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Temporary lodging for travelers has been changing in the U.S. since before we became a nation. But in just the last century, with the rise of automobile and then air travel, overnight accommodations have become a huge corporate enterprise.

Hotel empires with names like Hilton, Marriott, Holiday Inn, Motel 6, Best Western, and Ritz-Carlton have entered the traveler’s vocabulary, while once ubiquitous brands such as Howard Johnson have been relegated to memory.

Today, places to stay are still evolving and the hotel alternative is garnering the buzz. Names such as AirBnB, Couchsurfing, VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner), and HomeAway are making the headlines and raking in our travel bucks.

Lifehacker has the skinny on the Best Hotel Alternatives (Besides AirBnB) and they want you to know that while AirBnB has garnered a lot of publicity, they are not the only hotel alternative out there.

Of course if you can swing it you can rent a mansion or a villa, but hotel alternatives may work out cheaper than staying in a pricey hotel–even if you are travelling with family or friends.  But that’s not the only reason to explore these options. Hotel alternatives are typically located in residential rather than commercial areas, which makes it  a great way to spend time getting to know a place in a very different, often more intimate way.

After all, traveling should be about discovery; if you want things to be exactly the same as your day to day life, you really might as well save money and stay home.

Photo: Wikipedia

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