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10 Places to Stay the night in Expensive Cities

I was looking at hotel prices for Boston today and wow was I blown away. After fees and taxes, even chain hotels are often more than $400 per night (and Airbnbs are hardly better). I've decided to list some ideas for alternative lodging here for people like me who might be constrained to staying in a certain area and unable to find cheaper alternatives away from city centers.

    1. In a Hostel

    To many people, hostels scream youth and messes. Depending on the city though, a hostel might be a viable option. For people with a more middling budget, some hostels even offer private rooms that, although threadbare, are usually clean and ensure privacy and security.

    2. On someone's couch

    I know couchsurfing has gotten a lot of flack because it now charges a fee, but there have to be equivalent free services out there somewhere. Otherwise, that's a great idea for a new marketplace/competitor.

    3. In a Cybercafe

    I took this option from a documentary I was watching about Japan. Some cybercafes have shower facilities in them, and people can rent out little rooms to have their own space. This option is probably more widely available outside of the U.S.

    4. In a Tiny House

    This is an interesting one. I think many cities have experimented with tiny houses in an effort to reduce homelessness, but they're becoming more widespread and can be rented out on housing rental sites.

    5. In a Co-working Space

    Does your company have a WeWork membership, or do you have a subscription to a service that offers a partnerhsip with WeWork (e.g. Uber)? If so, you might have discount rates to WeWorks, or even a free day membership. They're open 24/7 and most have shower facilities, so the real challenge would be finding a good place to sleep.

    6. In a 24-hour gym

    Gyms of course have good hygenic facilities, and some also have relaxation rooms where you can rest in peace. Staying the night in a gym might be prohibited, but there might be creative ways to get around this such as arriving late at night or early in the morning.

    7. Petsitting/Housesitting

    This one requires some upfront time investment to make your profile appear legitimate on websites and to get an initial few bookings and positive experiences. Once you're an established petsitter/housesitter though, more opportunities are available to you, and you have your pick of more places.

    8. The YMCA

    I actually don't know if this is still a thing, but it could be worth looking into.

    9. In a sublet

    I suspect that this would be hard for just a night or two, but for longer stays there are plenty of facebook groups where people advertize their rooms for short stays. Alternatively, I've had success just posting my dates in groups on Facebook as a sort of "Seeking a short stay" message.

    10. University Housing

    I really don't know how plausible this is, but, especially in the summer, I wonder if there isn't some sort of way to rent out student dorm rooms for a low price.

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