The Hotel Alternative

February 1st, 2014


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In my former profession as a Sr. Telecom Manager, I travelled and stayed in some wonderful hotels in major cities around the US, Canada, and even down in South America. Every trip permitted me the chance to enjoy some amazing amenities. I mean really, who doesn’t like fresh linen, concierge services, a little chocolate surprise resting on your pillow, towels shaped like animals and those cute little bathroom knickknacks that scream “take me.” But the best part of business travel is not having to pay for it. Having your employer picks up the tab is like icing on the cake.

But it’s a different story when its personal travel, and your expenses include airport parking, plane tickets, car rentals, food, fun and the big one “lodging? For a family of four it can cost a few thousand dollars depending on how long you travel and where you go. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for great alternatives that can save me a buck or two and add a little spice to the trip by trying something different when travelling. Recently, I came across a real winner that I’ll be using for my next vacation. is a website that features vacation rentals for everything from a room to a small apartment to a castle and everything in between including luxury homes. The site boast of having over 9 million visitors, in 34,000 cities covering over 192 countries worldwide. Here is how it works, basically everyday people post their homes, apartments and even rooms on the site as a vacation rental. Instead of a front desk hospitality person greeting you, your host is the homeowner. Depending on the size of your group the per person cost overall can produce a huge savings, you’ll see what I mean in just a minute.

To prove my point, I decided to do a comparison. My husband and I and another couple have been wanting to go to Israel, which can be very pricey. So let’s say, we decided to travel for two weeks, stay as close to Jerusalem as possible with a hotel budget of $3,500 per couple. The hotel must be at least a 3 star facility. After visiting a few hotel sites, I found a four star hotel in the heart of Jerusalem for $3,109 for 14 nights including tax. Keep in mind there were cheaper hotels where I could’ve saved roughly $400-500 overall, but I must admit this facility is something I would select in spite of the additional cost.

Now, let’s look on For the exact same dates, there I found a beautiful modern & spacious – 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment for $950.00 per week. There is a $500 deposit, an $80.00 cleaning fee and an Airbnb fee of $136.00, that’s a total of $2,116. Sure we’ll lose the maid service, chocolates, the swimming pool and maybe even the little bathroom knickknacks. But we gain, a full kitchen, balcony, washer and dryer, a chance to really mingle with the natives and all the comforts of home away from home. You may think that’s not a great exchange, but I wonder if you caught it. Did you notice I said, it was a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment? That means our friends could share the space and the expense and cut the cost in half to around $1,058 per couple. Now, that’s a huge savings.

This lodging alternative not only saves money, but allows anyone to meet new people, and really see how the natives live up close and personal. The added bonus is that with all the money you save you can eat out more or choose to grab some groceries and prepare a home cook meal, the choice is yours.

Next, time you’re planning a trip consider for your lodging needs. And remember be safe and have fun.


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