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Hotel Alternatives You'll Love

We've blogged about cool hotels you should stay at before and still maintain that hotels are the most important part of any trip. However, for travellers that are looking for a bit of a different experience, are budget conscious or want more face time with locals instead of other tourists; here are a few hotel alternatives for those times you want to skip the resort. breakfast-in-bed-1

Room or apartment rental

Sites like Airbnb, Homeaway and VRBO allow you to rent entire homes, rooms in apartments or just a living room/couch to travellers on a tight budget. Wi-fi, towel service, cable and other amenities are all options you can choose to filter your search and find the perfect place; and reading the full listing  can help you get to know your host a bit better, and find out if they'll be there during your stay. Having your host close by can give you local suggestions and great insider tips on the neighbourhood you're staying in. More luxury-based versions like the website OneFineStay, comes complete with a personal iPhone with unlimited calls and data to use during your stay and the host of the property is always away.794013_12


Despite a particularly gory movie about them, the vast majority of hostels are perfectly safe to stay in. No longer just a haven for college students and backpackers, some hostels are actually beautifully decorated, have both shared and private suites and come with tons of amenities depending on which one you go to.


Bed & Breakfast

These privately-run accommodations offer a personal touch to your stay; as they tend to be people's personal homes that they use to welcome overnight guests and typically include breakfast. Their charm lies in the cozy, family atmosphere they provide due to the small number of available rooms compared to a hotel. It's quite possible to be the only guest in a bed & breakfast depending on the time of your trip, and that has its perks! Extra bacon anyone?breakfast-in-bed-1


Suprisingly, a great option to get free room & board is to housesit for someone. Seriously! People who love to travel just like you may have pets that need to be fed, plants that need daily tending, or packages that need to be signed for while they're away, and don't have anyone to do it for them. We suggest getting a few house sits under your belt locally to get some solid references, then sign up for and search websites like TrustedHousesitters and MindMyHouse to grab jobs. Be sure to respect the rules of the homeowner and let them know you're hoping to explore a bit as well.handing-over-the-keys1

House Swapping

A little like housesitting, house swapping involves staying in someone else's home when they're away, free of charge. But in this case, they're doing the same thing with your place! Check websites like GuestToGuest and HomeForExchange  for someone travelling to your city during the same time you're travelling to theirs and get in touch! Build a rapport of trust and travel away.handshake Many of these options work best when you pack smart; sticking mainly to carry-on bags like our Rise Gear Weekender Bag, so make sure you're well prepared to enjoy your unique stay. Do your research if you've never used a hotel alternative before and stick to trusted, highly rated or personally recommended users. Sites like Airbnb allows you to connect your Facebook profile to view where your friends have stayed in the past. Now get to booking! Happy Travels!