The cheapest and most fun way to travel is to stay in hostels. Almost all places will have hostels, although it takes a certain person to love hostels. There are many postitives and negatives, your living quarters are small, you have to share spaces, some may not have kitchens, the bathroom may be outside the room, or you get the occational super loud snorer, however it is the easiest way to meet new people doing the same thing as you, extremely cheap, most host events and dinners and they usually offer discounts on trips in the city you are exploring. You can take advantage of discounted trips even if you are not staying at the hostel-you can simply go to the check in desk and ask them about tours they provide.
I usually use hostels over airbnb if I am traveling solo. That way I am forced to meet new people, save money and usually there is a lot of fun nightlife at hostels. Airbnb is good if you’re staying in a place where you would like to cook your meals all the time, need private and quiet space-although some hostels have private rooms- or if you’re traveling as a couple. My boyfriend and I have used both while traveling and we prefer airbnb.
Each hostel and Airbnb is different though. I have stayed in some hostels that were disgusting and sketchy and just needed a place to sleep or I’ve also stayed at hostels for only a few hours before heading to my next destination. I have also stayed in gorgeous hostels that roomed 16 people in my room and had pub craws, family dinners, veggie spring roll making class, etc. I have stayed in airbnb’s that have been small and inside the owners home and some luxurious with my own apartment. l rely on ratings and reviews, ALWAYS ALWAYS CHECK REVIEWS. Both have their own apps which make it simple for traveling and are really easy to book accommodations. Airbnb also provides expereinces-things you can do around where you are staying-wine tasting, food tours, playing with barn animals, pottery classes, etc. They are also extremely helpful when needed to respond if there are issues-just make sure to contact them for any issues that you have within 24 hours of check in. Before checking in, make sure to contact the host to get a full list of what is provided within the housing or what you may need to bring.
***If you are looking to get free accommodation, most hostels will provide you free stay if you work at the hostels. Usually need to have minimum of a week or two stay, but mostly give you light work a few hours a week. Message them before booking and simply ask!***