Getting ready for your next trip? Have your bags packed? Awesome. So, where are you staying? If the answer is “a hotel,” then you might want to reconsider. Why stay at a stuffy hotel when there are some unique accommodation alternatives that could be the ticket to a truly memorable vacation. After all, if you’re paying big bucks for a room that you’re just sleeping in, then doesn’t it make sense to get a little more bang for your buck? Better yet, you could save some serious bucks with these vacation suggestions.

Vacation Rentals

On your next trip, why not have all the comforts of home by actually staying in a house? Vacation rentals are big business as many folks invest in properties around the world and offer them up as vacation stays. These can be homes, townhouses, condos, villas, and apartments that come fully equipped with everything to need for a nice vacation. You can pick the size of your rental based on a number of bedrooms you need. That is perfect for families traveling together who don’t want to be crammed in one hotel room. You’ll also have access to the kitchen which allows you to cook some meals instead of going out. There are many vacation rental websites to research. Look for ones with excellent reviews.

Home Swap

If you don’t mind staying in someone else’s home, then you shouldn’t care if they stay in yours. House swapping is a great way to have a fantastic stay in a foreign locale for practically next to nothing. There are home swapping websites that charge a fee to register and give you access to all the possible destinations. Of course, you’ll have to list your own home but won’t it be nice to know that while you’re on vacation, someone will be looking after your house? Who knows? You might even get to swap for a castle.

Holy Stays

For a minimalistic approach to a hotel alternative, you could consider staying in a monastery or convent. You’ll find plenty of these throughout the world. The rooms are sparse. There will probably be a curfew, and you’re not likely to have a pool. On the other hand, if you’re looking for peace and contemplative quiet, these are the places to stay.

Couch Surfing

Yes, couch surfing is a viable alternative to a hotel albeit one that is better suited for someone traveling alone. You sign up on an actual couch surfing website. Post a profile and see what’s out there. Surfers get to rate where they stay, and hosts get to do the same. This is ideal for someone who likes to make friends in a foreign land and open their home to travelers. In other words, it’s perfect for that backpacking trip through Europe but not for the family vacation to Disney World.

The more you save on hotels, the more you get to spend on the essential things like awesome meals and souvenirs. Where will you be checking in?