Travel Lodging for Less
Lodging is often the most important part of travel success in regards to comfort, location, and trip cost.
Ideally you want to find a vacation rental that
1) immediately invokes calm, relaxed, and comfortable feelings when you walk through the door,
2) is easily accessible to your to must do’s activities be it via public transportation to city sites, the beach, or a highway for exploring path’s less traveled,
3) fits your travel budget.
By doing some research ahead of time, it IS possible to find a home away from home with an affordable price and in an area most convenient to your travel activities so you can comfortably relax after a long day of adventure, exploration, or playing on the beach.
There are 4 options that I use and recommend for finding reasonable travel stays whether your looking for a family vacation villa or a room during a solo backpacking trip.
Home Away from Home Websites
AirBnb and FlipKey are great sites to find rooms, apartments or house rentals from local residents. I’ve used both of these sites and stayed in fantastic neighborhoods where I got a flavor for the local culture, easily walked around cities, and had a full living space with a kitchen. You can rent a room in a house with a shared kitchen and living space for as little as $25 a night depending on the location or you can rent a whole house or apartment. Other websites include Vacation Rental By Owner and Home Exchange
Hotel awards points is a great option for free stays if you use a credit card that earns hotel points. Just like with my airline miles, I put everything on my credit card, pay it off, and earn points for free stays. I personally use the Marriott card but there are many other hotel chain cards you can use. In fact, the Chase Sapphire card offers greater flexibility because you can use those points for either either airlines or hotels stays.
While hostels are not for everyone, they are inexpensive options especially when traveling outside the United States. Most have a combination of dorms, double or private rooms to choose from depending on your comfortable level. For solo travelers, it’s a great way to meet fellow travelers and make new friends. Hostelworld.com is my go-to site to find hostels.
Make friends wherever you go!
Traveling has allowed me to meet so many people that I’ve stay connected with on a regular basis. And because we stay in touch, I have a network of people many of whom have offered me place to stay when I say “I’m coming to your city!” This has allowed me to travel longer and more often because it saves on lodging. In order to give back and show gratitude, I buy groceries, help clean, pay for dinner and/or present my friend with a gift which still helps me save significantly.
I want to know if you have any special travel lodging tips you use when planning a vacation. Please share in the chat below!