One of the most intimidating and misleading ideas of Traveling is how expensive it can be. Another concern is safety. So in respect to both, I’ve compiled a list of 7 Best Airbnbs for Female Travelers around the world that are not only affordable but are owned by lovely people. Staying with them will enhance your experience in this new destination which includes local tips and overwhelming hospitality. This list includes Guesthouses, Airbnbs and Bed & Breakfasts in Lebanon, Cuba, India, Morocco.
Everyone has different priorities when they travel, some go solely for resorts and the 5-star glam, while some love to camp. Where I sleep has been a lower priority, as long the location is somewhat central and safe. I would rather use the money towards food, new experiences and to extend my stay a lot longer!
Best Airbnbs for Female Travelers Around the World
Usually I cap my budget at $50 a night, depending on where I am in the world. Sometimes I’ll find a $15-25/night guesthouse that’s considered ‘mid-range’ accommodation in developing countries and other times I have to boost my budget to $75 in more expensive cities. Staying at cheaper accommodations also allows you to meet more young, like-minded people. (But of course if you are into 5-star hotels, you will meet those like-minded people there!)
Many hostels/guesthouses also include breakfast & coffee/tea which helps you save even more money! This list also gives you a wide range of ideas on budget boutique stays that are unique, friendly and charming at the same time for less than $50 per night.
Darma-Ji Yoga Guesthouse
Staying at Darma-Ji Guesthouse was one of the highlights of my trip in Lebanon. Actually I had so many wonderful memories but this just added to the charm of what I love so much about this country. While Lebanon is rooted with so much history and culture, the Lebanese people are also progressive and globally-connected. Call it a East Meets West, as would make sense where their geography is. Jihane, owner of Darma-Ji has spent time in Rishikesh, India where she earned her Yoga Teacher Training. A highly spiritual, wise, motivated young lady, she has also brought this energy into this space she shares with kindred-spirited travelers that come through Batroûn.
The main apartment is where Yoga classes are held daily and where she stays. Attached are 3 other apartments she rents by bed or the whole apartment. Brand new units, beautiful decorated in a bohemian, gypsy style with tasteful modern art. Fully equipped with modern bathrooms, furniture, kitchen and TV.
A delicious Lebanese breakfast spread is served daily, brought to your door at any time you choose by her lovely maid, Rosie. Jihane will also help arrange any local tours – biking, surfing, walking tour, sunset yoga, boating and recommend good restaurants/bars to go to. I highly recommend staying here when visiting Batroûn, Lebanon’s best beach destination, just an hour north of Beirut! Read more on my stay here.
Pricing: $50/night for shared apartment – $150/whole apartment
More on Traveling in Lebanon:
I loved staying at PushP Guesthouse with Nikhil Mathur, the owner, and his family who live downstairs in this tri-level blue building. This is the best place to stay when visiting the Blue City of Jodhpur (state of Rajasthan), steps away from all the major attractions: Mehrangarh Fort, shopping in the bazaars, getting lost while meeting locals and taking photos of this illumines, historical blue city. I felt like family staying there and even learned to cook some traditional Rajasthani dishes with his sister-in-law.
Nikhil can help arrange:
- Walking tours
- Shopping excursion through the Souqs
- Day trip to the Bishnoi Village
- Riding camels & camping in Osian Resort Camp
- Cooking Class
- Private car ride to your next destination (my next stop was to Udaipur)
The rooftop is open-air with a breathtaking 360-view of Jodhpur.
I would enjoy my mornings and evenings here overlooking the old city.
Pricing: $15-25/night for your own room & bathroom
We stumbled across this Bed & Breakfast Guesthouse in the heart of my other favorite Blue City, Chefchaouen in North Morocco. Centrally located within the town with a friendly staff, beautifully decorated in traditional Moroccan / Moorish designs. 3 levels with 8 private guest rooms + private bathrooms, air conditioning and TV included in each room. Delicious breakfast is offered in the rooftop terrace.
Pricing: $40/room + private bathroom
Address: Av Hassan II Bab El Hammar, 91000 Chefchaouene, Morocco
Riad Sidi Omar
When traveling to Marrakesh, there are several decisions to make when it comes to accommodations. Do you want to stay inside the Souqs near the Main Square of Jemaa El Fna? If so, this is where you will experience the most action (sight & sound), but potentially more chaotic (more touts and catcalls for women travelers). Other option is whether you want to stay in a Riad (family-owned guesthouse typically with a beautiful courtyard), a boutique or five-star hotel. Marrakesh has so much to offer in all levels of accommodations which you really can’t go wrong either way.
I chose to stay at Riad Sidi Omar after seeing all the wonderful reviews (over 100 – 9.9/10 star reviews!). A safe haven of peace, situated in the heart of the medina in the beautiful district of ‘Mouassine‘. Located inside the Souq, 8 minute walking to Jemaa El Fna, ran by brothers Omar and Jawad. Their parents and sister live there as well with a full spread of Moroccan breakfast included. They were among the most accommodating hosts I ever met, helping me arrange:
- Airport pickup
- 1.5 day trip to Zagora Desert for Camel Riding + Camping
- Cooking Lessons with their family
- Recommendations on Restaurant & Nightlife options in the New Marrakesh city
Pricing: $55 per room + bathroom – $85 for 4 bed shared room
Note: They also have a nicer house in the countryside just 20 minutes away if you’re looking for a different experience. I would recommend staying at both for the full experience!
Where you stay in a new country can really set the tone for your whole experience. Our friend highly recommended Casa Malecon. How can you go wrong with a rating of #1 out of 309 on trip advisor in ‘specialty lodging‘!? The communication ahead of time with the owner Alain was as fluid as can be (limited Wifi access in Cuba), a super easy-going guy (like a homie!). He arranged airport pickup and restaurant reservations for us (Havana 61 & La Guarida).
Upon arrival, Alain welcomed us into the main living rooms area/kitchen & bar where we enjoyed beers while sorting our travel logistics with him. The guesthouse is located along the Malecon (water front) near Old Cuba, walking distance to many main attractions and easy taxi rides on the classic cars to other parts of town. The rooms are clean and comfortable. Full, delicious breakfast is included + fresh squeezed juice.
Pricing: $30-40/room with 2 beds
Villa Pupi y Emilio Casa Particular
On your trip to Cuba, a must is to visit Viñales, a town in West Cuba (2 hour drive from Havana) with charming colonial-era wooden houses lining the streets. The ultimate destination to relax in the countryside near the mountains and hills, tobacco farm tours (cigars!), caves, horseback riding, waterfall hikes and more. Pupi, who was born and raised on the same street runs this successful Bed & Breakfast in her own 2-bedroom apartment.
“Casa Particular” is the best place to stay throughout Cuba, meaning people’s home. Her apartment is comfortable with a hearty spread of breakfast included. She also offers a delicious home-cooked dinner that you must do. We opted for this option both nights we were there and it ended up being the best meals of our Cuba trip. The dinners are around $10-12 depending if you order the fresh Fish, Lobster or Chicken as main entrée.
I miss our grandmother Pupi already. Please give her a big hug for me if you visit!
Pricing: $19/room with 2 full beds in a shared apartment with Pupi
Note: She speaks only Spanish so use Google Translate if needed!
Our time in Dakar wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for staying with at Hedi’s apartment. He, his wife Marianne and son Maxime live in the unit above, connected to their rooftop terrace where you can enjoy the view of Dakar. Hedi is originally from Guadalupe (a French Territory) and his wife is a local. They are a wealth of knowledge on the country of Senegal on everything from culture, nightlife, food to the political situation. They were friendly, hospitable, and now lifelong friends.
The apartment is clean, comfortable and conveniently located in the city, easy taxi ride to where you need to go.
Pricing: $57/apartment with 2 bedrooms + pull out couch & 2 full bathrooms
The Airbnbs & guesthouses I mentioned can be booked directly from their website or by googling the name and booking through a 3rd party site. I would recommend trying to book with them directly, to cut out the 3rd party fees as most of the places mentioned are family-owned and genuinely good people.
When searching for any accommodations on the internet, I would trust a minimum of 10 reviews that are over 3.8 stars out of 5, or 8 out of 10 star rating. With this principle, I have enjoyed all the places I have stayed at. If there is no review, I would avoid it. Best places to search for cheap accommodations: Airbnb. TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Agoda.com (best for Asia) will also have some of these inexpensive accommodations.
Despite how inexpensive the accommodations listed above were, to my fateful surprise, they have all been a lovely cultural exchange. These experiences helped shape my beautiful memories of these places. I have created a special bond with the owners and am still in touch with many of them today.
Stay in Inexpensive Accommodations, Travel Longer
Read: 5 Best Hostels for Female Travelers in Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, London and New York