Pay hostels not banks with Tab

published apr 17th, 2015

Eric Toupin, blogger & web developer

With Tab you can pay vendors abroad with a mobile device linked to your debit or credit card. It’s a simple, safe solution that turns your phone or handheld into a hassle-free way of settling your tab — just about anywhere.

Tab money, payments for travelers

Tab in a nutshell

  • Pay hostels, restaurants and other vendors using your mobile device.
  • Payments are made from a debit or credit card of your choice.
  • Avoid international transaction fees, credit card fees, ATM fees, etc.
  • Easy to use -- two minutes to set up and start paying by mobile.
  • Cheaper than ATMs and credit card fees for travelers, FREE for merchants.
  • Withdraw pocket money from Tab merchants instead of visiting the cash machine.
  • Super safe & works anywhere there’s an internet connection.
  • Optionally donate your savings to local charities and causes.

Have you ever been short on cash at a hostel, bar or restaurant that’s considerably more than a quick walk from an ATM? (Looking at you Atitlán, Lanquin, etc.) Tab’s got you. You can pay with your mobile device in a snap, and it only takes about two minutes to get set up. Also, it’s a lot cheaper than using your card at the ATM — that’s right, cheaper.

Tab can also be used as an on-the-fly ATM. Going on a quick outing with no time to stop by the cash machine? With Tab, your hostel can tend you cash and let you pay with a swipe of your mobile device. It’s that easy.

That's not where it ends, either. Tab also gives you the option of donating your savings (a few percent in would-be ATM and transaction fees) to local charities selected by the very hostels you're settling up with. Between merchants, backpackers and travel destinations, it's a win, win, win situation.

Tab was founded by Mark Datta and Chris Wood, two English guys who love traveling but hate the hassle of paying for goods and services abroad. They built Tab to be easy, straightforward and safe.

Chris and Mark, founders of Tab, pop in at La Iguana Perdida in Santa Cruz la Laguna.

Chris and Mark, founders of Tab, pop in at La Iguana Perdida in Santa Cruz la Laguna.

The network of available vendors is still growing in Guatemala. Luckily, setting up a merchant account couldn't be easier, and it's totally free. That means if you tell your hostel about Tab when you arrive, you could be covering your bill with Tab by the time you check out. Say goodbye to long hot walks, expensive boat rides or perilous tuk-tuk expeditions all for the sake of an ATM.

Hostels in Guatemala are already getting wise to Tab. Check out our list of hostels that take Tab. Have a hostel? Want to get on our list? Sign up for Tab then let us know that you’ve joined the club.

Learn more about Tab on their website. You can get Tab for your mobile at the the App Store or on Google Play. If you’re a merchant (hostel, restaurant, etc), set up your Tab account on the Tab website.

Like this article? A full list of Eric Toupin's contributions to Guatemala Hostels can be seen on his author page.

Area Lodging

Theatre International courtyard

Theatre International is a lively youth hostel located in the heart of the city. From Q 55.00.

Patricia's common area

Patricia’s is quiet, clean and very well maintained. From Q 135.00.

Hermano Pedro living room

Hermano Pedro is an ornate, meticulously kept hostel in Guatemala City’s Zone 13. From Q 136.00.

Pension Meza courtyard

Pension Meza is an economy hostel and boarding house in bustling south-east Zone 1, Guatemala City. From Q 40.00.

La Coperacha dining room

Guate: Comfortable & Quiet Ten minutes from Guatemala City's central park. Relaxing and affordable. La Coperacha hostel, from Q75. From Q 75.00.

Contributing authors are a big part of Guatemala Hostels. Their perspectives help us communicate Guatemala's diverse culture, beautiful geography and exciting adventure travel opportunities. Do you write a blog or produce content relavent to travel in Guatemala? If you'd like to contribute, please Contact us.