“Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were” -Author Unknown

Hotels are quite pricey and if you are a frequent traveler, this can take quite a chunk out of your traveling budget. Fortunately, you do not always have to spend a fortune when it comes to booking accommodations as there are a lot of cheaper and more affordable alternatives. However, it requires a bit of research coupled with a willingness to compromise as most of these alternative accommodations do not come with the fancy amenities of a hotel. However, there are a select few of them that might even be better than a hotel room, all you need to do is to awaken your dormant adventurous streak in order to better appreciate where you may be billeted.

If you have a taste for the great outdoors and would seemingly get a rush from roughing it, you may want to try camping or having an RV. However, if these two do not appeal to you, here are some of the hotel alternatives you might want to try. Although they are not exactly your next door Holiday Inn, they would all universally have that subtle charm that would appeal to any kind of traveler.

1.) Airbnb Bookings

With the rise of online accommodation bookings, it would be no wonder why so many homeowners would opt to enlist some of their seldom used vacation houses and condo units in Airbnb. More often than not, these accommodation listings are significantly cheaper than a standard hotel room–plus they are much better. In any case, if you have been looking for bookings in Cebu, it would be easy to find a condo in Lahug that is up for a short-term rental in this app.  However, do keep in mind that in some properties, there is a chance you might be living with your house. So, if that fact does not sit well with you, opt for a different kind of alternative accommodation instead.

2.) Religious Housing

As of late, some religious organizations have been offering affordable accommodations to travlers–depending on where you are. Monasteries and convents have taken a keen interest in keeping travelers under their wing for a fee. Just search online and see if a convent at the place where you are staying is offering accommodation services. However, do note that while monasteries are meant to be functional and clean, they are in by no means luxurious. If you are looking for a lush stay, you would have better luck elsewhere. Similarly, if you wish to explore the city and perhaps party at night, you might miss your curfew.

3.) Hostels

Hostels are all the rage with young travelers and backpackers as they are perfect for tourists on a strict budget. More often than not, you would have to share with other travelers in a dormitory-type of room which is excellent if you are looking to make friends. However, if you wish for more privacy, you can get a basic private room for significantly less than what they would normally charge you for a low-end hotel room. Be reminded, however, that some hostels can be sketchy lacking not only privacy, but safety as well. To ensure your safety, consider booking hostels from trusted websites such as hostels.com and hostelworld.com. Sift through the listings and choose ones with great reviews, ratings and recommendations.

4.) Homestays

One of the cheapest ways to travel is to bunk in someone’s house and staying in their spare bedroom or living it out in their living room couches. Aptly designated as “couch surfing”, more and more travelers have taken this alternative to accommodations than staying in hotel rooms–particularly because more often than not, it is free. Moreover, it is an excellent way to meet locals. However, bear in mind that you need to go through an interview process which can take anywhere from three to four weeks. In this regard, you must not only be patient but trusting, trustworthy and flexible for homestays as well. Take note, hosts are not likely to be accepting of just anyone living in their homes, so you must meet a certain criteria before you are allowed entry.