You’ve often heard that you don’t have to spend a fortune to travel, and we’re here to prove it. For those who don’t mind sacrificing a central location, or are perfectly fine sharing a room with strangers, there are ample budget-friendly accommodations in popular cities around the world. We tried to find the cheapest hotels with availability. Not surprisingly, they’re almost all hostels – and not the cleanest, most modern properties. Scroll down to see the cheapest hotels in places like London and Cancun, and where we think you should stay instead for a still affordable (but more enjoyable) getaway.
World Hotel, New York City
Even though this hotel is less than $200 per night, the World Hotel in New York City should not be designated a hotel: It is a hostel, and not a good one. Cleanliness issues are apparent throughout the property, with heaping garbage bags in the stairwell and stains covering most surfaces. All rooms are small, and only some have private bathrooms. Most share bathroom space with others in the hall. There are no on-site amenities or features to speak of.
High Tech Nueva Castellana, Madrid
The High Tech Nueva Castellana is an upper-middle-range, business-friendly hotel situated in a fairly desolate neighborhood in northern Madrid. Rooms are large and strive for a modern feel, but are starting to show their age, and furnishings look more cheap than chic. However, the hydro-massage showers, iPod docks, computers and flat-screen TVs are luxe touches, and some rooms even offer stationary bikes. Property amenities are few, but it’s an adequate pick for business travelers who need to be close to the airport and want to avoid the city center. You can get all this and more for less than $100!
Hostel Mundo Joven, Cancun
The Hostel Mundo Joven in downtown Cancun is a no-frills budget hostel with a festive party atmosphere and a central location, and provides exactly what it advertises. The hostel staff do what they can to add activities and flair for the guests, with free walking tours and hand-painted decorations on the walls, but some guests complain about the dated hostel’s grime and wear and tear. Guests have a range of accommodation options, from segregated men and women dormitories, to shared dorms, to private rooms, to a room with its own whirlpool and fold-out sofa. Again, you can stay here for under $100.
Travelers on tight budgets who want to stay in central London will find The Pride of Paddington — a dormitory-style, five-room hostel — a decent option, albeit with a few caveats. Rooms can be noisy, and only one of the rooms has its own bathroom, while the others have bunk beds and a shared bathroom. The interiors, cheerful and basic, could do with a bit of cleaning and repainting. A full English breakfast is served for free, and guests receive discounts for other meals and drinks at the on-site pub. You can book a room here for less than $200.