When it comes to travel, I am pretty much up for anything. I like to get totally submerged in experience and enjoy all the adventure – good or not-so-good. One thing that helps be get more submerged into the experience or culture is staying somewhere besides a hotel. Now I have nothing against hotels, in fact, I think a lot of the time they make perfect sense if you just need a place to sleep for one night or if it ends up being cheaper than any other options you come across. But here are some ideas you may not have considered for your sleeping arrangements while traveling:
- This is an organization where there are places to stay all over the world! How it works is someone that owns a property is able to become a host and rent out their property to travelers that want to stay in their area. The owner has to go through Airbnb’s policies and become a host through their site. All you need to do is enter the city and dates that you are hoping to travel and it will give you a list of properties that are available! You have the property all to yourself so there is no one to feel like you are intruding on or that you are staying with strangers. You can exchange contact information through the site in case you have questions during your stay. I highly recommend this option for a few of reasons. One reason is you can typically get something that has a kitchen which is a huge plus if you are staying for a few days. That way you don’t need to eat out for every meal. Another is that you can usually get something that will fit a lot of people. If you are traveling with a group this is a great option so everyone could get their own bed or room! And lastly, I love this option because it really gets you submerged into the area that you’re staying. You feel more like a local and you get to see how the locals live rather than having to ask a front desk staff!
- VRBO and Homeaway are both options that essentially have the same concept and often times have the same properties listed.
- This option is a little more adventurous but along the same lines as the sites I mentioned above. I say ‘adventurous’ because through this platform you are actually staying with locals. The point is to get to know the people in the area you travel to while staying with them. Some hosts even offer to take you out and show you their favorite local places! You can choose the level of connection you want with the host but you are essentially renting their couch or spare room if you’re lucky! The hosts still need to get verified with this site so they shouldn’t be just some wacko that wants to make a few bucks. With this option, I recommend doing it with a friend or significant other just in case!
- Never underestimate the power of acquaintances! You know that person from high school that you hung out with once or twice 10 years ago before they moved to an awesome tropical beach somewhere? Yeah them. Reach out to them! Tell them you are hoping to travel to their area and would love some guidance on where to go and stay. I bet most of those beachy people would even offer to have you stay with them for free for a night or two. It might feel weird and outside of your comfort zone but in my experience, people that have moved far from their home town love to have a little piece of that come visit them now and then. Even if you don’t want to stay with them, they would likely be able to tell you some of the hot spots and must see places! After all, what have you got to lose?
- This is especially beneficially if you are on a road trip. You can just toss a tent and some blankies in the trunk and when you find that you’re too tired to keep driving – but don’t want to splurge on a hotel- just pitch a tent! This site allows you to enter a location anywhere in the US (perhaps world?) and it will tell you where there are free places to camp in that area. I think this option is so fun and so much more adventurous/cheaper than checking into a hotel!
I hope some of these ideas inspire you on your next travel excursion! Let me know what hotel alternatives you have used before in the comments!