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Lodging/Accommodations


Lodging is another category that can eat up
a lot of your budget. Fortunately, you have lots of options for
where to stay. Hotels are the most popular form of lodging,
but they can also be the most expensive. Some hotels include breakfast and even dinner,
others offer shuttles from airports or bus stations. Booking at one of these places can help you
keep your costs down on the food and transportation categories, but it’s only helpful if you’ll
be at the hotel when those meals are served. Hotels also have other standard amenities:
many have swimming pools and fitness centers. Most provide televisions, internet access,
and toiletries, but there is a trade-off. While hotels might include more amenities,
they are often more expensive than other lodging options. To save money, you might be able to sacrifice
some of these extras. Research other lodging options like hostels,
bed and breakfasts, extended stay condominiums, and couch surfing. Hostels are popular in Europe and other areas
throughout the world, but there are some in the United States too. In hostels, you stay in dorm-like rooms with
other travelers, and share common areas and bathrooms. Some hostels offer private rooms at higher
prices. If you are a very social person, a hostel
may be a good choice for you. You can meet other travelers easily, and you
might make lots of friends, but hostels offer a lot less privacy and can sometimes be noisy. They are also less secure. You will have to take your belongings with
you when you leave the hostel or rent a secure storage space when you’re out for the day. Hospitality websites specialize in linking
travelers like you with hosts or property owners who rent out their living spaces. Accommodations on these websites vary widely. Depending on your budget and vacation location,
you might be able to stay on someone’s couch or air mattress, but you might also be able
to rent a private room, apartment, or house. You can even stay on a boat or in a castle,
tree house, or igloo. Wow! Hosts set the price of each rental and prices
vary widely, but don’t be afraid to explore some crazy but really cool options. You can also search online for house rentals
and your destination. If you enjoy the outdoors and have the equipment,
you might want to camp on your trip. Lots of state parks and camping sites have
bathrooms and showers, so you don’t have to totally rough it out on your vacation. And of course, if you have friends or family
in an area, you can save a lot by staying with them. But you might want to budget some money to
buy them dinner or a gift as a thank you. Think about how much time you plan to spend
at your lodging site. If you only need a place to sleep, you might
be able to choose a less luxurious option. That leaves you with more money to spend on
activities, meals, or a souvenir, but if you want to relax in your room a lot, or have
a unique lodging experience, it might be worth it to spend more. Safety is also a top priority with lodging. Although hosts have extensive online profiles
with ratings and reviews, staying with strangers can pose a security risk. The same goes for hostels. You’re sharing space with people you do not
know. Think about how comfortable you’d be staying
with strangers. Sometimes it’s worth spending more money to
ensure your security and comfort. When researching lodging options, weigh the
importance of amenities and security against the cost and uniqueness of other options. Find an option that works for you and your
budget.

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