Ways to Stay: Alternatives to Traditional Hotel Bookings

A lot has changed in how we travel, with new technologies and ideas coming out every year. It’s time to take a fresh look at the options out there, and to that end, this is my curated list of what I consider when booking overnights.

  1. Lack of money isn’t a reason to pass on a needed vacation, and hostels are a good solid option for cheaper accommodation. They are like hotels in many ways, but in some ways cooler, usually smaller and with more character. I use these booking sites: Hostels, HostelWorld

  2. If you’re like me, when you’re at home, you’re working, not relaxing. And if there’s no time to take a real vacation, but you need a break from everyday chores, a “Daycation” might be the answer. Hotels have figured out that they can rent rooms and services for the daytime hours when many rooms are empty even when someone has booked a night. These hotel day passes are a great way to get away from home, but not too far, and cost about half what you’d pay for a full reservation.  Here are some sites you can use to book: HotelsByDay, DayRooms, ResortPass

  3. If you’re planning a longer trip during the summer when school is out and dorm rooms are empty, why not book into university housing? This is an option most people don’t know about, and the savings are quite nice. Here is a site to help you out:  UniversityRooms

  4. Renting out your private home, wholly or partially, has become easier and safer in recent years and gives many people an additional income. For those who are looking for an alternative to hotels and want more of a “home away from home”, this is your jam. The top sites for this kind of booking are: Airbnb, Vrbo

  5. Remember the movie with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslett called “The Holiday”? Cameron and Kate swap homes for a holiday, fall in love with people while there and become life-long friends? If you have a house and don’t mind others using it while you’re using someone else’s, the savings and comfort can’t be beat. House swapping is for real, and there are organizations that help you do it safely, like:  HomeExchange, HomeAway

  6. Couch surfing is by far the cheapest way to overnight apart from a park bench. It’s not for everyone, but if you are extroverted and like hanging with new friends, this is a cool way to travel. Check out the site: CouchSurfing

  7. If you have a 24-hour stopover in a city or an unexpected flight delay, the most efficient place to sleep, in terms of time and money, might be the airport. Most airports have some comfy little spot to get some zzzz’s, but who knows where, right? Finding that quiet nook or airport lounge is made easier with advice from: SleepingInAirports

  8. For some people, camping is hell. And for you, I say Glamp! Glamping is all the nice parts of camping without the bugs, dirt, shared toilets and screaming kids. You’ll be amazed at the locations, scenery and unforgettable memories you will make glamping under the stars. See: GlampingHub

  9. Housesitting is akin to house swapping, but you have a job to do. Most of these jobs involve a furry friend. If you like animals, then house sitting is a great way to get away and get paid for it. And of course, there is an organization that will help you get started: TrustedHouseSitters

  10. Overnighting on a houseboat is the best way to lull yourself to sleep and during the day, the fun never ends! Who doesn’t dream of staying on a houseboat?! Here are two sites to help you find the houseboat rental of your dreams: HouseBoating, BookaHouseboat

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