Alternatives to Hotels? Try These Different aka Cheaper Options

by brian on August 25, 2011

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Hotels.com did its survey of hotel room rates from around the world:

The Hotel Price Index

You can go through the website or download the study as a PDF file.

Of course I am a big advocate of hostels as opposed to hotels, but for some of you, mention the word hostel and you break out in the shakes. If you’re going to spend money on a full hotel this might get you to perhaps reconsider the destination. I’m not going to Hamilton, Bermuda anytime soon unless I can get cheap accomodations. $447 average per night for a hotel room. That’s two car payments!

What are some alternatives to hotels?

Hostels
Yes, hostels. Some of you will never consider it, but they are great economical offerings for travelers of every age and size and budget. Hostels can accommodate large groups of 20 or more, singles, couples and families. When I was in Hawaii on the Big Island, the hostel I stayed at had a husband, wife, baby toddler and grandma in their own suite. My hostel in Barcelona took in at least 20 teenagers and their chaperones in large dorm rooms.

One of the best things about hostels is the sense of community. There is usually a common area for eating and lists of things to see and do around town. Since hostels are budget oriented, many of those things to do and places to eat are inexpensive to free. If you came alone, you can easily make friends. Try doing that at a hotel. The only interaction you may have with someone are the few seconds you are trapped in the elevator together.

How Much Can You Save Staying In Hostels? The REAL Numbers

More Inside Views of Hostels

Renting Apartments and Houses
The recent Airbnb fiasco aside, I had a very good experience renting an apartment in Vancouver and the vast majority of Airbnb users have had positive experiences. Apartment dwellers and home owners rent out their spare bedrooms, rooms, couches and apartments for travelers. Sites like Airbnb, FRBO (For Rent by Owner), Homeaway and iStopOver act like a middleman, linking places for rent with travelers who want to rent. These websites take a cut of the rental fee, but even with that the costs are much lower than a hotel room. Added with the ability to get a kitchen, bath, etc. your experience can be much better than a hotel.

Another advantage: You get to “live” in a residential area, which is entirely different that staying in a part of town that is tourist oriented or part of a whole section of hotels. You can shop at the market or take the kids to the playground the families in the neighborhood go to. Some owners actually include use of the car for renters, so you can get transportation as part of the deal.

Airbnb Review: It’s Not a Scam and It Can Save You A Ton of Money

While I know some of you need to live in the lap of luxury I look at it like this: If things go well on your trip, you should be only in your room to sleep, shower and get dressed. Why spend all that money on a room you will never see? No one goes away on vacation and says, “Wow I wish I spent more time in my hotel room.” Never. And if you did hear that, I want to see that hotel room myself.

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