There are many ways to experience Europe during a vacation, and just as there is no standard itinerary to follow, there is no reason to limit yourself to staying in hotels while traveling abroad. Many lodging options enhance the experience, and can be adapted to meet traveling preferences. Read on to learn more about both the perks and downsides of six lesser-known European lodging choices.


This type of lodging is typically very budget friendly and shared bedroom setups as well as spacious communal areas invite lots of interaction with other travelers. Many people think of hostels as catering to young people, but many hostels actually allow guests of all ages. The downside is that some hostels do not allow guests who are older than a specified age, so check before you go. This lodging option is not ideal for travelers who are seeking privacy.

Short Term Apartment Rentals

Depending on the length of your stay in Europe, a short-term apartment rental may prove beneficial. Depending on the number of guests in your traveling party, this may be a more frugal option than booking more than one hotel room. It is also a very nice way to feel like a local and to feel like you have a cozy home in another country. Be careful to use an established company to book this type of lodging so that you don’t lose money in a scam, and check for requirements regarding minimum stays.


Adventurous and outdoorsy travelers may enjoy European camping. Options extend beyond tent camping, and include yurts, wagons, and caravans. Amenities are important in a camping situation, so be sure to ask ahead of time what is provided and what is not. You do not want to arrive only to find out that toilet paper is not provided. Some camping sites have neat extras such as group activities and playgrounds for the kids.


Agritourism is a growing trend and for a good reason. This option gives an up-close experience with local farm owners and their animals. Home cooked food is often offered, and the peacefulness of the country is part of the deal. The downside is that tranquil country life can be a far drive from local attractions, such as shops and tourist stops.

Home Exchange

Another unique budget-friendly option is home exchanging. It may seem overwhelming at first to work out logistics of this type of arrangement, but it can be a great way to experience a new location while still enjoying the comforts of home, especially for large families. Consider joining a reputable exchange program and set up an alarm system for the safety of both your own family and that of your guests. Peace of mind while you’re away starts with an alarm system. For travelers who do not like the idea of other people temporarily living in their space, nonsimultaneous home exchanges are another possibility.

Convent Lodging Hotels and Monastery Rentals

Religious lodging is available in some parts of Europe. If you are seeking a minimalist low-cost lodging experience, this may be the perfect option. It offers simple and clean lodging while freeing up money for other vacation pursuits. There may be rules regarding noise levels and curfews, but if this is not a problem, then feel free to look into the option. Many large cities offer this type of vacation housing.

Ask you consider lodging for your vacation, fact in your traveling goals and budget. When you have pinpointed your preferences and needs, do your research and make reservations. Get ready to explore and make new memories using an uncommonly cool lodging as your home base.