checking in at a hotel

Cheap and Unique Places to Stay When Traveling

Comfortable accommodations are one of the most important considerations of every traveler, but it’s also one of the most costly. Before you shell out a fortune on some fancy quarters or decide to sleep on the streets, there’s plenty of affordable alternatives to consider. Whatever you save on lodging can go towards the rest of your trip. Ditch those expensive hotels and opt for one of these unique options instead.

Granny flats

Granny flats are small units of housing that are separate from the main house. Even though they’re located on the same lot as the main house, they’re still considered secondary dwellings. Renting one out means you get a whole house to yourself with your own bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and common area for half the price since they’re much smaller than a regular house.

Home and apartment rentals

Home and apartment rentals are pretty much the standard for alternative travel accommodations outside of hostels. Airbnb is the most popular and the most trustworthy place to find rental listings, but you can also find some on places like Couchsurfing, HomeAway, and Craigslist. However, since Craigslist isn’t primarily known as a home rental website, it’s important to exercise caution when renting from there.

Academic housing

If you’re visiting a destination that has a university nearby, a potential accommodation option for you to check out is academic housing. There are several colleges that rent out their rooms to tourists. Take note, though, that they can only do so when the dorm is unoccupied, so you’ll have to plan your trip according to this schedule, such as during the summer or over the winter break.


woman enjoying the sun

Any nature-loving outdoorsman needs to try camping while traveling. Besides staying in a tent, you can also book a cabin or go glamping if you’ve got more cash to spare. This is the perfect option for you if you’re interested in going on a digital detox. If you’re heading to multiple cities on a cross-country trip, you can also rent an RV or camper van which you can park at a camping ground when you need to call it a night.


Some destinations with oceans, rivers, lakes, and canals like France, Australia, and the Netherlands offer unique boathouse experiences. You get all the same amenities as a regular house, except you’re located on a body of water. If you own an international boating license, there are some boathouses that you can actually drive.

Religious housing

Certain religious organizations offer affordable board and lodging at either a convent, monastery, or guesthouse. You can find some of these located in countries like Rome and Paris. This isn’t the perfect place to stay if you’ll be bringing your children with you. However, if you’re solo traveling or visiting with a partner, it’s an ideal choice that will give you a bit of peace and quiet in the middle of your trip.

Traveling doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, especially when it comes to where you’re going to sleep for the night. You can still get the most out of your travels when you stay at any one of these economical and unique accommodations.