Our Preferred Accommodations

As budget travelers, Ian and I search for unique, affordable places to stay on our travels. We’ll splurge for special occasions, but pricey hotels are generally not our scene. Below is a list of our preferred travel accommodations. About the places we’ve listed here:

  • We’ve stayed at all of them, enjoyed ourselves, and weren’t flat broke afterward.
  • Some fit into our first-year travel budget of $600 per month for housing. At many, the price gets better the longer you stay!
  • We’ve stayed at some for comparatively pricier weekend trips.

Support Our Travels  We currently book most of our travel accommodations through Airbnb and Hotels.com. If you’re thinking of giving either a try, please sign up through our links (Airbnb, Hotels.com). You’ll get $20-30 off your first Airbnb booking and $50 off your first $300 Hotels.com stay, and we’ll receive booking credit, too!)

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North to South’s Preferred Accommodations

If you’re traveling to one of our past destinations (Europe and North America) and want a recommendation for where to stay, consider these options.

Our list is organized alphabetically by continent and country.

EUROPE

Croatia

Double Tree (Zagreb, Croatia)

  • I don’t usually specifically recommend any chain hotels, but this hotel stood out as a really awesome value for the price. It was completely modern all around and definitely nicer (and less expensive) than any Double Tree we’ve stayed at in the U.S. There’s an amazing view of the city from the pool/jacuzzi on the top floor, and our room had both a shower and a separate tub. Free WiFi, too!
  • Booking: hotels.com (get $50 off a $300 booking with our link)
  • Our stay: 1 night @$91.76 (2 people), June 2016
  • Recommended for: short stays

Czech Republic

Queen Bee House (Prague, Czech Republic)

  • This is one of our all-time favorite Airbnb stays! Lenka, the host, has four apartments available to rent in a perfect location right near the Charles Bridge (where you want to be in Prague). We stayed in the Johan studio, a private apartment overlooking the cafe downstairs (also operated by the host). They have one more apartment overlooking the cafe and two overlooking the charming cobblestone street that takes you around the corner to the Charles Bridge. (Note: If cigarette smoke bothers you, book one of their streetside apartments, as the smoke smell may waft up through your open windows on the cafe side.)
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 4 nights @ $100/night (including fees, 2 people), May 2016
  • Recommended for: short stays, 1-2 people

Hungary

Vintage flat IV. in the centre (Budapest, Hungary)

  • This is an affordable, newly renovated studio apartment in an excellent central location on the Pest side of Budapest — perfect for a couple or a solo traveler. The host, Balázs, is very well organized and communicative via the Airbnb app and arranged a convenient transfer from the airport for our late-night arrival.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 8 nights @ $36/night (including fees, 2 people), June 2016
  • Recommended for: short or long stays, 1-2 people (View all apartments available through this host here.)

Sign up for Airbnb through our link for $20-25 off your first booking!

Italy

Bungalow 10 beach nature for family (Eraclea Mare, Italy)

  • This is a private 2-bedroom bungalow, walking distance from town and the beach in Eraclea Mare. We rented a car during our stay here.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 4 nights @ $66/night (4 people), April 2014
  • Recommended for: short stays, 2-4 people

Ampia e accogliente camera doppia (Milan, Italy)

  • This is a private room in an Italian-speaking family apartment with a private bath, located within walking distance of subway and bus lines, as well as an ornate cemetery. During this stay, we took a day trip via train to the lovely Lake Como.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 2 weeks @ $272/week, May 2014
  • Recommended for: shorter stays, 1-2 people

Norway

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Room with view & sailing & cycling (Stord, Norway)

  • This was our first ever Airbnb stay, and it was nothing short of AMAZING. It’s a private room in a family home in what’s probably the safest place in the entire world. More about our stay here.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 1 month @ $500/month, March 2014 (now $69/night w/weekly and monthly discounts)
  • Recommended for: long stays, 1-2 people

Slovenia

Bell Rooms: Your home away from home (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

  • This is clean, modern apartment in a convenient location near the walking zone of downtown Ljubljana. There are two separate rooms with queen beds and two full bathrooms, and it’s a good value if your travel group is 3 or 4 people. One room has a view of Ljubljana Castle and is adjacent to a spacious modern bathroom, and the other room has a private balcony with a smaller bathroom attached. David, the host, was super friendly and quick to answer all of our questions about exploring Slovenia before and during our stay.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 2 nights @ $146/night (including fees, 3 people)
  • Recommended for: short stays, 3-4 people

NORTH AMERICA

Canada

James Bay Bright Lower Studio (Victoria, British Columbia)

  • This is a private studio apartment rental with a FANTASTIC location for exploring Victoria. The host provides a convenient list of all the nearby attractions. We were also lucky enough to have a local friend who gave us a great list of things to do.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 3 nights @ $50/night, Oct 2014
  • Recommended for: short and long stays (affordable weekly/monthly rates), 1-2 people.

Costa Rica

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Castillo Del Arenal Junior Suite (Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica)

  • This is a private room at a small, local hotel on the hillside in the town of Castillo with a FABULOUS view of Arenal Volcano and the lake. We went ziplining during our stay here. The complimentary breakfast was delicious.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 2 nights @ $75/night, March 2015
  • Recommended for: short stays, 1-2 people

Center of town, family friendly (Heredia, Costa Rica)

  • This is a private room with private bathroom in a warmly welcoming family home in the Central Valley city of Heredia. It’s conveniently located near bus lines, including the bus to San José, where you can catch a bus to just about anywhere in the country. During our stay, we visited Volcán Arenal, Volcán Poás, and Manuel Antonio, as well as the nearby Cafe Britt Coffee Tour and Toucan Rescue Ranch.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 1 month @ $300/month, Feb-March 2015
  • Recommended for: long stays, 1-2 people

Modern Jungle Apt, Manuel Antonio (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica)

  • This is a private studio apartment in a small gated complex with a pool between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. It’s just a short walk to the bus stop to get to both Quepos and the beach/park.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 3 nights @ $55/night, March 2015
  • Recommended for: short stays, 1-2 people

Mexico

Mexico City (D.F.)

Nice flat in an excellent location (Mexico City, Mexico)

  • This is a private room in an apartment rented by a lovely couple in Mexico City. We stayed for one month with Rodrigo and Lu, and we couldn’t have found better hosts in Mexico. They’ve moved to a new place (link above) since our visit, but it looks even lovelier than their previous apartment! When searching for a place to stay in early 2015, we found it’s a challenge to find communicative, trustworthy and accommodating hosts in Mexico on Airbnb. Rest assured, you’ll have a lovely stay with these two! And bonus: They speak both English and Spanish.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 1 month @ $641/month, April 2015
  • Recommended for: short or long stays, 1-2 people

U.S.

Alaska

Charming One Bedroom in Midtown (Anchorage, Alaska)

  • This is a cozy, private 1-bedroom apartment with kitchen, parking, WiFi, and lots of tips from the hosts for things to do in and around Anchorage.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 2 weeks @ $474/week, October 2015
  • Recommended for: short stays, 2-4 people

West Virginia

Seneca House Renovated Barn (Seneca Rocks, West Virginia)

  • This is an adorable, outdoorsy, small renovated barn complete with bathroom, kitchenette, WiFi, heat and A/C and barnyard neighbors! The goats and rooster give this place real character, making it our most unique stay on Airbnb yet. Note: Not available during the cold winter months.
  • Booking: Airbnb (sign up)
  • Our stay: 2 nights@ $70/night, September 2015
  • Recommended for: short stays, 2-3 people

Want to Get on Our List?

If you host travelers at your home or other accommodation and are looking to boost your bookings, invite us to stay! In addition to having your place on our list of preferred accommodations, we’ll take professional photos that you can use to market your space, and give you tips for improving your listing to make it more attractive to travelers like us.

Considering Hosting on Airbnb?

If you’re new to Airbnb, we’re happy to help!  Sign up for an account, and let us know if you need suggestions for how to make your listing amazing. Also, check out this article to get started right:

How to Be a 5-Star Host on Airbnb

How Do We Find Great Place to Stay?

View our tips for booking budget travel in “How to Find a Safe, Comfortable and AFFORDABLE place to stay on Airbnb.”

How to find safe, comfortable and affordable accommodations with Airbnb

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