Asheville, North Carolina, is one of the trendiest smaller cities in the eastern U.S., which is not really surprising seeing as it offers something for everyone.
Whether you come here for the stunning fall colours, amazing food scene, great outdoors, artsy culture or just to see the historic Biltmore Estate — the most famous and iconic of Asheville’s attractions — this cool and cultured town is sure to be a great short escape.
Asheville is a stylish place with gourmet dining options, mouth-watering chocolate shops and microbreweries. However, underneath the glossy façade, Asheville is still a down-to-earth mountain town that will be a welcome breath of fresh air to city dwellers. The artsy and hippie population also adds character and soul to this town that’s hard not to fall in love with.
Biltmore estate in Asheville. Photo Credit: Steven Hirsch
Fall is one of the most popular times to visit Asheville, because the region is known for having some of the most beautiful fall colours in the country. Visit in the first few weeks of October to view the magnificent leaf colours of over 100 species of deciduous trees.
Asheville is also a town with a conscience; you’ll find plenty of yoga classes, vegan food and sustainable businesses. Therefore, when in Asheville, do as the locals do and support independent and local businesses. With so many boutique hotels in Asheville, it’s not hard to have a stylish, independent and sustainable visit.
The Haywood Park Hotel is a great boutique hotel with a unique twist due to its history as a department store. With a great central location and super friendly staff, a stay at Haywood Park will get you all set for a memorable experience in Asheville.
If you want to splash out in Asheville, then the Omni Grove Park Inn is the ultimate luxurious mountain resort escape. The location view and setting are stunning, and with luxurious rooms and a huge array of facilities, you might not want to leave!
Views from Asheville. Photo Credit: Curt Rosner
The 1900 Inn on Montford has the benefit of a downtown location but still offers a quaint alternative to standard Asheville hotels. This bed and breakfast has luxuriously appointed rooms full of Southern charm and all the home comforts you need for a perfect stay.
If you want to feel more like a local while staying in Asheville, then check out the Residences at Biltmore for conveniently located, spacious and luxurious apartment-style accommodation. The featured fireplaces, spacious balconies and stylish swimming pool area add nice touches.
The Hill House Bed & Breakfast Inn offers a great all-around, independent stay in Asheville. Rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable with touches of historic character. The location is close to downtown but far enough away to be peaceful, and the free full breakfast is a tasty extra touch.
This post was sponsored by Hipmunk and originally appeared on Global Gallivanting's The Best Boutique Hotels in Asheville on February 25th.
If there's one U.S. destination that embodies the four different seasons, it's New England. Here, whether winter blesses you with blue skies or snows a fierce blizzard, you'll experience a beauty that's just as sublime as the fall colors, spring flowers, or long nights of summer. Here are five reason to visit New England before spring, no matter which destination you prefer.
Although winter's half over, much of what remains is still the relatively low season as far as Vermont's ski slopes are concerned. The majority of the season's visitors flock to Stowe Mountain and the Killington Ski Area during Christmas or early March, you see, which means that late January and all of February are comparably uncrowded. So, get a hotel in Burlington, and get up to the slopes before the cold-loving Spring Breakers do!
In the summer, the seaside city of Newport, RI is bustling with tourists—in 2015, over half of Newport's 250,000 visitors came during July, August or September! Winter, by contrast, is deserted, with less than 10,000 visitors coming in either January or February. Whether you take in the colonial charms of Old Newport, or enjoy sea breezes (which will admittedly be very brisk this time of year), you'll have this gem of a city all to yourself if you come before the end of winter.
Snow in New York City is unpredictable—some years get two or three blizzards, while others are completely free of the fluffy white stuff. Still, if you want to have a chance of experiencing the romance of New York in the snow, your best bet is to visit between now and the end of March. TIP: For a stay that's both convenient and affordable, book a hotel in East Elmhurt, near LaGuardia Airport, where many domestic flights to New York City arrive and depart.
Boston is many things—historical, exciting, highly-educated—but cheap is generally not one of them. To be sure, whether you stay in one of the central city's historical neighborhoods, brainy Cambridge, or suburban Woburn, prices throughout February and into March are some of the lowest you'll find all year, particularly on accommodation. If you happen to get a beautiful late winter snow, it's simply an added bonus!
One false assumption many people have is that Maine Lobster has a season, as is the case with Caribbean lobsters found in the Bahamas and Florida. The good news is that Maine Lobster is an amazing treat all year round. The better news? If you visit in winter your hot, succulent lobster will taste all the more delicious, thanks to sub-freezing temperatures inBangor and other cities in Maine.
These are just five reasons to visit New England in winter—five dozen surely exist! Can you think of any other reasons you'd want to travel to New England between now and the end of March?
This post originally appeared on Leave Your Daily Hell's “5 Reasons to Visit New England Before the End of Winter“
Norway is one of the most expensive destinations to visit in the world, but that doesn't mean you should skip the country entirely. Despite high prices, there are a number of tactics that will help make a trip more affordable while still providing memorable experiences.
Gardemoen, where's that? Less than thirty miles from Oslo, you'll find this unknown suburb that's home to the city airport. While that sounds like a far distance to commute in and out of the city for daily touring, Gardemoen hotels are a fraction of the price compared to inner city Oslo hotels, and a 23-minute high-speed train will take you to the Drammen district. At the very least, consider this area for your arrival and departure nights when airport convenience is key.
Photo by Maria Vittoria Fronda via Trover.com
Stavanger's natural landscape is the biggest draw for travelers, and exploring the outdoor playground is a budget-friendly activity. Look for Turistforetning hiking trails which are clearly marked with information or maps that are widely accessible throughout town. Many hikers and climbers choose to stay at hyttes, or cabins, within the mountains, but hotels in Stavanger are more comfortable if roughing it isn't your style.
Norway is a summer destination just as much as a winter one, and Kristiansand in the south is a great option in good weather. Pack your bathing suit to swim at the town beach or at Hamresanden, a three-kilometer stretch of sand. Skip the saltwater by swimming in the many lakes, or simply enjoy the waterfront by walking the boardwalk, taking a sightseeing boat, or fishing. Waterfront hotels in Kristiansand are easy to find!
Photo by Backpack ME via Trover.com
Tromso's scenery is spectacular, but the views of the skies are best of all. Each winter, visitors enjoy displays of the northern lights. Spotting the Aurora Borealis is as simple as going outside after dark, but you can also choose to cross-country ski or snowshoe to more isolated spots. Joining a guided excursion is possible too, at a higher cost. Regardless, there's an option for every budget. To save on Tromso hotels, look for Airbnb's since owners like to escape the Arctic cold in winter and rent their apartments out.
Trondheim is home to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and with 25,000 students in town, there are plenty of restaurants to meet a low budget. One of the best options is the 18th-century Tavern which offers specials on klubb, a Norwegian potato dumpling often cooked with bacon. Here you'll get as many as you can eat on Tuesdays for less than 100 krone. Don't forget to try the other student favorite: a pølse hot dog served in a lompe tortilla. All Trondheim hotels can point you to their favorite!
This post originally appeared on The Girl And Globe “Budget Hacks: Traveling In Norway For Cheap” on February 26th.
Free wi-fi, a couple bottles of water, coffee, and gym access were once considered hotel luxuries, but they’re now just the baseline when it comes to travel perks. Hotel chains are packaging up unforgettable experiences for visitors, featuring some truly out-of-the-box amenities, activities, company, and memories.
While some can get pretty pricey, these amazing experiences are more often than not worth it. Take a look at some of the sweetest hotel perks travelers can get right now.
Folks who stay at any of Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria properties — such as its flagship location in New York City, located just blocks from Rockefeller Center and Broadway — can have their trip planning taken care of. Waldorf offers a personal concierge to “guarantee your every request is met” before, during, and after each visitor’s stay. The concierge waits for arriving visitors in the lobby to show them straight to their rooms. They’re also available throughout the stay to answer questions and suggest enjoyable (and sometimes discounted) events in the area. And when it’s time to go, they will neatly pack the visitors’ suitcase and send them on their way.
The Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago offers is fair share of standard perks, as rooms include flat screen TVs, mini-bars, and coffee-makers. But this property also cranks things up a notch, in true Hard Rock fashion. Visitors get Coronado Guitar to a Baja 60s Telecaster. The chosen guitar is delivered right to the visitor’s room, along with a headphone amplifier and Nixon headphones.
When it comes to exciting vacations, the generally accepted mantra these days seems to be “Pics or it didn’t happen.” This next hotel perk, offered at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, is a few steps above an artsy, filtered Instagram posts of the property’s luxurious outdoor pool or stunning city views. Visitors who choose the “California Getaway” package get to enjoy an hour-long photoshoot with a professional photographer in iconic locations like the Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Observatory or Rodeo Drive. Other perks in the package include laundry service, valet parking and unlimited in-room entertainment but those won’t last a lifetime like photographs.
To call a Ferrari 458 Italia a hotel perk might just be the understatement of the year, but that’s what it is for visitors of the Arizona Bitmore in Pheonix. This Waldorf hotel used to be an invitation-only resort, but now anyone can book a room and enjoy the 39-acre property, plus its gardens, golf courses, pools and supercars. Select Waldorf locations offer “driving experiences” that let visitors drive Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other fancy sports cars around the stunning property.
Pet-friendly accommodations are becoming increasingly common and luxurious at hotels across the country, but what about vacationers who don’t have a pet? Well, folks who stay at the Red Mountain Resort in Ivins, Utah can borrow a puppy in what’s perhaps the most adorable hotel perk ever. The adventure spa provides access to unlimited exercise and wellness classes, including a “Pound Puppy Walk” during which visitors travel to the local shelter and enjoy a morning walk with a dog in need of a home. Other more standard perks at this remote haven include an extensive spa menu and flat-screen televisions, but a part-time puppy has to be the cherry on top.
This article was posted on Hipmunk's Tailwind blog by The Hipmuk on February 12th.
Planning your summer vacation already? Check out these up-and-coming destinations.
The Biloxi Lighthouse by Ipung Zan via Flickr
The beachfront city of Biloxi is a popular summer destination for people looking to enjoy the gulf. Water-based activities such as fishing are some of the biggest pastimes of the area. In fact, every 4th of July the city holds the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, which draws crowds in excess of 50,000 people. Nearly all the hotels in town are located on or near the water, and because gambling is legal in Biloxi, most have casinos as well.
Charlotte, North Carolina skyline by James Willamor via Flickr
Charlotte is the largest and most well-known city in North Carolina. Home to nearly 3 million people, there is no shortage of sights, activities, museums, theme parks, festivals, and excitement to keep visitors of all ages and interests amused. Plus, all the sports fans will be excited to hear that not only does Charlotte have a team for every major sport, it is also the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Sunset on the grounds of Deer's Head in Salisbury, Maryland by Eric B Walker via Flickr
Salisbury is a small city at the head of Wicomico River in southeastern Maryland. It is a peaceful, unassuming town that is perfect for a family weekend getaway or a quiet pit stop on an American road trip. Venues like the Salisbury Zoo, Coco's Funhouse, Pemberton Historical Park, and the Wicomico County Youth & Civic Center are perfect for the entire family. Other places, such as the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art and Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, are geared more toward older guests. When it comes to lodging, the Hampton Inn Salisbury is the only one you should consider. Not only does it have a central location, but it's also the highest-rated hotel in town!
Main Street in College Park, Georgia by Robert S Donovan via Flickr
Contrary to the name, there is no college in the small, charming southern town of College Park; the building that was a college many years ago is now city hall. Despite having a population of only 14,000, the city has over 850 properties on the National Register of Historic Places, making it an intriguing destination for anyone interested in the historical side of Georgia. Just a 10-minute drive from downtown Atlanta, College Park is home of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest airport. As such, there is no shortage of hotels and restaurants in town.
Sunset over Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky by Scott Smithson via Flickr
Louisville is Kentucky's largest city and one of the most popular year-round destinations for out-of-state visitors thanks to its abundance of things to see, do, and eat. Baseball fans will immediately recognize the city because it is the home of the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, the iconic baseball bat. However, the city is also the home of the Kentucky Derby Museum and the Muhammad Ali Center, among others. Plus, just outside of town are countless parks, trails, lakes, and rivers offering a seemingly never-ending amount of outdoor activities. If you've got an entire family to keep happy or just want to pack as many diverse activities as possible into one trip, definitely put Louisville on your list of destinations this summer!
Smack dab in the center of California's west coast lies Monterey, another of the state's amazing year-round destinations. The city was the capital of California back in the early 1800s when it was part of Mexico. Nowadays however Monterey is known for outdoor activities like golfing, sailing and biking, not to mention its many vineyards and fine dining options. With so many diverse reasons to visit the area attracts all types of visitors. As such, here are the best hotels for every kind of traveler:
Eager to make the most of your time in Monterey and don't plan on spending much time at the hotel? Consider staying at El Castell Motel just off the 101. Not only is it affordable but all rooms are soundproof and come standard with blackout drapes, making it the perfect place to take that much-needed rest once your explorations are done, regardless of the time of day. The Monterey County Fairground is only steps away and the Monterey State Beach not much further than that.
Situated between El Estero Lake and Monterey State Beach lies Monterey Bay Lodge, just 150 steps from the Pacific Ocean. Here is where convenience and affordability mix. Rooms here are decorated in modern minimalist theme and all furnished with a refrigerator, microwave and, of course, a TV with premium channels, including HBO. Luxury suites with a fireplace and spa are also available, as are family suites with video game entertainment systems to keep the children amused.
With only 22 rooms, Merritt House Inn is in no danger of becoming a loud or crowded party house. Relaxation comes first here, as quickly becomes evident to guests thanks to the lush gardens, outdoor dining area, and spacious suites. In-room massages and a concierge service that goes above and beyond further add to the peaceful nature of this B&B. Merritt House Inn is even on the National Register of Historic Places.
Located right in the heart of downtown Monterey, discerning travelers need look no further than Spanish-style Hotel Abrego. Exquisitely designed rooms come fully loaded with premium bedding featuring Italian linens, high-end toiletries, a gas fireplace and mini refrigerator. Other hotel amenities include terrace dining, an outdoor pool and hot tub, as well as an exercise studio to never miss a workout. The ocean is a half-mile away and Monterey's world-renowned aquarium just two miles.
California is one of the most expensive states in the United States so if you don't plan on spending much time in your hotel room, why get an expensive one? Save that money for all the stuff to do in and around Monterey! Carmel Hill Del Monte Pines offers clean, comfortable rooms with spacious bathrooms. Each room comes standard with a microwave, refrigerator and coffee maker, plus the entertainment that comes from premium TV channels and free in-room wi-fi. There are also barbecue grills and tennis courts on the grounds, allowing you to soak up that California sun without having to leave the hotel.
Feature photo by mtch3l via Flickr
Nestled between the Great Salt Lake and the snow-covered peaks of the Wasatch Range is Salt Lake City, one of the most popular cities in all the state of Utah. It has outdoor activities and adventures, breathtaking scenery, delicious food, hip neighborhoods, historic buildings, and impressive architecture. There is truly something here for everyone. The only question now is where to stay. Those traveling with their favorite furry companions will be happy to know that all these hotels are pet-friendly.
If you want to stay in a fancy hotel without breaking the bank, check out the Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City, a Kimpton Hotel. Kimpton properties are known for exceptional service, and the Hotel Monaco holds true to that standard. Plush, spacious rooms and designer toiletries ensure you have a comfortable stay. An on-site health center and complimentary breakfast keep you feeling your best.
Regardless of the city, always seek out the quirky, offbeat, and unique hotels. It just makes the trip more interesting. The Anniversary Inn - 5th South takes the cake as Salt Lake City's craziest and coolest boutique hotel! Rooms here have elaborate decorations in over thirty themes, including The Wild West, Jungle Safari, Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, Romeo And Juliet, Sultan's Palace, and Mysteries of Egypt, just to name a few. It's perfect for a romantic retreat.
Everyone knows the Hyatt name. If you feel most comfortable with a name brand hotel, then the Hyatt Place Salt Lake City/Downtown/The Gateway is for you. Rooms here are surprisingly spacious, and the sleek modern design places a heavy emphasis on dark hardwoods contrasted with light colors. Most of the facilities are open 24/7, including the fitness center, business center, and restaurant. The Hyatt Place is next to The Gateway, Salt Lake City's premiere establishment for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Visitors who plan on using their hotel room only for sleep might as well save a few dollars and opt for the Royal Garden Inn. Rooms are spacious but have a minimalist design. Wooden furnishings and quilted bed covers give them a distinctly rustic Utah charm. WiFi is free and the hotel boasts one of the largest outdoor pools in Salt Lake City. Since you won't be spending much time in your room, it helps to know that several key Salt Lake attractions, including Temple Square, are just a few minutes walk away.
No hotel in Salt Lake City has more old-world charm than The Peery Hotel. Rooms here don't just have a historic feel. They are actually furnished with antique furniture and vintage light fixtures for an authentic experience. Of course, the hotel did not forget to include the most important modern conveniences, including TempurPedic beds, flat screen TVs, and of course, free WiFi throughout the property. Located in the heart of downtown, there is plenty to occupy your time within just a few minutes walk.
Featured photo by countylemonade via Flickr.
Located about 60 miles from Denver, the charming mountain town of Colorado Springs is considered to be one of America's best cities. Colorado Springs is technically in the high desert, near the base of Pikes Peak, one of the country's most noted mountains. If you're looking to take a holiday in Colorado Springs, here's five really cool boutique hotels to consider.
Cheyenne Mountain Resort is a four-diamond resort in Colorado Springs. There are 316 guestrooms with a variety of luxurious amenities, including plush robes and lemongrass bath products. There is a $21 daily resort fee that includes amenities like parking, Wi-Fi, boating, outdoor tennis, and fitness classes. Cheyenne Mountain Resort features five swimming pools, a 35-acre recreation lake, and a Pete Dye-designed 18-hole championship golf course. Don't miss the food either, especially local Colorado cuisine at the Mountain View Restaurant.
Enjoy Victorian-themed rooms at Spurs n Lace Inn in Colorado Springs. Crystal chandeliers, stained glass windows, and antique light fixtures are among the vintage touches you'll find at this property. Start your day with a free three-course breakfast and then take a stroll along the beautiful walking paths. Spurs n Lace Inn is also located nearby to a variety of Colorado Springs' best attractions, including the Ghost Town Museum, Simpich Showcase Theater, popular restaurants and stores, Cave of the Wines, and Seven Falls.
The Broadmoor is a historic Colorado Springs Hotel featuring 779 rooms and a dizzying array of activities. There are 19 restaurants to choose from, a large golf course, movie theater, salon, and spa. Want to go shopping? There are 26 on-site stores to keep you busy! The Broadmoor offers transportation to the airport and even childcare if you are in need of a romantic night out. The rates at The Broadmoor are not cheap, with standard rooms around $400, suites at $750, and a full cottage for $1,000 per night.
The Academy Hotel Colorado Springs is conveniently located near a variety of attractions like Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds, Manitou Springs, Seven Falls, Pike's Peak, and the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). One of the best known features of the property is its complimentary breakfast with made to order omelets and waffle bar. The 200 rooms at The Academy Hotel Colorado Springs feature everything from a fridge to memory foam mattresses. Relax at the atrium indoor pool with waterfalls, get a workout in the fitness center, or read a book in the fireside lounge.
The four-star Garden of the Gods Club and Resort is one of Colorado Springs' best deals at under $140 some nights. Rooms have private balconies, premium bedding, and a tub/shower combination. The views out to the Garden of the Gods and Pike's Peak are best enjoyed from the heated infinity pool. Garden of the Gods Club and Resort also features 11 tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, health club, day spa, cycling and hiking trails, and a 27-hole championship golf course.
This post originally appeared on No Checked Bags “5 Cool Boutique Hotels in Colorado Springs” on February 24th.
If you're a college student, you should know that traveling abroad is good for you. It's been shown to improve learning outcomes and may even be a predictor for better grades and higher incomes later in life. It also teaches valuable life and professional skills such as adaptability, independence, communication, and cross-cultural understanding.
The only downside? All those benefits come with a price tag. And if you're a college student, odds are good that you're not exactly rolling in the dough. The good news it that it's still possible to travel on a tight budget— you just have to know where to go. Here are 12 cheap, lesser-known, and wonderful destinations to get you started. No matter which locale you choose, expect to pay well under $50 a night for the privilege of staying there.
Gorgeous architecture, historical attractions, and European sophistication distinguish Bucharest as a must-see city. Don't miss the National Art Museum, the Romanian Athenaeum, the Parliament Palace, or Calea Victoriei, a popular street packed with traditional cafes, bars, and restaurants. Visit in the summer for the best rates and mild weather.
Located on the Bay of Bengal, Chennai offers visitors beautiful scenery, historical attractions, and a rich cultural heritage. Because it's not a particularly well-known tourist destination, Chennai boasts budget-friendly accommodations year-round. Visit between November and February for great weather—highs are typically around 70 degrees. January is one of the most popular months because it features Chennai Pongal, a four-day celebration of the end of winter.
It’s a wonder this gorgeous island hasn't been overrun with tourists: Palm-covered beaches, stunning waterfalls, unique geological features, and a relaxed culture make for a perfect island getaway. The island is 88 square miles, so choose accommodations near the beach for easy waterfront access. Rates are very budget-friendly—you can rent a room or a whole home for around $29 a night. If you want to avoid monsoon season, plan to visit between March and May.
Malaysia's capital offers something for every kind of traveler, from jaw-dropping architecture (hello, Petronas Twin Towers) to primo shopping, delicious food, relaxing gardens, distinct neighborhoods, and spiritual exploration in mosques and temples. The city is also close to other attractions such as the Batu Caves and Putrajaya, which is one of the best places in the world to watch the sunset.
Lapu-Lapu is home to some of the most significant historical sites in the Philippines, making it a great destination for history buffs and anthropology majors. The city is also packed with art, restaurants, nightlife, live entertainment, beachfront scenery, and other cultural attractions. You can enjoy it all on a shoestring budget: Wallet-friendly accommodations start at $16 per night.
Ancient Incan ruins, ocean views, and a bustling metropolitan culture—Lima is ideal for the traveler who wants to experience big-city energy in a gorgeous setting. The city's off-season runs from June to October, and this is when you'll find the best deals on accommodations. The Festival season begins in October and continues through November; expect large crowds and a variety of cultural attractions, including the biggest religious procession in Latin America.
Coral reefs, palm-covered beaches, and budget-friendly hotels—Montego Bay is the tropical destinations for travelers with limited funds. Visit from October to early December for the best rates, abundant sunshine, and warm temps. Take a tour of the old sugar plantation or the working coffee plantation, practice your swing on the gorgeous fairways, soak up the sun on the white sand beaches, or kick back and enjoy the views of the Catadupa Mountains.
If you love the water, then get yourself to Nha Trang. Scuba diving and beautiful beaches await visitors to the city, which is located on Vietnam's south-central coast. While airfare will cost a pretty penny, you'll spend very little once you arrive—rates for budget-friendly hotels start as low as $8 per night, while luxury accommodations can be found for as little as $75 each night.
Located in the Andes Region of Ecuador, Quito is a nature lover's dream. It's also packed with colonial architecture, historical attractions, and a vibrant culture that you have to experience to fully appreciate. The city boasts a wide variety of budget hotels with rates starting as low as $20 a night. Before scheduling a trip, be aware that Quito's winter runs from June to September, while the popular summer months run from December to March.
San Juan is an island paradise—think white beaches and tropical rainforests—any time of the year. The winter months (from December through April) promise the best weather, but you'll find cheaper rates from May through September. If you're visiting in June, don't miss the city's SoFo Culinary Week. If you're an American citizen, you won't need a passport to enter San Juan, and you can use U.S. dollars as currency. (That's because Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth.)
Despite being the Dominican Republic's capital city, Santo Domingo has yet to attract large herds of tourists. And that's great news for the wallet-conscious traveler, because low-budget accommodations abound (even during spring break!). Enjoy your savings while soaking up rays on the city's beaches or tearing it up in one of the many salsa/merengue clubs.
You may know Ubud from a little book called Eat, Pray, Love. Bali's gorgeousness is on full display here, as are pretty rice paddies, open-air markets, and mystical attractions. Visit between July and September for the best weather. (But do be prepared for larger crowds than you'll find during the city's rainy months.) Homestays are popular in Ubud, but you'll also find plenty of budget-friendly hotels both within and outside of the city's center.
And there you have it: Even if you're an impoverished college student, a wide variety of amazing cultural, natural, and historical destinations are within your reach. Save every dollar you can, and soon enough you'll have enough money to get there.
This article was originally posted on Hipmunk's Tailwind blog on February 14th.
Palm Springs is a modern oasis in the desert of Southern California, a jewel that beckons to all those looking for a hip yet laid-back retreat from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. The city is known for its breathtaking beauty, natural hot springs, stylish hotels, gorgeous golf courses, and amazing spas. But it isn't all luxurious resorts and high-end lodging. There are several amazing boutique hotels in Palm Springs that offer affordable luxury, such as:
Hard Rock is synonymous with great music, hip style and good times. Guests of their hotels and restaurants know what to expect. Thankfully the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs maintains this level of superiority and does not disappoint. Their spacious rooms feature hand-picked artwork, custom-designed furniture and luxurious amenities and toiletries. Plus the entire property is full of the obligatory nostalgia-inducing musical memorabilia that guests have come to expect from Hard Rock.
Vagabond Inn is a budget hotel chain that first started in California in 1958. Now they have locations in a half dozen states throughout the West Coast, however the Vagabond Inn Palm Springs is one of my favorite locations. Why? As a solo traveler and with most of the accommodation options in Palm Springs are geared towards expensive romantic getaways, finding an affordable, comfortable place to stay always makes the journey easier -- both on myself and my wallet.
Opened in 2011, Alcazar Palm Springs is a sleek 34-room boutique hotel perfect for those who want a quiet, comfortable stay without having to spend excess money on unnecessary luxury frills. Their rooms feature a minimalist design with a focus on unique, modern artwork and stylish furnishings. Italian linens, flatscreen TVs, fireplaces and mountain views, the rooms here have everything you need! Complimentary pastries from Cheeky's and bicycles plus a pool, jacuzzi and pet-friendly rooms seal the deal.
Discreetly tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood in downtown Palm Springs, Royal Sun Inn is the ideal hotel close to the action but away from the loud, busy streets. Their comfortable rooms come standard with a flat screen TV, private balcony or patio, free Wi-Fi and free breakfast. It's also a great place to stay for families because of the large outdoor pool and barbecue pits. The best part, however, is the price. Royal Sun Inn is one of the least expensive hotels, given its many amenities, making it the perfect choice for budget conscious travelers.
Palm Springs ... or Polynesia? Why choose between the two when there's the unique fusion that is Caliente Tropics. Staying here is like stumbling into a lush tropical oasis at the edge of the desert. Sure, it may take you by surprise — but 5 minutes later you are calling it home and never want to leave. Guests can partake in less stereotypical Palm Springs activities such as shuffleboard, frisbee, or a backyard barbecue. All the other activities are still around, but for those who crave the laid back island lifestyle, this is the place.
Featured image by docentjoyce via Flickr