European innovation goes global

By Mary Menzemer, Opinion Editor is a new website where college students on a tight budget can rent rooms from around the world. With rooms available everywhere from Hawaii, Costa Rica, Austria, and Greece, students can choose from one of three comfort options: Clean and Comfortable, Good Enough, and Survivor. Survivor, being the cheapest option, is definitely more suspicious, but if finding a cheap place to stay is your first and foremost desire, that option is definitely for you.

The cheapest option on is a jungle hut near the Western Costa Rican coast for a mere $5 per night. It can accommodate up to six people; if you have that many people in your group you could end up paying less than $1 a night. This option is not for the weak of heart; located in a primitive valley, the renter would have to be pretty adventurous to stay here.

In the Clean and Comfortable category, students can find rooms just like home from $7-$100 per evening. Most of the rooms in this category can accommodate multiple people so you can split the rent.  You can rent from places including Hong Kong, Tokyo, Israel, and even a scenic tree house in Washington State.

With such diverse price ranges and accommodation types, seems like a great website to travel however you wish. Students who want to book their rooms with hovelstay need to be wary; since it is a new website, there are not many reviews out yet and pictures of the rooms can be misleading. Also, there is a limited amount of options as to where you can go.  This is not a site like or where you can type in any location and all the options you could ever want come up. These are local people renting out their homes, apartments, or vacation houses. This site seems much more legitimate than say, Craigslist, but even the most adventurous traveler should be cautious.

Having stayed in hostels before, I can say that they are in fact not scary places, and I think staying in a random person’s home would be scarier. When you are travelling and staying in a hostel room with five to nine other people, everyone in the room has the exact same goals you have: travel cheaply and try not to get robbed or murdered. Certain movies (cough cough Hostel) portray them in a horrible light, and people have the misconception that people who stay in hostels are creepy and out to get you.The fact of the matter is that it is simply not true. When comparing them to the hovels, they may even seem like the better option.