Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sleeping Pretty on a Beer Budget
In spite of the gloom and doom naysayers who insist this tough economy means far fewer North Americans will travel overseas in 2009, "The Trip Chicks" are determined to prove their predictions otherwise. Forge ahead in planning that vacation of yours. It's way overdue and well-deserved! Here are but five of our favorite alternative accommodations at rates that just might put a smile on your face. You'll not only keep more money in your pocket but will make a few great globally-minded friends to boot.
1. FARMSTAYS - Be a paying guest or lend a helping hand and stay free.
In exchange for pitching in on an international farm in one of 20+ countries, receive room, board, and the chance to experience real organic farm life up close.
B. http://www.takeabreak.com.au/Farmexperiences.htm (Australia)
C. http://www.farmholidays.com/ (Austria)
D. http://www.farmholidays.de/e/ (Bavaria - Germany)
E. http://www.agriturismo.com/?l=eng (Italy)
F. http://www.dutch-farmholidays.com/ (Netherlands)
G. http://www.truenz.co.nz/farmstays/ (New Zealand)
H. http://www.bauernhof-ferien.ch/englisch/index.html (Switzerland)
2. HOSTELS - From castles and former convents to more rustic digs, many of these budget accommodations are no longer just for the under 25 set.
A. http://tinyurl.com/8la3s2 (Go Nomad's list of worldwide hostels)
D. http://www.hihostels.com/ (Hostelling International's membership-only club)
E. http://www.hostels.com/ (Almost 27,000 listings and no booking fee)
3. APARTMENT RENTALS - Just last month we stayed in a fully-furnished two-bedroom Black Forest apartment overlooking a medieval square in Germany. The price? A mere 34 Euros a night for two of us!
In addition to our list of the rental apartment finder services below, be sure to google "____________ tourism" (fill in the blank with the town or region you'd like to visit). On the official tourist office sites under the "accommodations" or "lodging" sections, you can find some amazing deals. To broaden your internet search, trying using the words for "tourism" in other languages too. (i.e. "Tourismus" in German; "tourisme" in French, etc.) Go to http://babelfish.yahoo.com/ to translate from English to the target language.
C. http://www.interhome.com/ (likes working with your local travel agent)
D. http://www.vrbo.com/ (Vacation Rentals By Owner)
E. http://www.wyndham-vacations.com/ (Formerly EVRentals)
4. PAID MEMBERSHIP HOSPITALITY CLUBS - Fill out an application, pay a fee to join, and receive a directory of "open door" hosts all over the world.
A. http://www.womenwelcomewomen.org.uk/ ("5 W" was founded by Brits to promote international friendship among women, but some hosts open up their homes to the husbands and children of members too)
B. http://www.usservas.org/ (Since 1949, the mission of Servas has been to foster world peace through people-to-people homestays among its pre-screened members.)
5. TRAVELER WELCOME NETWORKS FOR FREE - The first two online travel hospitality resources attract more of the younger crowd; however, if you are open-minded and adventuresome, any one of them could be the key to your successful globetrotting on the cheap worldwide.
That'll do it for today. We'll be back soon with more money-saving travel tips and tricks for your next getaway. Until next time, happy travels!
Ann Lombardi & Wendy Swartzell
The Trip Chicks
Passport to Adventure, Inc.