Author Topic: Resources for alternative accomodations when you travel: Post yours here  (Read 3129 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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My DH and I want to travel extensively when we FIRE.  We've used alternative accommodations in the past -- apartment rentals ( and stayed in college dorms (at McGill University in Montreal).
Although the arrangements can be sparse, many have private bathrooms and are great values.

Have you stayed in a college dorm, monastery or convent, or other alternative accommodation around the world?  If so, post your resources here.

I'll start.  Here's a link to university housing in Europe:


  • Handlebar Stache
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Haven't actually done this, but I took a look at Home Exchange yesterday. There's an annual fee that you pay to get access to other members. Contact people, make an arrangement, you stay at their home, and they stay at yours. Seems like a pretty good deal.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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I have stayed at hostels before and I remember a few of them had some older adults at them. You could try looking into them if you don't mind sharing areas. Some even had private rooms that you could upgrade to.


  • Handlebar Stache
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My favourite hostel is the HI in Point Loma, San Diego. Cheap, clean, great quality mattresses, good kitchen, free brekky, comfy hammock in a nice little courtyard, a few decent restos and bars and a supermarket and library nearby. And non-ageist. You need to walk or take a bus to get to exciting neighbourhoods, though. And it's alcohol-free. There's also a very nice HI hostel in Santa Monica, but it's not as cheap. The hostel in Ottawa is a bit grim, but it's in a converted jail, which is cool, and it's very well located.

You might want to look into getting a membership in Hostelling International (HI) if you're going to hostel a lot. It saves you a few bucks a night. And, in Canada at least, it gets you a discount on Greyhound tickets!

For university accommodations, Solin Hall (McGill University residence) in Montreal is a converted factory in the now-hip St-Henri neighbourhood. You can get a multiple-bedroom high-ceilinged loft apartment at a reasonable rate, but only in the summer. I've also stayed in very well-priced university residences at the University of Western Ontario, Moncton, Memorial (Newfoundland), Ottawa, UBC (Vancouver), and the London School of Economics. Pro tip: look into longer-term rates. A week is usually cheaper, and a month is much cheaper because technically you're a tenant rather than a "hotel" guest, so there's no occupancy tax. Also, look into what's included with your payment -- sometimes you get gym or pool privileges.

That's all I've got. I assume that most people already know about airbnb and the like, and that most of you don't want to sleep in airports. :-)


  • Pencil Stache
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I've gotten good deals on VRBO, off season low prices on very nice homes


  • Bristles
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Re: Resources for alternative accomodations when you travel: Post yours here
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2015, 12:12:45 AM » has been great for us, and it is much nicer to spread the cash locally rather than to a faceless corporation owned via index funds by mustachians..........;)

meadow lark

  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Resources for alternative accomodations when you travel: Post yours here
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 08:45:37 AM »
I spent a spring break during college at Mt Saviour Monastery in Elmira, NY.  'Cause I've always been a party animal...  Loved it!  Has accommodations for women and men. . 

At a wedding I went to in Sudbury, Ontario the bride's family rented out a floor of a dorm at a college  (it was summer) for 4 or 5 days for the guests.  We had so much fun!  The couple had gone to school in the US and it was really helpful since a lot of guests were just out of college, broke, and were flying in from the US.  This was prior to widespread Internet, so it was harder to arrange things.

Love hostels.  I have stayed in Washington DC, Pigeon Point Lighthouse in CA, and Cedar Crest, NM.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Resources for alternative accomodations when you travel: Post yours here
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2015, 05:14:13 PM »
A tent.  Preferably in the backcountry for free.

Here is a good site:


  • Stubble
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Re: Resources for alternative accomodations when you travel: Post yours here
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2015, 05:24:34 PM »
We travel often now and hope to do more (slow travel) when we FIRE. So this is a great thread and would love to hear what others' experience have been for affordable accommodation. Here is what I use now and also some others that I have heard of and have been meaning to try for our future travels:

- Hotels on points if it is a good redemption rate
- - we have hosted on this before and has been great both ways for us!
- VRBO/Homeaway - great for larger families and/or family reunion type of accommodations.  I use these for our family cottage trips. Also good for beach/lakeside/mountain getaways. I do find them to more pricey compared to Airbnb (maybe location dependent).
- Trampolinn - haven't tried it myself, but a review of it here:
- - I have heard couples using this and meeting some great people. More common in some areas than others I think
- Camping - this is always our #1 option when we travel around the US and Canada (when the weather is nice)
- - haven't used this myself, but came across it once in my reading and been meaning to look into it