Hotels provide safe and affordable lodging all over the world. However, in some areas, staying in a hotel can be a little costly. You may therefore want to look into some more affordable lodging options, including the following, before booking your stay.
Monasteries and Cloisters
If you are traveling to a place of religious significance, you may want to check whether the monasteries and cloisters in the area offer lodging. Some will allow a certain number of guests to stay in private rooms. Others may have dorm areas where you can rent a bunk by the night and stay in closer company to others. In some cases, you may be asked to do a little work, such as helping to tend a garden or prepare meals, in exchange for a stay at a monastery, but this can be part of your cultural experience!
Hostels are most common in Europe, but you can find a few in larger U.S. cities, too. Usually, hostels have a few big, shared rooms fitted with multiple bunk beds. You'll have access to a shared bathroom, and sometimes a shared kitchen and living space. Hostels cater primarily to younger travelers, but you can stay at any age. They offer great opportunities for socialization since you will be staying in the same room as other people.
It might seem like staying in an apartment should cost more than staying in a basic hotel room, but this is not usually the case. You can often find entire apartments for rent for less than you would pay for a hotel room. Plus, if you are travelling with others, you can share an apartment rather than renting two or three hotel rooms, which brings the cost down even further. There are many websites that list vacation apartments. You'll typically rent either straight from the apartment's owner, or with the website as a middleman.
It may seem really strange to stay at a college dormitory if you have not been in college in a while, but many colleges do offer low-cost lodging for visitors, especially during the summer months and winter break when students are not on campus. You can usually find out about this type of housing by calling the campus's housing department.
If the hotels at your destination are too expensive for your budget, look into the other options above. There's a good chance you'll find lodging that is to your liking, budget-wise and otherwise.