On long business trips, you need a place to stay, but you don’t need to stay at the same sort of place every single time. While hotel chains are perfectly acceptable places to sleep, relax, clean up, and eat, you must admit those all-too-similar hotel rooms get a bit boring after the sixth or seventh stay. If you’re looking for a change—whether in scenery, glamour, or expectations—consider the following fun vacation alternatives to hotel chains.
Are you ready to go back to school? No? Well, how about returning to dorm life, if only for a brief time? During the summer and term breaks, some universities and colleges offer rooms for rent in their dormitories and similar housing facilities. It may not be a luxury hotel, but you’ll have access to a bed, workspace, shower space, and sometimes more. Most academic housing is dirt cheap, and the dorms are as bare-bones as you remember. Yet, some schools offer fancier accommodations. Call ahead and find out what they have to offer.
Do you have a slightly bigger budget to work with and feel like being spoiled? Boutique hotels are reconditioned old buildings in a town’s center, and they’re usually independently owned (though they can also be part of a chain). They provide luxurious accommodations that go beyond continental breakfast and free ice. Boutique hotels are usually a bit fancy-pants and often offer spa treatments, a bar and lounging area, fancy breakfast alternatives (or even an upscale restaurant), and other fancy amenities. If that sounds like just what you need after a long day of conferences, sales meetings, and client visits, then sign up for a boutique hotel experience!
If you can combine business with the pleasure of staying with family or friends, go to it. You’ll save money and enjoy your time with people close to you. Likewise, if they need to leave town, offering to stay and mind their home during your visit to their town is a fantastic deal. Furthermore, did you know you can sign up with a house-sitting service? It’s true. If you sign up with these services, you’ll pay a fee and have access to homes and apartments whose owners are looking for a temporary tenant. Your trip and another person’s need for a sitter may not always line up, but when they do, it’s a cheaper alternative.
Rent a Camper
Here’s the last of our fun vacation alternatives to hotel chains: rent a camper or RV. If your trip involves more road than air travel, renting a camper is a fun and convenient way to combine travel with accommodation. You’ll need to find mobile home parks and campgrounds where you can stay the night, but an RV lets you get from place to place, cook food on the go, sleep anywhere, and transport all your supplies and presentation materials. See more of the country with a camper or RV!