Hotel Alternatives - Lots of Them and Their Great
There are lots of hotel alternatives to choose from:
Try Bed and Breakfasts:
Visit friends and relatives in faraway places. Learn to sleep on a couch.
Find a great bed-and-breakfast, tiny cottage or lonely castle to stay in.
They are all in your guidebooks, on the Internet or inside Craigslist, ready to be discovered.
I like to make friends on the road and sometimes stay in their places.
I've worked in campgrounds in Spain in exchange for a camping place and a few meals. I've heard couchsurfing.com is the best way to visit a new place, make new friends and keep those awful travel costs down.
Bedandbreakfast.com – Here is a link to the fancier B & B's.
BBonline – Here are 5000 B & Bs to choose from in USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Rooms to Rent: Look for the family-run accommodations that have an extra room to let. They're the best hotel alternative there is.
Britain and Ireland have their famous bed and breakfasts with a fantastic English Breakfast.
In German-speaking countries, look for signs saying "gasthaus" (guesthouse) or "zimmer frei" (room to let).
In the Mediterranean countries look for "pensions" or "pensione."
These range from families renting out a room or two in their house to several-room, home-style rentals.
There are private rooms with shared bathrooms, with or without meals. All have their own distinct personality, reflecting that of the family running them. These are the places I love to stay in.
Check guidebooks or local tourist office for hotel alternatives. Ask fellow travelers, check with locals around the train stations or check the local phone book (such "Pension Bouno" or "Gasthof Manfred.")
Many times little old ladies or children near train stations will offer a room to rent. Most of the time I feel I can trust them. But I make sure the accommodations are within walking distance and check out the rooms first before buying.
Free Lodging: Get what you pay for and more.
- CouchSurfing.com - CouchSurfing is a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit.
- Servas.org - Servas is an international, non-governmental, multicultural peace association run by volunteers in over 100 countries.
- GlobalFreeloaders.com - GlobalFreeloaders.com is an online community, bringing people together to offer you free accommodation all over the world. Save money and make new friends whilst seeing the world from a local's perspective!
- Casacasa.org - CasaCasa is a hospitality exchange club.
Try villas, apartments, condo rentals, universities and other hotel alternatives:
I stayed at the London School of Economics dormitory for 25 Pounds ($45), right in downtown London. Spartan, but fun. It reminds me of my dorm days.
- Check your guidebook for special deals on lodgings that is how I found the great deal above in London.
- Google the city name and the type of lodging you wish such as Google "Rent Apartment in Paris."
- CraigsList.org – Look under apts/housing, house swap, rooms/shared and vacation rentals. Make sure you are in the proper CraigsList in the country you wish to visit.
SellMyTimeshareNow - Search for timeshare rentals all across the globe, some prices are up to 60% off resort retail and you'll receive the same comforts. Plus you can negotiate rental prices.
Ownersdirect – Choose from a wide selection of self catering holiday homes, cottages, chalets and bed and breakfasts worldwide.
VRBO – Vacation Rentals by Owners worldwide.
Rentvillas.com – European villa rentals since 1984.
SlowTravel – Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Try camping: Remember they have inexpensive bungalows if you don't have camping equipment. They are made for families with active kids. Meet other families with kids and you get free babysitting. Don't worry, there are strict quiet times enforced. Check guide books.
Cabins, camping bungalows, National Park lodges, and mountain huts are available. Check guide books!
Home exchanges, home stays: Super deals!
Always look for a hotel alternative. It's a great deal.
Remember, after the lights go off, it's only the bed in a room that matters. Save fancy and money for your meals.
Go to Hotel Prices - Great Deals on Lodging page
Here are some important lodging tips:
Go to the Page on Hotels
Dirty Hotel Rooms