Cheap Alternatives to Expensive Hotels


Take a tour of various travel websites and you’ll see that hotel rooms are far from cheap these days. Add to the cost of accommodations, sky-high gas prices, airfare, and tips, and you’re lucky if you have enough money leftover to eat during your holiday.

Fortunately, there are places you can rest comfortably while on a much-needed getaway that won’t break the bank. Some of the most popular include:

Hostels: Granted, many of these cheap properties are designed for young, solo travelers; however, there are an increasing number of hostels welcoming budget travelers of all ages. The most affordable option is a shared dorm room, though for a few bucks more you can get a private room with a separate bathroom. Privacy may be lacking a bit, but if you are planning to spend the majority of your day out and about sightseeing, sharing space will only be an issue at night.

Religious Housing: If you are traveling internationally, you can save big on lodging by staying at housing offered by religious organizations. More and more convents and monasteries in Italy and France are being rented out to travelers looking for cheap places to spend the night. The rooms are far from luxurious; however, they are clean and peaceful, and some come with a private bathroom. has a long list of options. The site even provides information on monasteries that cater to families by offering larger rooms set aside for clans with young kids.

Rooms for Rent: Rather than renting an entire house during your vacation, you can now pay to stay in a single room in someone’s house, cottage or apartment. Websites like and, allow you to find a room to rent for super low nightly rates. The set-up is a win-win for budget travelers and for homeowners looking to make a little extra money without having to disrupt their lives.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.