Whether you’re traveling on a budget or just tired of hotel rooms, these lodging options will give you something new on your next vacation.Ten categories for lodging options that you commonly find while traveling so you can decide which is best.Find info about lodging options.
On average, it costs about $180 per night to stay in a hotel room in the United States. Double that price tag if you want to stay in a popular location like New York City or San Francisco.
It’s no wonder you’re pulling your hair out trying to figure out how to pay for your next vacation.
I mean, it’s a vacation! It’s supposed to be relaxing, right?
You can have the vacation of a lifetime at a fraction of the cost when you consider more creative lodging options. Here are nine cheap hotel alternatives to inspire your next adventure.
If you don’t mind meeting new people and sharing a room with them, then you can save a lot of money.
1. Academic Lodgings
When the kids go home for the summer, many universities and colleges get smart. Instead of letting their dormitories lay empty, they put them to use by renting them out.
It may not be the classiest joint you’ve ever stayed in, but there’ll be a roof over your head and a bathroom down the hall. Plus you can almost always find nightlife right outside your back door.
Academic Homes and University Rooms are two websites you can use to find this type of lodging option.
2. Youth Hostels
Don’t let the name fool you, youth hostels aren’t for the young alone. They are also for the young at heart.
Hostels are set up like a dorm room with communal sleeping arrangements. Most even have a shared kitchen so you can prepare meals. Some offer private rooms at a higher rate, but they are still cheaper than staying at a traditional hotel.
It is not uncommon for the guests of a hostel to be put to work. Don’t be surprised if someone hands you a broom and asks you to sweep the floor.
USA Today gives some helpful advice on how to find Hostels in the United States.
Okay, so you don’t mind meeting new people, but maybe you don’t feel like sharing a room with them. In that case, a room rental may be more your speed.
1. Places of Religion
If your primary goal for this vacation is to relax, don’t overlook a room in a convent or monastery. You won’t be in the lap of luxury, but they’re cheap, most offer private bathrooms and above all else, they’re quiet.
You don’t have to be religious to stay at one of these locations, but you must be willing to adhere to some rules. It is also important to note many of these locations don’t allow small children.
Trip Savvy lists 11 monasteries in the U.S. where you can stay the night.
Homestays are no longer for the student studying abroad alone. These days, they are for the savvy businessman, the curious traveler and academic alike.
For those of you uncertain of what a homestay is, you’re in for a treat.
For a small monthly fee, a host family welcomes you into their home and treats like one of their own. You don’t just get a room and board with a homestay, you get culture.
The Whole House Experience
Ever wanted to pick up and live in someone else’s house for a while? If so, these hotel alternatives are right up your alley!
1. Vacation Rental Homes
Going on vacation for a while? Taking the whole family? Why not rent a place?
The entire place!
You can get a log cabin in the Appalachians, a house on the beach or even a Parisian chalet. With vacation rental homes, the possibilities are endless.
2. House Swapping
This unique experience allows you to swap homes with someone else for a time.
You still have all the amenities and comforts of home, but you’re on vacation somewhere else! Plus, because you’re hosting others in your home at the same time, the cost is minimal at worst.
You can join a home exchange network for free, but most charge an annual or monthly fee. The ones that charge a fee tend to be more reputable and often run background checks on their members.
Get valuable information about house swapping from this guide by Smarter Travel.
Lodging Options in the Great Outdoors
Camping used to be as simple as hopping in a tent and driving down the road. It still can be if you want it to, but these days there are a lot of ways to go about America’s favorite vacation past time.
1. RV (Recreational Vehicle) Camping
The one problem with RV camping is that not everyone has access to an RV. At least, that used to be the case.
Nowadays, sites like Outdoorsy make it easy for people with an RV to loan them out to others. They get to make a little money on the side. You get to save money and go anywhere you want!
It’s a win-win for everyone!
2. Rent a Cabin
You’d be amazed at the number of campgrounds that have cabins you can stay in. You can get anything from a rustic hut for two to a lavish chalet for an entire family.
Either way, your wallet will be happier than if you went to a hotel with comparable accommodations.
3. Rough It
You can go about anywhere with a car and a tent. With a bit of research, you’ll even find primitive campsites you can stay in for free.
Don’t have a car? Rent one. Hop on a bus. Catch an Uber.
Don’t have a tent? Borrow one. Heck. A simple popup tent costs less than $20.
Don’t fall into the “need” trap where you think you have to buy every gimmicky item under the sun. You need far less than you think to go camping. Grab your tent, a good book, some food and maybe a hammock and you’re ready to go.
Let the Adventure Begin!
Now that you know you can get out there and explore without breaking the piggy bank, it’s time to get started!
We’d love to hear all about your adventures and what kind of lodging options you chose. Did our list inspire you or did you find something else that better suits your needs?
Use the comments below to share your experiences or ask questions.