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18 Extraordinary Alternatives to Hotels

Many options are available if you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional hotel stay. From luxury cabins in the woods to cozy beachside cottages, these alternatives offer comfortable and unique accommodations that provide a more personal experience than a typical hotel. Whether you’re searching for something affordable or luxurious, there is sure to be something out there that fits your needs and budget. Read on to learn about some of the best alternatives to hotels when it comes time for your next getaway!

There Are a Lot of Alternatives to the Hotel

There was a time when the options for lodging were limited. You could stay in a hotel or go camping. There weren’t many options unless you were rich and could afford to buy or rent.

Today, there are many other options for lodging that are inexpensive and comfortable enough for most people. Here are 18 alternatives to hotels:

1) Bed and Breakfast

A bed and breakfast may be the right choice if you’re looking for a more intimate and personal experience than the hotel industry. A bed and breakfast offers a more intimate experience than a hotel, especially if you’re traveling alone, with family, or with friends. You can have your own room and access to common areas where you can gather.

Bed-and-breakfasts vary significantly in style and price range, depending on their location. The cheapest ones may only offer a shared bathroom with another guest room, while the more expensive ones may have multiple bedrooms with private bathrooms.

Some bed & breakfasts include breakfast as part of the accommodation package, while others don’t – if this is important to you, you should inquire before booking.

2) Hostels or Guest Houses

Backpacker hostels or guest houses are a great alternative to hotels and can be found in almost every country worldwide.

Hostels are ideal for solo travelers who want a more social experience than hotels, and there are always many cheap alternatives, especially in cities like New York or San Francisco. They’re also usually cheaper than hotels, which is great if you’re a budget traveler. They also usually have free Wi-Fi and laundry services. Plus, they’re usually equipped with a kitchen, so you don’t have to eat out all the time!

Backpacker hostels offer dorm-style accommodations and are a cheap way to travel if you don’t mind sharing a room with other travelers from around the world. You have to put up with other people snoring all night… but that’s why it’s called “hostel life”!

Hostels are a great way to meet fellow travelers and try new things simultaneously. They offer both dorms and private rooms at affordable prices. If you can afford it, you can also take a private room, which is more expensive than a dorm but cheaper than a hotel.

3) Home Vacation Rental

Renting a house or apartment rental is an excellent alternative accommodation. You’ll have more space and privacy than in a hotel, and it’s usually much cheaper.

You’ll find various options when searching for short-term rental properties on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway. In addition to private apartments, some properties are offered as shared accommodations (for example, houses with several rooms that can be rented separately by more than one person). You can also rent an apartment through an agency or directly from a property owner who lives there part-time or full-time.

4) Cabin

Many cabins are located in scenic areas and have private beaches or access to lakes and streams.

The downside is that some cabins may require guests to bring their linens and towels. If that is the case, you’ll need to pack these items in your luggage before you leave.

5) Cottage

Many cottages have a fully equipped kitchen and a washing machine, so you can cook your meals while on vacation. Cottages are often located in scenic areas and offer easy access to hiking trails, fishing spots, and other outdoor activities.

The downside is that some cottages are the same as cabins; they may require guests to bring their linens and towels.

6) Home Exchange

If you enjoy staying in a stranger’s house, then a house swap is for you. You can swap houses with people in other countries or even nearby. In exchange for your accommodation, you get a free stay in their home in another country! If you don’t have time to travel or want to see life through someone else’s eyes, this is the perfect way to do it.

You may also want to swap homes with people similar to you. For example, if you’re retired and live alone but need company during the day while your spouse works (or vice versa), finding another retiree might be a great option. It’s important not only that both parties have similar interests but also that they’re comfortable living near each other and have similar values when choosing their homes (and what kind of home swap makes sense). You’ll find home exchange opportunities on sites like Love Home Swap.

7) Tent

Camping is a great way to get around the high cost of accommodations in some parts of the world. If you’re not one of those people who likes to live on the road and give up everything, then camping isn’t for you. However, camping can be a great way to save money if you’re willing to give up everything. Camping is also a good way for families with small children to travel cheaply and have fun.

8) Yurt

If you like camping but don’t want to overdo it, rental yurts are a good compromise between camping and hotels. Yurts are a type of portable dwelling that originated in Central Asia. They’re circular and made of wood and canvas with a collapsible wall frame made of lattice. Nomads traditionally used them in Mongolia, where they’re still widely used today

9) Camper

Motorhomes and vans are other options for those looking for an alternative to hotels. RVs offer different types of accommodations at different prices and in different locations around the world. You can rent an entire caravan park for your stay or rent individual caravans and motorhomes separately from other guests. The caravans are usually equipped with everything you need: Beds, a kitchenette, and a bathroom. Some even have WiFi access!

10) Treehouse

There’s nothing better than sleeping under the stars – except in a treehouse! Treehouses come in all shapes and sizes, from simple wooden structures to sophisticated tree houses with electricity and running water.

But be aware that tree houses have become expensive – expect to pay as much or more than you’d in a hotel.

11) Homestays (Room Rentals With Locals)

Homestays are another great way to experience the local culture without breaking the budget. You can find them through Airbnb and other websites that match travelers with hosts who have available rooms or apartments for rent. Prices can be very reasonable – especially if you’re traveling with friends – and they’re often located near interesting sights or natural wonders that would otherwise be difficult to reach.

12) Airbnb

Airbnb is an excellent alternative to hotels, especially if you’re traveling with friends or family. You can book a room in someone else’s home, which is often cheaper than a hotel room. You can also rent an entire house or apartment, which gives you more space and comes with amenities like a kitchen and private bathroom, or you can stay with a host if you prefer a local to live where you’re staying.

13) Stay With Friends/Family

If you have friends or family in town, staying with them means free food, company, and maybe even free transportation to your destination. All of these things can add up quickly if you’re traveling alone. Staying with friends/family saves you money, and you also get to meet new people and learn more about their culture.

14) Cruise

Cruises often offer overnight accommodations or more on board, where passengers can enjoy some of the amenities of land-based hotels (e.g., swimming pools). The price is often comparable to booking a hotel room but also includes meals and entertainment, such as dance lessons or trivia contests during dinner.

15) Transportation

If you’re traveling a longer distance, you can take an overnight train or bus with comfortable beds. This will save you an overnight stay in a hotel. If you’re traveling by public transport, why not just sleep on the train or bus?

16) Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a great way to stay with locals with extra home space. It’s free, but you should expect to be treated like part of the family (or at least an honored guest). Couchsurfing has been around for years and is now used by millions worldwide. The site is especially popular in Europe, where many travelers use it.

17) House Sitting

House sitting is a great way to experience a place and earn money simultaneously. Usually, people who live abroad need someone to look after their house while they’re away doing this, but many people do it for fun. To do housesitting, you must be one of the trusted housesitters. Then you can check out housesitting platforms like TrustedHousesitters, MindMyHouse, and HouseCarers.

18) Woofing

This is another alternative accommodation and a cheap option where you exchange work for lodging instead of money. It’s especially popular with those who want to volunteer abroad but don’t want to pay for accommodation. You can find opportunities worldwide on websites like HelpX and WWOOFing.