Adventurous accommodations

Switching up your living style abroad can create a whole new travel experience

Choosing an alternative to hotels when you travel can help you save.
Photo: 

When you go abroad, you’re likely looking to branch out and see the world through a new lens. While staying in a hotel is definitely the most glamorous option, it’s also caging. Take your first steps into discovering adventure with the help of unconventional lodgings. 

Here are some more obscure accommodation options to help save money and kick-start an adventure:

Hostels: $$$

They’re as grimy and pervasive as they are lively and fun. Between planned activities and group living, hostels may as well be summer camp for young adults. With pub-crawls, free walking tours and the occasional ‘beer bike,’ you could fill both your days and nights hanging out with your new roommates.

Pros:

This is a surefire way to make friends abroad leaving you with endless places to visit people after you inevitably part ways. 

Cons:

There is zero privacy and likely zero cleanliness. This may not be the best place to stay if you’re looking to call it an early night — but why waste travel time asleep?

Couch Surfing: $

Pretty much what it sounds like: going from one stranger’s home to the next and sleeping on their couch. While couch surfing is a time-honoured practice among seasoned travellers, this hospitality exchange platform opens up more connections to free or at least cheap places to stay. Your actual sleeping area could range anywhere from a hardwood floor to a spare guest room.

Pros:

It’s almost like coming into a new city and being greeted by an old friend. Welcomed into someone’s home, you have the opportunity to live like a local and be a part of the community. 

Cons:

You’re staying in a random person’s home. Things definitely have the potential to get weird. 

Farmstays: $0

Learn the lay of the land by working the farm and getting free lodging in return. Staying on a farm, you’ll get tons of fresh air, clean eats and lively work. You can stay for as long or short as you please in a variety of countries.

Pros:

This experience offers a hands on agricultural learning experience. If you love animals, nature and the freshest of food what could be better?

Cons:

You may be in a remote area and have minimal access to transportation off of the farm. This option may not be ideal if you’re looking for a tourist experience. 

Bed and Breakfasts: $$$

B&B’s are quaint and charming, offering a homey and less commercial alternative to hotels. Your room will either resemble something out of a cottage magazine or that of your great grandmother’s home — old, creaky furniture and suffused with dust. From experience, it’s a real hit or miss. 

Pros:

They offer free breakfast and often supply special amenities you didn’t even remember you missed having. 

Cons:

It can be awkward being served by people who remind you a bit too much of your grandparents. You may feel like you’re intruding on a family’s home.  

Camping: $

You can find campsites virtually anywhere, but Hipcamp sets you up with landowners across the United States to help you find the patch of grass that best suits your needs. This particular website hopes to instill a genuine care and connection for the land by providing easy access to campsites. 

Pros:

Camping is an adventure in itself. Plus, there’s nothing quite like falling asleep to the sounds of nature. 

Cons:

Bugs. Everywhere.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.