Going to Orlando and its Parks

It’s time to make a journey and the destination this time is called Orlando, a space full of fun that attracts millions of people during the whole year due to it’s famous parks, places like Disney World, Universal Studio or the Cabo Discovery will keep you busy all day long. Start by looking for a More »

Helsinki City Guide

Helsinki, recently awarded as ‘City of Design’ by UNESCO, is the capital of Finland. Unlike the Nordic winter, the temperature of this city is quite livable, and life continues throughout the year. It has four seasons, and the temperatures vary from 32 degrees in the summer and about -20 degrees in the winter. With the More »

Tricking Out Your Jeep

Tricking out your Jeep is easier than you might think. No matter your budget, there are a number of accessories and parts that you can purchase to trick out your Jeep the way you want it. From roof racks such as the Jeep jk roof rack, lighting, flares, engines, etc. you can have the Jeep More »

Tag Archives: tips

Test your travel trivia knowledge

Sarah Spagnolo of Travel + Leisure magazine helps TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb quiz viewers on their knowledge of popular vacation destinations.

Think you’re well traveled? Find out by taking this fun, quick quiz. You may be surprised by the answers to these questions about popular destinations and travel references in pop culture.

1. What is the most visited tourist attraction in the world?          

      A.  Times Square

                B.  Disney World

                C.  The Colosseum

                D.  Eiffel Tower

Related: See all of the world’s most-visited tourist attractions

 

2. The Bahamas is one of the most popular destinations for U.S. residents to visit in the Caribbean. On average, how cold does it get in the Bahamas?

                A. 40 degrees

                B. 50 degrees

                C. 60 degrees

                D. 70 degrees 

 

3. Champagne is less than 100 miles away from Paris. How many bottles of Champagne are shipped around the country from there each year?

     A. 1.5 million bottles

                B. 322 million bottles

                C. 525 million bottles

                D. 1 billion bottles

 

4. Which major Canadian city has not hosted the Olympics?

                A. Montreal

                B. Toronto

                C. Calgary

                D. Vancouver

5. How many Smithsonian museums and galleries are in Washington, D.C.?

               A. 10

               B. 13

               C. 17

               D. 19

6. Finish this phrase with a well-known Italian city: “All roads lead to _____”

                A. Naples

                B. Venice

                C. Rome

                D. Verona

 

7. In the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” where is the Griswold family traveling?

                A. Sea World                 

B. Walley World

                C. Disney World

                D. Busch Gardens

 

Find out how you scored — and more fun facts —  below.

1. ANSWER – A. Times Square
Tourists flock to New York’s neon heart for the flashing lights, Broadway shows, megastores, and sheer spectacle. Times Square can even be a convenient, if chaotic, base, thanks to hotels at every price point and easy access to public transportation: subways, rails, buses, and more yellow taxis than you can count. It got more than 39 million annual visitors as of 2010, according to the Times Square Alliance. 

2. ANSWER – D. 70 degrees
The trade winds that blow almost continually throughout the Bahamas give the island a warm climate that varies very little year-round. The best time is from September through May when the temperature averages 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.  The rest of the year is a bit warmer with temperatures between 80-85 degrees. 

3. ANSWER – B. 322 Million Bottles 
According to legend, monks brought the method for making sparkling wine up from the Languedoc, in the south of France and discovered that the chalky soil and climatic conditions in the Champagne region produced a bright bubbly wine. All champagne comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France. Bubbly from all other regions in the world is referred to as sparkling wine. Must-see places in Champagne: the historic Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims, Moet et Chandon Champagne Cellar Tours, and an “off-road” tasting tour via Land Rover into the vineyards around Verzy with Oenovasion.  

4. ANSWER – B. Toronto
Officials from Buffalo, N.Y., and Toronto — cities separated by 100 miles — have openly discussed the option of trying to make the 2024 Games the first Olympics to officially be staged in more than one country. In the meantime, look for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil, and the 2018 Olympics will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

5. ANSWER – C. 17
There are 19 Smithsonian museums and galleries, 17 in D.C. and two in New York City. At D.C.’s Smithsonian Institution Building (known as The Castle), you can find maps and a schedule of events. Smithsonian National Air Space Museum displays the largest collection of air and spacecraft in the world, along with IMAX films and planetarium shows. Artifacts at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum include an 80-foot dinosaur skeleton, a life-size model of a blue whale, and a 45-and-a-half carat jewel called the Hope Diamond.

6. ANSWER – C. Rome
The theory goes that The Milliarium Aureum was erected by the Emperor Caesar Augustus near the temple of Saturn in the central Forum of ancient Rome and that all roads were considered to begin from this monument and all distances in the Roman Empire were measured relative to that point. The road system of the Ancient Romans was one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of its time, with over 50,000 miles of paved road radiating from their center at the Forum.

7. ANSWER – B. Walley World
The 1983 movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” starred Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as the Griswolds, who are on a quest to visit Walley World, a theme park, for a family vacation — when things don’t exactly go as planned. Walley World itself is a parody of Disneyland; the name of the mascot, Marty Moose, is reminiscent of Disney’s Mickey Mouse. The movie’s success led to a number of sequels, including “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

More From Travel + Leisure:

 World’s Most-Visited Theme Parks

 America’s Coolest Summer Cottages

Best Hotels in New York City

T+L Insider Video: Romantic Getaways

 

 

 

 

6 useful vacation rental websites

Hotels often rely on inflated descriptions of their rooms. Got a single room with a tiny balcony? That’s a deluxe. Or throw a couch in there and it turns into a suite, with the extravagant price tag to match. In response to travelers wanting better options, a new crop of vacation rental websites has sprouted up offering everything from sprawling mansions to air mattresses, often with significantly more space than your average hotel room. Combine that with lower prices and locations in less touristy neighborhoods, and you could be experiencing your destination just like the locals do. Here are some vacation rental sites to look into for your next holiday.


Airbnb
With over 200,000 listing in more than 25,000 cities in 192 countries, Airbnb allows guests to rent accommodations directly from their owners. From entire estates, like a 33-acre California property with a pool and vineyard, to a shared bedroom in Manhattan’s East Village, the majority of these listings are located on the coasts of the United States and in Western Europe, with a concentration in New York City, San Francisco and Paris. Search either by price, property type, amenities or other parameters, and when you find something you like, confirm your reservation either by credit card or PayPal, with a booking fee of 8 to 12 percent, depending on the cost of the entire booking. To protect guests from fraudulent or misrepresented listings, Airbnb holds the payment for 24 hours before releasing it to the host.
http://www.airbnb.com

Couchsurfing
For the utterly penniless (or more adventurous), there is CouchSurfing. With over four million members in more than 90,000 cities, CouchSurfing offers everything from free accommodations (typically on someone’s couch), to meals and activity partners. Both “surfers” and hosts are required to create a profile page, and trusted hosts can receive a verified status confirming that their names and locations have been authenticated. Other members can also vouch for one another, certifying them as trustworthy. As accommodations are based on how willing your hosts are, guests have to put in a request for a couch or a meet-up and hope for the best.
http://www.couchsurfing.org/

FlipKey
FlipKey is TripAdvisor’s attempt at breaking into the vacation rental market. With over 150,000 rentals in 7,000 cities worldwide, most listings are found in the United States, Europe, Mexico and Brazil, with Florida, Italy and Rio de Janeiro being the most popular. Search either by price, available deals, property type and other parameters, and their “My Pick” feature allows guests to make multiple selections and compare them later. The user reviews that drive TripAdvisor’s success also make an appearance here. FlipKey bills itself as “the largest collection of verified and trusted guest reviews in the industry,” and reviewers are allowed to submit their own pictures. When you find something you like, contact the host for the rental agreement, which spells out all prices and policies, before paying either by credit card, PayPal or other arrangements. Unlike many of its competitors, FlipKey doesn’t charge a booking fee.
http://www.flipkey.com/

HomeAway
No airbeds or pullout couches here. Instead, HomeAway focuses on traditional vacation homes that are rented out by their owners. With over 315,000 listings worldwide, about 183,500 properties are found in European countries like Spain and France, and about a third in the United States. Narrow your search by price, ratings, amenities and other filters, and book by contacting the owner directly. Depending on the owner, a deposit of 10 to 50 percent may be needed to confirm the booking, with some requiring full payment eight weeks before check in. For an additional $49 (or more, depending on your rental cost), HomeAway guarantees guests up to $10,000 against homes that are double booked, misrepresented or have been foreclosed.
http://www.homeaway.com/

iStopOver
Traveling for a festival? iStopOver has got you covered. This Toronto-based company was founded in 2009 with an aim of providing cheaper accommodations for large events, such as the 2012 London Olympics, Comic-Con and Oktoberfest. With listings in 16,000 cities, the website allows guests to search by destination, level of privacy and other filters. Their Wise Ask! option also allows you to send out a list of your preferences to all available hosts in a specific location, before sitting back and waiting for their replies. Payment can be made either by credit card or PayPal, with a 10 percent service fee added. To make sure the accommodation matches its listing, guests are given a reservation code after payment, which they hand over to their hosts upon arrival.
http://www.istopover.com/

VRBO
Unlike the global focus of HomeAway (which is owned by the same company), VRBO’s 190,000 rentals are mostly in the U.S. Guests can browse by location types, amenities and other filters. As with HomeAway, properties are either run by their owners or property managers, and guests can book by contacting the host directly. Since April 2012, HomeAway also began migrating VRBO’s listings onto its main website, making properties searchable on both platforms. And, if you apply for their Carefree Rental Guarantee (which costs from $49 on average), your payment is protected up to $10,000 against misrepresented, double booked or foreclosed homes.
http://www.vrbo.com

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Ka-ching! Fund your next trip with pocket change

Looking to finance your travel plans but stuck with a dwindling bank account and ballooning credit card bills?

Turns out the solution may be sitting in that bowl or drawer where you toss your spare change. Pour those nickels, dimes and quarters into one of those ubiquitous Coinstar kiosks instead and you can now redeem the balance at Marriott hotels across the country.

Launched as a pilot program in mid-July, the deal is the newest addition to Coinstar’s Coin to Card program and its first effort in travel.


“We believe that one of the impetuses for people to cash in their coins is so they can take vacations,” said spokeswoman Sarah Ward Jones. “With more than 3,700 locations around the world, Marriott was a logical fit for the program.”

For Coinstar, the Marriott program echoes the partnerships the company has forged with Amazon, Chili’s, Starbucks and more than 30 other companies. Unlike the company’s traditional Coins to Cash program, which charges a fee of 9.8 cents per dollar, corporate partners cover the transaction costs so users get full value for their pocket change.

In return, they receive a printed receipt that can be applied to charges for lodging, meals, spa treatments or other services at Marriott hotels. The value never expires, although users do have to remember to bring their receipt with them when they travel.

“People can turn their spare change into a great family getaway or add a dinner or spa treatment to a trip they’re already planning,” said Barbara Shuster, Marriott’s director of business-to-business sales and marketing. “Or they can just experience a spa or restaurant — they don’t even have to stay with us.”

For now, the program is available in 17,000 of Coinstar’s 19,000 kiosks. (Some outlets prohibit such deals.) And while neither Coinstar nor Marriott would discuss future plans, it seems likely that other travel providers will see dollar signs in travelers’ small change.

And there’s apparently no shortage of the latter. According to Coinstar, there is approximately $10 billion in coins currently out of circulation in the U.S., the equivalent of $31.83 for every man, woman and child in the country.

Needless to say, 31 bucks and change won’t get you a $149 room at the Courtyard in downtown Orlando (2,980 nickels) or a $300 suite at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (3,000 dimes) but it might cover a meal or a round of drinks.

It might also provide the incentive you need to get off the couch and see what’s really under those cushions.

Rob Lovitt is a longtime travel writer who still believes the journey is as important as the destination. Follow him at Twitter.

More articles you might like:

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

What in-flight entertainment each airline offers

Courtesy of Virgin America

Every Virgin America airplane has Wi-Fi, satellite television and movies.

Many people think that it doesn’t matter which airline you fly domestically; they’re all the same. When it comes to in-flight entertainment, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. On the heels of Frontier announcing it was lowering prices on its video entertainment, we’ve put together a rundown of what domestic airlines offer in the U.S.

 


AirTran
AirTran will adopt Southwest’s satellite Wi-Fi once the two airlines finish merging, but for now it offers Gogo service. Pricing varies depending on the length of the flight and the device you use.

  • 717/737-700: Wi-Fi on all, no video available

Alaska Airlines
Alaska has a simple setup: Nearly all aircraft have Wi-Fi onboard, and on flights longer than about three hours, you can rent a DigEPlayer ($8–$10) to watch video on demand.

  • 737-800/900: Wi-Fi on all, personal video player rentals on longer flights
  • 737-400: Wi-Fi on most (mostly excludes airplanes flying in Alaska), no video 
  • No regional aircraft have Wi-Fi or video

American Airlines
American was one of the first to put Wi-Fi onboard, but it’s been slow with its progress since. The plan is to have Wi-Fi on all domestic airplanes (not including the American Eagle regional aircraft) via Gogo, but we’re not there yet. If you’re looking for old-fashioned entertainment, American has overhead video screens on its 757s and 737-800s. If you’re on an MD-80, you’re out of luck. Instead, American is slowly rolling out streaming video via Gogo. Check before departure to find out if your flight will have Wi-Fi.

  • 767-200 (New York to LA/SF only): Wi-Fi on all, overhead video screens on all, streaming video available
  • 757: No Wi-Fi, overhead video screens on all
  • 737: Wi-Fi on some, overhead video screens on all, streaming video coming
  • MD-80: Wi-Fi on some, no video available, streaming video coming
  • No regional aircraft have Wi-Fi or video

Delta
Delta has been the most progressive when it comes to installing Wi-Fi and video options on its fleet. You can now get Wi-Fi via Gogo on just about every domestic airplane with more than 50 seats. Many airplanes also have personal video screens. Live television is free, and on-demand viewing options range from $1 to $6. The best part: You can see what your flight will have when you’re making reservations.

  • 767-300: Wi-Fi on all, satellite TV and movies in each seat on most
  • 757-200, 737-700/800: Wi-Fi on all, personal satellite TVs and movies on some, overhead video screens on others
  • 757-300/MD-90: Wi-Fi on all, overhead video screens on all
  • A319/A320/MD-88/DC-9: Wi-Fi on all, no video available
  • All regional aircraft with more than 50 seats (excludes CRJ-200, ERJ-145, and turboprops) have Wi-Fi available, no video available

Frontier
Frontier offers different entertainment depending upon the fleet type, but there will always be something available. The airline recently changed its pricing for LiveTV and movies; they range from $3.99 on shorter flights to $7.99 on the longest.

  • A318/A319/A320: No Wi-Fi, personal satellite TVs and movies on all
  • Embraer 190: Wi-Fi on all, no video available

JetBlue
JetBlue not only has satellite television or movies on its whole fleet — it bought the company that provides it. No flights have Wi-Fi yet, but it’s expected soon.

  • A320/Embraer 190: Wi-Fi coming, personal satellite TVs and movies on all

Southwest
Southwest has been installing Wi-Fi across its fleet for some time. Today, the installation process has moved into overdrive with well over 150 aircraft, but there is still a lot of work to be done. For now, Wi-Fi access is $5 per flight, and you can see whether or not your aircraft will have Wi-Fi when you check in online.

  • 737-700: Wi-Fi on some, no video available
  • 737-300/500: Wi-Fi coming to some, no video available

United
United is the furthest behind when it comes to Wi-Fi installation: it installed Wi-Fi only on the 13 airplanes that fly between New York and LA/SF. But there are plans to add it to aircraft with satellite television. The effects of the merger with Continental are pretty clear here; you’ll find very different entertainment options depending on the aircraft you fly.

  • 737-700/800/900: Wi-Fi coming, personal satellite TVs and movies on most
  • A319/A320/757-200/767-300/777-200: No Wi-Fi available, overhead video screens on all
  • 737-500: No Wi-Fi available, no video available
  • No regional aircraft have Wi-Fi or video

US Airways
US Airways installed Wi-Fi via Gogo on its A321 aircraft, and it recently announced that it will hook up the rest of its fleet. There are no video screens on the domestic US Airways fleet, but it will have streaming video soon.

  • A321: Wi-Fi on all, no video available, streaming video coming
  • A319/A320/Embraer 170/175/190: Wi-Fi coming, no video available, streaming video coming
  • No other regional aircraft have Wi-Fi or video

Virgin America
Virgin America is relatively new, so it provides a uniform offering: Every airplane has Wi-Fi and satellite television, plus movies.

  • A319/A320: Wi-Fi on all, personal satellite TVs and movies on all

More from Condé Nast Traveler

 

Ditch the hotel: 10 cheaper ways to stay

Alessandra Tarantino / AP

Sister Martina clears dishes during dinner for pilgrims in Casa Mater Mundi, an 88-bed hotel in Rome. Motherly inkeepers, spick-and-span bathrooms, some of the cheapest room rates in town, plus an ambiance of spirituality more than compensate for any inconvenience, say many travelers.

Travelers can find cozy, convenient lodging for $50, $20 or even free in virtually every destination — as long as they know where to look.

Aside from airfare, lodging is typically the expense that takes the biggest bite out of a vacation budget. But there’s no need to rack up hotel stays for $100 to $200 a night or more. Creative travelers who are willing to consider alternatives to hotels could pay a fraction of that price — or nothing at all.


Below, we review 10 options and evaluate the pros and cons of each. See if these affordable alternatives to hotels are something you’ll dig or want to dump.

Short-term room rentals

This is a relatively new trend in the travel world — a cross between vacation rentals and homestays. Using websites like Airbnb.com and iStopOver.com, travelers can rent a room in someone’s house, a cottage or a private studio apartment for low nightly rates (it’s not uncommon to see prices under $50 per night). It’s a way for hosts to open up their homes and make a little extra money, while giving travelers a great deal and a local’s-eye view of a destination.

Dig it: Do you love a chance to meet people, see how they live, maybe play a midnight game of Scrabble or Call of Duty? Although you may score a cottage all by yourself, it’s more likely you’ll get a small bedroom and share a bath. If that’s cool with you, a short-term room rental is your thing. If you’re not quite that flexible, you can still dig these digs. iStopOver.com allows you to make what they call a Wise Ask, a list of your requirements that allows “hosts” in the city to bid on your business.

Dump it: If uncertainly keeps you awake at night, you may sleep better at a chain hotel.

Religious housing

Depending on where you’re traveling, there may be affordable lodging offered by religious organizations — such as convents and monasteries in Italy (see MonasteryStays.com), or Christian or Jewish guesthouses in Jerusalem. An Internet search or a visit to the local tourist board’s website can help you find these options. 

Dig it: If you long to be welcomed with no judgment and no questions into a calm, clean environment — perhaps even have a private bathroom, as MonasteryStays.com promises — religious housing is for you. Many even welcome children with open arms, often having larger rooms set aside for families.

Dump it: Your room will be clean and functional. If you want luxury, look elsewhere. Same goes if your kids are hellions, accustomed to running up and down halls screaming at the top of their lungs. Also, if you’re a late-owl who likes to party into the wee hours, chances are you’ll miss curfew and be locked out.

Hostels

Though they’re commonly known as “youth” hostels, this form of accommodation can be ideal for budget travelers of any age. Even if you’re not up for the cheapest option — a bed in a shared dorm — you can often get a basic private room at a hostel for significantly less than the cost of a low-end hotel.

Dig it: Hostels are perfect for the unscheduled traveler or backpacker, and for those who like an adventure — read: those who don’t mind plenty of company.

Dump it: Some hostels can be sketchy — lacking not only privacy, but also safety. Consider checking on sites such as Hostels.com or HostelWorld.com for reviews and recommendations. Or see if the property is a member of Hostelling International, a U.K.-based non-profit organization with more than 4,000 members worldwide that meet a minimum standard of cleanliness and safety.

Homestays

Sleeping in someone’s spare bedroom or on the living room couch is by far one of the cheapest ways to travel. In many cases, it’s free, and it’s also a great way to meet locals. You can organize a homestay through long-established hospitality networks like Servas International, or check out newer sites like CouchSurfing.com. For more information, see our guide to Homestays and Farmstays.

Dig it: If “life is an adventure” is your motto, this mode of traveling is for you. You stand the chance of meeting interesting people and getting a close-up look at local life. If you’re social and socially conscious, Servas, an accredited NGO that encourages members to get involved in their host’s communities, could be for you. Just super-social? Go with a CouchSurfing.com-type option.

Dump it: You must be trusting and trustworthy, flexible and friendly for homestays to be an appropriate choice for you. You also have to be patient — the Servas interview process takes at least four weeks, probably longer. As a Servas traveler, you’ll also have to write a travel report when you return. CouchSurfing.com is looser and much more in touch with social media — providing plenty of opportunities to connect with locals and other travelers. If you go it on your own through word of mouth, use caution.

Vacation rentals

A Paris apartment, a villa in the Caribbean, a log cabin in Vermont … vacation rentals offer unique and affordable lodging around the globe. Because they tend to be more spacious than hotel rooms, they’re a particularly good bargain for families and groups who can divvy up the cost. And having your own kitchen can save you big bucks on restaurants. Learn more in Vacation Rentals: Right for You? 

Dig it: The many options in vacation rentals means this choice is great for a variety of trips. If you appreciate the convenience and savings of having kitchen — even laundry — access during your trip, a vacation rental is for you. And if you’re traveling with a group of friends or family, having everyone gathered in one home can be priceless.

Dump it: If there’s going to be a fight over who gets the master suite, avoid holiday havoc by checking the floorplan of your rental and deciding ahead of time who gets which room. A rental agreement is a binding contract, so if there’s a chance your vacation plans may change, stick with a hotel.

Academic housing

When students go home for the summer, many colleges and universities open their dorms to visitors. Expect basic but very affordable accommodations (bathrooms may be down the hall, for example). There are few central databases of this type of lodging — University-Rooms.com is one to try — but it’s worth calling a few local campuses directly to see if anything might be available during your trip. The local tourist board may also be able to help.

Dig it: Restaurants, bars and entertainment venues often surround college campuses, so there should be plenty of action nearby.

Dump it: Most college kids are hard on their dormitories and rising tuitions costs means not much is being invested in new carpets, furniture or finishings. Elevators and air-conditioning are uncommon in older buildings, too.

Farmstays

From rural BB’s to working ranches and cattle farms, this type of stay can cover a wide range of accommodations — and you don’t necessarily have to be willing to milk a cow to take advantage of it. Farmstays are particularly popular in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Learn more in Homestays and Farmstays.

Dig it: If you enjoy waking with the sun to feed a bottle to a lamb or corn meal to chickens, a farmstay may be right for you. You may be treated to a hearty breakfast, learn to make cheese or spin wool. The quiet, bucolic setting is perfect for relaxation, catching up on reading or finishing handicraft projects.

Dump it: It can get very quiet, especially in the evening — so if you’re a night owl, your only companions may be the mice. The type of lodging can vary widely — although if you’re traveling in Europe or Down Under you’ll have more choice than in the U.S. If you need to know exactly what you’re getting, this isn’t for you.

Camping

Sleeping under the stars can be a magical experience — and it’s one of the cheapest options on our list, especially if you cook your own meals over a campfire instead of eating in restaurants every night. And don’t worry … you can opt for cabins or luxury tent camps if you’d rather not be slapping mosquitoes away all night. Get inspired with our Top Seven Spots for a Camping Trip.

Dig it: If you long to disconnect from electronics, go camping. A campfire beneath the night sky can be relaxing and mesmerizing — you won’t miss your TV or tablet. And you can’t beat a perfectly toasted marshmallow as a bedtime snack.

Dump it: Cooking a meal over a campstove or fire, washing dishes in a bucket, waking up to rain-soaked sleeping bags — if giving up conveniences isn’t worth star-gazing, forget camping. And if being clean and sweet smelling is important to you, don’t camp.

BB’s with shared bathrooms

Bed and breakfasts can often save you money over hotel rooms, especially if you’re willing to use a bathroom down the hall. And it may be less inconvenient than you think: Sometimes the room you’re supposed to share a bathroom with might not even be booked — giving you the facilities all to yourself.

Dig it: The coziness and camaraderie of a BB is appealing to many travelers — enough so to overlook the possibility of having to share a bathroom. You’ll save not only on accommodations, but also on meals since breakfast is covered.

Dump it: BB’s, especially those with shared bathrooms, may lack other modern amenities, such as flat-screen televisions, multiple outlets for charging electronics and even Wi-Fi.

Home exchange

Swapping houses with another traveler is an ideal way to enjoy the comforts of home while traveling — and it’s practically free. To become a member of a home exchange network, you’ll typically pay an annual fee that costs about as much as a night in a hotel room, so after the first couple of nights of your vacation, your membership has paid for itself and then some. Learn more in Home Exchange: A How-To Guide.

Dig it: All the conveniences of home — kitchen with all the gadgets, laundry with detergent, Wi-Fi — and usually away from tourist traps and traffic, too. What’s not to love?

Dump it: There’s always a chance something might happen — power outage, burst pipe, the homeowner’s angry ex banging on the door at 3 a.m. — and there’s no one around to take responsibility except you. Home exchange isn’t for the worried traveler: Will I break something? Will they trash my house? Am I safe in their home? Is my grandmother’s china safe in my home? If these concerns keep you up at night, sleep in a hotel.

More from IndependentTraveler.com