How to save money on US hotel expenses – A guide to US traveling
Are you wondering how to enjoy a trip in the US without spending astronomical amounts of money? As a foreigner, the US isn’t necessarily cheap but it’s possible to plan so it’s not incredibly expensive either. The same rules can be applied to any country for that matter, as there are cheaper solutions and more expensive solutions for each country.
First things first, obtain a passport, and if you’ve been looking online for guides about traveling to the United States, you have probably encountered messages like “Get an ESTA Prior to Travel to USA!”. This is because it’s very important to acknowledge the fact that if you’re from another country there’s a chance that you might need a visa to get into the USA. Once your entry requirements are that’s taken care of, the real planning challenge begins. It’s all about finding the right touring opportunities and making the most out of every dollar you spend.
In this article we are looking at six ways to manage your accommodation expenses while traveling in the United States to keep the costs down to a minimum.
No Need For Fancy Hotels
Most people look at traveling to the United States as an opportunity to enjoy a life of lavish but if you’re on a budget you need to keep that money for truly unforgettable experiences in the country and not on hotel rooms. Therefore, staying at fancy hotels is out of question unless you choose just one for a special splurge. There are many affordable hotel chains that offer clean, comfortable accommodation, and many offer free breakfast as well. For a few dollars more you can book an all “suites” property and enjoy extra room and amenities. Companies to look for include Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Sleep Inn, La Quinta, Fairfield by Marriott, and Hampton Inn, just to name a few.
Motels are great because they offer cheap prices. It won’t be hard at all to find a motel type accommodation on along highways where rooms go for cheap. The interior won’t be much but keep in mind that it’s about having a place to sleep during the night before you’re on your way again, and nothing else. Motels are generally different from hotels or inns due to the fact that their entry doors are on the outside of the room rather than reached by an interior lobby and hallways. If you are staying in a less than desirable area, you might want to go with an inn that has the added security of inside entry.
Also note that many hotels and motels offer loyalty cards and rewards programs which get you a bunch of credit points as welcoming gift. You can use these to make up for quite a bit of accommodation so you’ll end up saving a lot of money. One popular budget hotel chain offers stay 3 nights, get one free for instance.
Bed and Breakfasts
There are lots of BnB’s across the United States. Many are in elegant Victorian era homes, charming ocean side cottages, and lovely large homes with storied pasts. They have become very popular in the past 20 years and you may find that their prices are more than a modest hotel room. They will provide you with a way to meet locals however, and other travelers who usually love meeting you and sharing their travel stories.
This is a more modern approach that would have you sleeping in someone’s house for very reasonable prices. Comparable or even lower than the prices at a motel, AirBnB spots let you stay in people’s own homes which are equipped with furniture and a kitchen where you can cook your own meals, which you should because you will save a lot of money that way as well. You might want to check into vacation rentals companies as well such as VRBO, VacationRental.com and even Expedia. This option is great especially if you are traveling as a family. You can save considerably by having your own kitchen.
Similar to AirBnB, Couchsurfing.com is a service that lets you stay in people’s homes. Only this time, it’s for free and the hosts are there too. This can be a great experience as you might meet some great people. After all, it’s not just about the country but about the people that live in it as well. Maybe they can show you around and give you a really great time, and who knows, you might just stumble on some really good future friends.
Yes, there are hostels in the USA, although you will mostly find them in major cities and metropolitan areas. Hostelworld.com is probably your best bet for finding the widest selection of hostels in America.