in Morzine and Le Grand Massif. Our prices include our lovely house wines, beer and soft drinks. This is an unlimited service not just confined to meal times.

Uxlabil Eco Hoteles


+502 2366 9555; +1 305 677 3

Experience Guatemala at affordable prices. Uxlabil offers three unique hotels in Atitlán, Antigua and Guatemala City, each fully equipped with modern facilities and providing breathtaking views.

VIP Backpackers


+61 (0) 2 9211 0766

VIP Backpackers is the largest independent backpacker accommodation network in the world, with over 1,200 hostels across 80+ countries, and counting.

Warm Showers


+1 720 259 9684

The Homestay Web has over 900 host families registered worldwide and waiting for you. You can search for a Homestay Host family open your own home up to others.

Youth Hostel Association New Zealand

New Zealand

+64 (0)3 379 9970

Budget accommodation in New Zealand. Hostels open to all ages. Book online before you go.

Youth Hostels Association of India


+91 (011) 2611 0250

Youth Hostel Association in India, with hostels which can be booked online through their website.