For most of us, going on vacation usually means booking a stay at a hotel or resort. These stays are booked directly through the hotel or through a website, such as Priceline or Travelocity, and unless you're willing to pay major money for your stay, you're often stuck with cookie cutter rooms that look much the same regardless of location. For those of us looking for a more unique and authentic form of vacation lodging, but are reluctant to pay major money for your lodging, there are some great options. Take a look at some of my top choices, and then take them into consideration the next time you're booking a stay for a wedding, Summer vacation, or extended weekend trip.
- Digsville lists home exchanges in more than 55 countries, while Home Exchange facilitates home exchanges with home owners all over the world. Learn more about home swaps in this post.
- VRBO is a directory listing for vacation rentals by owner.
- The Hospitality Club focuses on bringing people together from different cultures, and can help you find free accommodation around the world.
- Vacation Rentals Directory is a human-edited directory of vacation rentals website indexing 1,152 vacation rentals websites covering 386 destinations.
- Airbnb offers full houses, or rooms in homes, in different destination cities across the world, with guests and hosts directly communicating about stay details.
Out of all of these, I've been most fascinated by AirBnB. I've used VRBO on several different occasions with positive results, and have just booked our first international trip through VRBO. However, I think that next on my list of services to try will be Airbnb. Keep reading for a video explaining the service.