This morning, I came across an awesome article regarding traveling without hotels. Hotels can ruin a travel budget. A good one will set up back over $500-a grand, but will ultimately set the standard of your trip. A bad one may save you some change but will cause you to pull your hair out from the thought of a cockroach infestation, gunfight down the road, or the various cases of herpes living in your sheets. I, for one, get skeezed out by hotels for those very reasons. And, let's face it, I'm a cheap gal and I cant justify spending half my rent on 7 days in a room smaller than my living room.
In the article, the author, Benji Lanyado, travels through Europe without using hotels or hostels. Instead, he uses three travel sites that provide room or apartment rental services. For a low to very high price, you can rent out someone's spare room, mother-in-law suite, or entire apartment and house.
I spent a good part of the day drooling over some of the options on the main site discussed, AirBnB. I of course went to my part of the city first. An apartment rental close next to me goes for $55-80 (for a studio near a beach). Next, I went through my terrifyingly large travel wish list and scoured for deals and oddball attractions that would interest and excite me. Here are some of the most unique options I found:
Everyone wants to go to Amsterdam when in the Netherlands... but I am more attracted to these little tipis on that aptly named Tipi Island. For $57 a night, you can sleep in the most remote areas of Europe while attending creative courses and receiving massages.
And who wouldn't want to stay in a castle... and while England is not on my list of places I would kill to visit, I still want to include a castle in the mix:
From South America, I am dying to get to Argentina to live out my Evita fantasies, but I cant ignore these awesome star gazing homes in Chilie. For 130/night, you and a guest can star gaze all night, take a late night horseback ride through the forests, and swim in a neon green pool.
Want some place truly unique? For $160, chant some nursery rhymes in this boot home in New Zealand. Stinky feet not included. (har-har)
I highly recommend checking out the site if you are looking for some travel options in some highly desirable places such as Orlando, Hawaii, and California. The site features real apartments, to villas, to backyard tent areas, and luxury resorts. If you are willing to give and take, a guest room or room share will cost you about half the price of a full home stay. Let me know what you find or where you would travel!