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For years, hotels and motels were seen as the primary and most beneficial way to travel. Now, with Airbnb and VRBO, there are fierce and practical competitors to the hotel industry. So, just what is the best way to travel? While there are many perks to staying in a hotel, more and more travelers are moving away from hotels as their primary source of comfort during trips near and far. Throughout the last few years, with the cost of inflation and the ever-growing competition, hotel prices have only continued to increase. For many young travelers, this makes it their last option for lodging. Hotel prices continue to increase globally and are expected to reach a record high this year.

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Related: Airbnb Vs. Hotels When Traveling Abroad: Which is better?

With this in mind, many millennials have searched for alternate routes to make their travel dreams a reality. In doing so, they are often supporting other small businesses, rather than the corporate realm and industry that is behind many hotels, whether boutique or otherwise. Along with these alternative means of lodging come some other surprising benefits.

Hospitality Of An Airbnb

Airbnb and VRBO have truly changed the game when it comes to travel lodging. With the ease of use of their apps, guaranteed money-back for cancellation within just a few days of the trip, and detailed reviews, it allows nomads to travel with ease. Not only that, but it also creates some amazing connection as you know just what to expect before you put your key in the door at your home-away-from-home.

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One of the best ways to get connected quickly with an area is to ask an Airbnb host for some recommendations on what to do around their locations. Hosts are often excited to share their local favorites when it comes to restaurants, shopping, and excursions. Many young travelers prefer getting out of the tourist traps and into the more local economy.

Community Of A Hostel

Hostels have been around for centuries. But are gaining more popularity in cities all across the world. Many travelers enjoy hostels for their low prices. More than that, though, is the sense of community nomads find as they lodge with individuals from across the globe.

PubLove is one interesting company putting hostels in the upstairs and back corners of pubs across the UK. They started in 2007 with a passion for rescuing the many closing pubs. Similar to Airbnb, they provide a rating and review service to inform travelers on what to expect when staying in their varying hostels.

While some nomads may be wary of the cramped quarters or shared living spaces of hostels, many find it exhilarating and an amazing opportunity to connect with and learn from different people as they cross paths.

Flexibility Of #VanLife

Many young people are choosing to travel the states - and beyond - in decked-out vans. Vans can house all the comforts one may need - from comfortable beds to portable showers and even full kitchens. Many claim vans are the best way to travel. If travelers are not ready to buy a converted van or deck one out themselves, Outdoorsy is making it possible to still get the #VanLife experience through short and long-term rentals, similar to an Airbnb on wheels!

Groups like Kift are making it possible for travelers to experience van living while also enjoying the benefits of living in community. Kift prides itself on being "a new way to live and work wherever you want, without giving up the relationships or the comforts of home." With many companies moving toward remote work opportunities, this is becoming more and more of an obtainable reality for people!

Other Ways To Travel

If AirBnbs, hotels, and van rentals are too pricey, there are still other, more budget-friendly options for the adventurous spirit!

Couchsurfing.com is a budget-friendly option to "stay with locals" and meet other travelers. Just like it sounds, the site connects travelers with potential locals with couches available - where each party can read references and reviews for safety purposes. This can be a great and fun way to save money, whether backpacking the country or just wanting to get to know many locals in a given area!

Housesitter.com - and its European equal, TrustedHousesitter - are two of the many sites connecting travelers with house and pet-sitting opportunities. These sites often charge yearly fees for different levels of membership but can be very worth it for the amount saved in housing costs, and for the experiences had across the globe!

Willing Workers on Organic Farms has been long recognized and widely trusted. This community provides learning opportunities for travelers working on local farms. Experience stories range from meager housing to rich communities with family-like hosts in beautiful chateaus. "WWOOFers" are encouraged to read reviews and enter in with an open mind. Many farmhands boast the experiences of a lifetime and utilize WWOOF for years to come.

Lastly, with the close connection of the internet - one can always consider staying with Friends, or Friends-of-Friends, or Friends-of-Friends-of-Friends. A simple Facebook post can connect you with potential housing opportunities all across the world - as the generosity of hosts and willingness to open their homes - never seems to end!

Wherever you go, there are plenty of opportunities for budget-friendly stays that will connect you with locals and travelers alike. Bon voyage!