Here is a list of useful resources I use to organize my travels:
Where to stay?
Couchsurfing: amazing travel community of hosts and surfers. Sign up, create a profile and search for the nearest CS meeting near your town to get to know the community and build up your profile with references. If you cannot host at the moment, set up your profile as “wants to meet up” and hang out with travellers and show them around your town. That way, once you’re ready to travel, you’ll have positive references on your profile that will give confidence to the hosts and help you get confrmations for your stays. The idea of CS is to share, share and share. It’s not a free bed. You should be aware of the purpose of this community to avoid any unnecessary drama between hosts and surfers.
Airbnb: Instead of paying the same price for a hostel bed, you can rent a room in a local’s house. Ideal for couples, or those willing to miss out on the hostel experience.
To search for hostels in advance, use Hostelbookers or Hostelworld; However, it is not always neccessary to book in advance if it is not high season and you’re not tight on time. Usually the hostels who don’t have online prescence are much cheaper…
Skyscanner: fast and easy flight search engine. You can search by different airports, search by cheapest date, or location. There is a function of “search everywhere” in the destination. You can also search by multi-city.
For inland transport, it depends on each country:
Peru: Bus Portal
Argentina and Brazil: Plataforma10
Chile: Paisaje Bus
Some websites provide you with contact information of hosts including hostels, families, farms, that need volunteers to help them with their projects, and in exchange, they pay you for your time by providing accomodation, and sometimes food.