Instead of staying in a hotel, rent a room from a local.
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Try the “temporary bed and breakfast” peer-to-peer sites, AirBed & Breakfast or Roomorama where a night’s stay can range from $45 to $100 or so. Anyone with a bed, airbed or couch can rent it out for the night. Reserve your night online, paying with a credit card or via PayPal. AB & B charges guests a 5 to 12 percent service fee and Roomorama charges 8. Live in a hotly-contested state for the upcoming presidential election? Then AirBed & Breakfast suggests you host at your home a visiting, get-out-the vote volunteer.
Want to sidestep the service fee oh brave one? See house swaps or vacation rentals at the venerable Craigslist. Braver still? Get a free room through couchsurfing. While you’re laughing at this approach know that it has nearly 470,000 users.
Going upscale a bit, reserve a private room in a hostel. Marin Headlands, near me, has priceless views. Want a more posh and private place to stay where you can still benefit from a local’s recommendations?
Then join Home Exchange. Enjoy encampment in a villa or a vacation home.
There’s always that reliable place where Tom Bodett promises, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”