Are you looking for lodging accommodations for an upcoming trip? Finding the right lodging accommodations for your trips can really make or break the experience that you have. Some vacations are perfect because of the ocean resort hotel or seaside resort you stay at, other trips are a hundred times better because you stayed in a unique mountaintop cabin rather than the motel down the street.
When you are looking for lodging accommodations, make sure to keep these unique options in mind:
Four Lodging Accommodations You’ve Never Heard Of
- Private Room Rentals
Okay, you’ve probably heard of this one. Websites like VBRO and AirBnB have become as common as standard hotel websites (there are several others like this). Basically, homeowners who have extra space (think: guesthouses, or a little apartment over their garage, or a spare bedroom, or maybe a vacation home) post them on these private rental websites, often for a fraction of the cost of staying in a hotel. Not to mention, your accommodations are far more unique and interesting than a standard hotel with this option.
Pros: Renting a room in a private home saves you a ton of cash, and gives you a potentially cool experience.
Cons: Since this option is not conventional, each homeowner is different, and you run the risk of landing a home that you wouldn’t choose to stay in. If you go with this option, it is essential to read up on the reviews from previous guests. Not everyone is easy to please, but if you see a common theme, you might not want to stay there.
- Religious Housing
Many religious organizations have housing for the workers in their faith, that is not always occupied. Depending on where you’re visiting, you might find a monastery or a convent, or religious guest housing with vacancies that they offer to travelers for a small fee.
Pros: There’s a good chance this option offers you an extremely clean environment to lay your head at night, at a very low cost. Some religious housing options are in cool locations where you wouldn’t be able to find a conventional hotel.
Cons: Nuns and priests do not take a vow to live in luxury. If you want to travel in luxury this might not be the best option for you.
Also, these types of houses often have curfews in which the doors are locked. If you plan to party all night, you might find yourself with nowhere to sleep in the middle of the night.
Staying in a hostel is extremely common in other parts of the world (such as Europe), and only beginning to gain popularity here in the U.S.. Sometimes they are referred to as “youth hostels” because the setup is most conducive to young travelers with little money or inhibitions. Many hostels are more or less a large room lined with bunk beds that you share with other travelers at a cost as little as $10 or $15 per night. If sharing a room with strangers isn’t for you, you might be able to find a private room hostel for a fraction of the cost of a low-end hotel.
Pros: You’ll likely meet interesting people while staying in a hostel. And of course, this is about the cheapest way to travel.
- Vacation Rental
A vacation rental is a private apartment or cabin, or home that is available exclusively for short-term rentals. While vacation rentals might cost a little more than a standard hotel room, having a whole home to yourself makes it a more economical option for people traveling in a group or for families.
Pros: This option is great when you’re traveling with companions. The convenience of facilities like a kitchen and laundry are also handy. The accommodations might be more interesting and unique than the standard hotel route.
Cons: These options book far ahead in advance. You might need to plan a as much as year out to get one.
Cons: Some hostels can be incredible shady and even unsafe. Before staying in a hostel, it’s a good idea to do your research and check the reviews on it. Hosteling International is a good standard to check with, as in order to be a member of this group, the hostel must at least have a minimum standard of safety and cleanliness.