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Four Hotel Alternatives for Travelers and Their Benefits

There’s no doubt that I love a good hotel.  I love room service, giant cushy beds with too many pillows, mini-bars, bathrobes, and free toiletries.


Oh, and let’s not forget about not having to clean up!  Having a stay in a hotel is sometimes just as much a holiday as getting out to the beach or sightseeing, but it’s not the only accommodation option out there.


If you’re wanting to switch tunes on your next holiday, you can easily do that by kicking up your feet in  one of these hotel alternatives:


Apartments:  Apartment stays are starting to saturate the accommodation market in recent years.


These rentals can be from people who are leaving on holiday and want to make extra money while they are gone, or they can be from people who own apartments specifically for rental.


The benefits of staying in apartments during holiday is the home-like atmosphere, a kitchen, and the ability to get deals on extended stays.


Couchsurfing:  Couchsurfing was the first major site that promoted the idea of staying with locals who had a spare room or couch.  You do not pay to Couchsurf, but you might be expected to clean up and cook in the process.  Couchsurfing stays vary by host, so be sure to check on the details before arriving.   You don’t want to show up expecting a private room when you’re shown to your very non private couch in the living room.


The benefits of staying in a local’s home with Couchsurfing is that it’s free and puts you in touch immediately with people who know the city and culture like no other.


Hostels:  Hostels make traveling affordable, and they are perfect for solo travelers and backpackers.  Being set in a more social setting, staying in hostels can lead to meeting new friends from all over the world — and then sleeping in the same room with them.  There’s no other way to feel close to someone I guess!


The benefits of hostels are the low cost and the social nature.


Camping:  Camping when traveling is more of an option than people might think.  Caravan parks, national parks and nature reserves might all be places where you can pitch a tent.  Even areas near big cities like Paris might have camping as an option.  I think there’s nothing better than getting to know a place than starting your day when the sun rises and the birds start singing.


The benefits of camping are the low cost and the different perspective of a destination.


What are your preferred hotel alternatives when you travel?  Have you stayed in any of these, or do you simply prefer to stay in a luxury hotel?


CC Flickr photo credit: Michael Gray

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