Hotel Accommodation Apps

14 Lesser-Known Accommodation Apps for Your Next Trip

In Android, iOS by Patricia Rey Mallén1 Comment

Oh, how smartphones have changed the way we travel. They can help make the unpleasant flying experience much smoother. They can guide us around a new city, even (or rather, especially) if our sense of direction is messed up. And, of course, they can help us find where to sleep every night.

We have a few favorites, with Agoda and Hostelbookers at the top of the pack. They’re great — but they don’t cover every travel situation.

What if you’re looking for somewhere far off the beaten track? Or you’d rather camp out under the stars? Or you’re just chronically late and needed to make a reservation yesterday?

Fear not, your phone has you covered. These 14 apps all offer a different perspective on finding accommodation, so there’s no need to stay in yet another boring motel or run-down guesthouse again.

Country-Specific Booking

Hotel Accommodation Apps 2

Jumia Travel Booking

Africa can be a tough nut to crack with accommodation, particularly if you travel independently.

This is where Jumia comes in. It calls itself “Africa’s number 1 hotel booking site,” and boasts a database of over 25,000 hotels accross the continent. They also have plenty of options elsewhere in the world, for a total 200,000 hotels.

There are exclusive app-only deals, and you can pay at booking time or when checking out.

Android, free

HotelQuickly

We’ve long sung Agoda’s praises — for us, nothing tops this Singapore-based booking site for finding accommodation in Asia. It’s always good to have alternatives, though, and HotelQuickly works well as a back up.

The app offers lodgings in 250 locations around Asia-Pacific, offering mobile-only discounts updated daily, and a loyalty program. HotelQuickly specializes in last-minute reservations, but rooms can be booked up to a week in advance.

iOS and Android, free

AA Hotel Guide

Yes, this is the app for the Automobile Association, but hear me out: AA Hotel Guide has a surprisingly comprehensive list of accommodation in all price ranges across the UK.

The app features over 3,000 properties in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, rated according to AA’s own system. It also includes an “Inspire Me” option, where you can let the app suggest nearby accommodation for you.

iOS, free

Finding the Right Price

Hostel Accommodation App

Hotwire

If you’ve been on the road for a while, chances are you know about Hotwire. This app offers phenomenal deals on everything from flights to car rentals. Its main claim to fame, though, is hotel specials — particularly the way it deals with them.

Hotwire offers great discounts for hotels, with the caveat it doesn’t tell you which hotel you’re booking. You can pick the city (0bviously) and the area you want to stay, and Hotwire will offer you deals without giving out the name. Once you book, all is revealed.

The company argues these hotels (such as Hilton or Intercontinental) don’t want to advertise their most discounted rates in order to keep their good name. So it’s a win-win: the hotel keeps its high-end reputation, and you get a great deal.

iOS and Android, free

HotelsCombined

The idea is as simple as it is effective: put up a bunch of listings next to each other, and compare which one offers you more bang for your buck.

HotelsCombined’s database spans over 800,000 lodging options, including rentals, hostels, 5-star resorts, hotels and guesthouses, so there’s something for every traveler. Just pick your shortlist, and see them one against another on the same app. No need for more.

iOS and Android, free

Roomlia

Roomlia first started as a Hotel Tonight for planners, offering reservations a week prior to stay for discounted rates.

While now this edge might not be as alluring (Hotel Tonight now offers booking up to a week in advance), it’s still worth checking. Roomlia features good deals, a sleek design and the easiest booking process imaginable. Two swipes, and you’re done.

iOS and Android, free

Stayful

Are you tired of chain hotels? Download Stayful, which offers similar services as its competitors but only works with independent and boutique hotels. It lists deals on a handful of properties in the US and Canada, as well as the Virgin Islands and UK.

Want to stay in a Victorian-style guesthouse in London? Or a funky desert inn in Santa Fe? Stayful’s got you covered.

iOS, free 

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Booking On-the-Go

Hotel Accommodation App 3

Hotel Tonight

Stranded in a city because of a missed flight? Preferred accommodation full when you showed up? Forgot to book a room until the minute you landed?

Turn to Hotel Tonight. This app allows for last-minute bookings in local hotels, franchises and boutique B&Bs, at discounted prices in cities around the world. You’ll sometimes saveas much as 65%, or so says the app.

It doesn’t offer hostels or guesthouses, so the final price can be in the triple digits. In a pinch, or for a much-needed night of luxury after a 20-hour flight, it works wonders.

iOS and Android, free

ToucHotel

It happens. You’re in the middle of a trip, and meet another traveler who raves about a nearby town you hadn’t planned to visit. Intrigued, you decide to head there for a few days — but have little to no information on the place.

ToucHotel can help you decide where to stay. Aside from the usual info on the hotels, B&B and short-term rentals listed, the beauty of the app is the community advice on which places to check out, and the areas that merit attention.

Think of it as combination of TripAdvisor and Agoda.

iOS and Android (temporarily down), free

Hotel Info

At first sight, Hotel Info doesn’t do much more than the other accommodation apps we’ve discussed. It does have one killer feature, though — placing a call straight from the app for live communication with the hotel.

It’s ideal when you are running late, or you have no idea where you are and desperately need somebody to point you in the right direction. If you’d prefer not to talk to someone, you can also turn on the inbuilt map, with directions to your accommodation and real images of the area.

iOS and Android, free

Booking Not-Hotels

Camping Accommodation App

Zillow Rentals

If you like Airbnb but want to diversify your options, check out Zillow Rentals. This app offers short-term full apartment rentals in several cities around the US.

Zillow is a communication tool, meaning you deal directly with the property manager or owner. Unlike with Airbnb, anything and everything is arranged between owner and renter. If you have a problem, it will also be your job to bring it up with the property manager.

You could rent an apartment through Zillow for just a few days, but will be more successful if you save it for stays of three months or more.

iOS and Android, free

RadPad

This is another rental app for the US, which includes apartment shares as well as entire houses. Similarly to Zillow, RadPad will work best if you are looking for an apartment for a few months, but there are also listings for week-long stays.

A cool feature in this app is that it has an option for you to pay the rent to the owner through the website. There’s no need to wire or do a bank deposit, unlike Zillow.

iOS and Android, free

Camp & RV

If you like to bring your accommodation with you, you’ll want this app. Whether you prefer to camp out or live in your home on wheels, Camp & RV will show you where you can park for the night around the US and Canada.

The app will pin where you can park your RVs or pitch your tents, or where you can find rest areas while on the road. Each stop features photos and reviews from previous users pulled from the web, including from non-users of the app.

iOS and Android, free

ACSI

ACSI Campsites Europe is the European response to Camp & RV, featuring 8,500 campsites in 32 European countries.

The app divides up the information in packages per country or campsite, including reviews, directions, photos, and social media options to share location.

The downside is that information comes at a price. While the app is free to download, packages are for-purchase. Once in the app, select the country you’re headed to to see the purchase options, which can be one campsite, several or the entire package. Purchase is valid for one year.

iOS and Android, free (info for purchase)


Do you have any favorite accommodation apps? Any we didn’t include?

Images via Kieran Lynam (Hotel sign Paris), Jennifer Woodard Maderazo (Hotel sign), FFC (Hotel sign big), Felix Montino (hostel), R.E. Barber Photography (camping).

About the Author

Patricia Rey Mallén

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A roaming writer and tech enthusiast, Patricia has been wandering the globe for 10-odd years. A passionate Apple lover, she is familiar with Genius bars from Sydney to Reykjavík to Mexico City. She only vaguely remembers life before the Internet, but will forever long for the days in which mobile phone batteries lasted for over a week.

Comments

  1. Thanks Patricia! During the first five months of our RTW trip, we’ve relied on Air BNB of course. Love the options as we head toward Asia!

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