How to find a bedroom for 1$/night in London

These days traveling has become so easy. When I first started exploring the world, over 12 years ago, I used to rely heavily on paper maps, buy train tickets in person at the station and just show up at hostels to check if they had any availability. Today we have apps for everything, and we can plan trips as easy as tapping the screen of our phone.


My personal experience

About a year ago I took a leap of faith and moved from England to Spain. My friends know that I am not very comfortable with change, so taking this decision wasn’t an easy one, taking a few months to convince myself that it’s a good idea. And why wouldn’t it be, when you think that Spain has everything: good weather, beautiful beaches, cheap tapas, and considerably better living condition for the same money. All of this is true, I live in a beautiful spacious apartment with two balconies, a rooftop terrace and three pools, paying less than I used to on my modest one-bedroom flat back in Poole. It is quite the dream holiday house.

However, as much as I wanted to make this work, it didn’t happen. It’s been a while and I realised that I can’t adapt to the Spanish lifestyle. Most of the people who live in my community are here because they retired, and I feel that it’s always a holiday vibe going around, which is not great environment for working. As much as I want to move back to England, at the moment I am still bounded to Spain by a house contract that still has plenty of time before it finishes. Whilst Spain is great for a quiet and slow life, I have to admit that I am a city girl and I miss the buzz and the life in the first lane.

Lately I have taken more and more trips to London for different events and business meetings, spending quite a bit on hotels and B&Bs. In November I will be at the World Travel Market and just imagining how much money I will have to spend on accommodation for 7 days scares me, especially that during this event most of hotels are raising their prices considerably.

What if I could make these trips to London cheaper? Well, with the help of Holiday Swap, I can!

Holiday Swap is an app that matches you with other like-minded travellers who love exploring the world. Whilst I can get that so needed accommodation in London, someone else could enjoy my Spanish holiday apartment in the same time. Think of it like Tinder for travel: swipe until you find the perfect match.


So, how does Holiday Swap work?

The free Holiday Swap app is very easy to download and install. The easiest way to create an account is through Facebook or Google, so one tap and you’re all set and ready to go. First of all, once you access the app, you are prompted to create your space, which is the property you are ready to swap. You can choose between swapping the entire home, hosting in a spare room or both. Once you fill in the description of your home, the address and add some photos, your profile is complete. Now you can start looking for a space in your dream location.

It costs $1/night/bedroom to swap a property worldwide, money which is used for administrative fees, to run the app.  For example, if you are swapping a 2-bedroom flat for 5 days, you will have to pay $10. Besides the 1$/night/bedroom, there are no subscription fees, or any other costs involved to use the services of Holiday Swap. That is considerably cheaper than a hotel room, which in London for example will cost at least £100 a night.

Imagine what amazing activities you can do with all the money saved on accommodation! Talking about London, which is an expensive city, the savings can buy you a ticket on the London Eye, a high tea in the Shard or a front row seat in a West End production. The possibilities are endless. The “MyMap” feature is designed to inspire you with local tips about what is there to do in the area you are planning to travel to, from natural parks, hidden swimming paces, golf clubs, events, even yoga studios. And they are all recommended by locals!


Is Holiday Swap a safe app?

As a female single traveller, I always have to ask myself this question: “But is it safe?”. The answer is yes. There are several ways of which you can check a swapper, one of them being the ratings score. Another one is by getting to know your host through the chat function, to make sure you are comfortable swapping with them. I personally would always swap the entire home rather than just a room. I enjoy my privacy, especially when I travel for work and I need to follow an early schedule. I am not comfortable thinking that I have to be quiet in the morning, not to wake other people up, or to be careful if I come back home late. This is why I like Holiday Swap, because you can find a host who wants to swap the entire apartment rather than just a room.

As an owner, you can always have the option to ask for a deposit to protect your property for damages that might occur when someone stays in your home. This deposit can be as high as $500.


The Holiday Swap community

Holiday Swap puts a great accent on their community. With the interactive map on which you can find over 10,000 people opening their homes in over 185 countries, you can get inspired on what your next destinations will be. With the inbuilt chat you can contact hosts, create connections and keep in touch until you are ready to travel. They don’t speak the same language as you? Don’t worry, the in app-messaging system will translate your message into the language your app is set to. Isn’t this great?

The app also has a calendar built in which is very helpful in managing your space and all the future swaps. The latest update of the app brought in a much easier way to search for spaces, directly on the map or inspired by the featured cities on the home screen. You can save and easily view your favourite spaces, toggling between a feed and a map view. The map view is really useful when you consider staying in a particular part of town, so you can narrow down your choices.

On the matches screen you can see easily both the recent matches but also the ongoing chats, so you don’t forget to reply.

So, what are you waiting for? Download the Holiday Swap App now, start saving money and accommodation and make friends around the world!


What do you think? Have you heard about Holiday Swap before? Are you going to use it for your next holiday? I would love to hear your opinions below, in the comments section.



Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

Some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on the link and do a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. This helps me keep my website running and continue to share my traveling knowledge with you. I thank you for booking your flights or hotels using the links on my website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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26 thoughts on “How to find a bedroom for 1$/night in London

  1. Lisa says:

    Holiday Swap sounds like a fab app, and I like the concept behind it too. I can’t believe what you can find on here, and I’m definitely sold on trying it out for myself.

  2. aisasami says:

    This apps sounds great! I don’t know if it will take off in Japan due to strict housing laws, but I find this would be very useful for travelers!

  3. Polly says:

    I’m glad you took the leap of fate. Venturing to unknown or new places can be daunting but to be honest, stepping out of our comfort zone is where the magic happens. This is actually the first time that I’ve heard about Holiday Swap App. I travel frequently and mostly I use Airbnb and Booking when searching for accommodation. I’ll definitely give this a try this November! Thank you very much, Joanna! You rock!

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