Travel enriches your soul, but it can also drain your bank account if you’re not careful. This is in part why a whole new crop of budget-friendly hotels are becoming popular all over the world — and it’s not just the prices that are small.
Tiny hotels grew in popularity alongside the movement for people to declutter, downsize and sell up. But if you’re not sure if you could handle existing in such close quarters, giving tiny-home living a trial run by staying in a capsule hotel can be a soft entry into this growing trend.
Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, Ariz., is owned and operated by Mark and Carrie Schnepf and has been in the family since the 1940s. Mark and Carrie pioneered the “agritourism” market in Arizona, offering weddings, a live music venue, camping, birthday parties, dinner events in the orchard and now “glamping” accommodations in authentic silver Airstream trailers. Their collection includes six vintage Airstreams — with four more coming soon — from the 1940s to 1970s.
The trailers have been refurbished in a nod to decor from the “Mad Men” era, and are a stylish and fun way to save money on your vacation. Visitors have a little plot of patio outside their trailer with a barbecue and fence, where they can chat with their neighbors as they grill a steak under the setting desert sun.
If sleep is all you need, consider forgoing all the additional unnecessary furniture and distractions in a traditional hotel room and reserve a pod hotel for nine hours: one hour to shower, seven to sleep and another to dress afterward. This concept is popular in Japan with capsule hotels springing up all over the place, where guests are stacked like giant Jenga pieces.
The Nine Hours brand has hotels in four cities, including a new, women-only accommodation. Guests can opt for a full 22 hours or just crash for a nap, which can sometimes be the perfect refresher during travel.
In Canada’s capital city, you can stay in an authentic former jail cell measuring 3 feet by 9 feet in the HI Ottawa Jail Hostel. The single jail cell includes a cot where you can ponder how life there was for inmates, who were housed in the 150-year-old historic building until 1973.
If you need a little more space, dormitory-style rooms are also offered — and the jail has a lively hostel scene. Your overnight stay includes breakfast and a tour around the jail complete with ghost stories.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind hotel, the coastal town of Cromer, Norfolk, is home to a woodland village of 12 wigwams set on 100 acres of English countryside. Each tiny hotel structure has running water and en-suite amenities, such as a microwave, a kettle and a small fridge. Dogs are also welcome. The camping park has a swimming pool, children’s play center and activity club.
(Graham White / Flickr.com)
The Shepherds Hut Retreat in Somerset, England
Prices start at about $212 for a weekend
The Shepherds Hut Retreat offers a luxe tiny accommodation with style. Each cabin features a kitchenette, bathroom and bed, complete with WiFi, TV, DVD, a private deck and a fire pit with beautiful views across the lake. It’s micro-living for travelers who need a few more creature comforts. Within walking distance, you can take an archery class as well as a wine tasting tour from the award-winning Furleigh estate 20 minutes away.
Chimo Refuges offers treehouses perched high up in the Quebec countryside, a selection of tipis and “The Kube,” a pod hotel cabin with a 10-foot ceiling that can accommodate up to six people.
The area offers a wealth of outdoor activities depending on the season, such as hiking, Nordic skiing, mountain biking and more. The park also has an obstacle course for kids and is close to the town of Saint-Sauveur.
Prices start at $79 per night, and some carriages can accommodate up to eight people
Ever fancied staying the night in a real railway carriage? There is a large selection of renovated former railway cars available for rent throughout England — from Somerset, York, Sussex and even further afield into Scotland. These cozy quarters manage to fit everything you need into a standard railcar, including a bed, kitchen and bathroom.
The bunk bed and single bedrooms at The Jane Hotel are 50 square feet and make you feel like you are on a boat. Slippers and a robe are thoughtfully supplied at this tiny hotel so that guests can make their way down the hall to the communal bathrooms in style. Despite the small size, each room comes with a TV, a DVD player, an iPod docking station and free WiFi. The Jane also loans free bicycles to guests to explore the Hudson River next door.
The Z Hotel’s capsule rooms start at dimensions of about 8 feet by 10 feet and are designed to offer comfort at an affordable price while maximizing space. The designers have made use of every available nook and cranny with under-bed storage, an en-suite shower and free WiFi, as well as a 40-inch TV. This just goes to show you don’t need to stay in hotel rooms only the super rich can afford to experience luxury.
(James Robinson / Z Hotels)
Caravan Tiny House Hotel in Portland, Ore.
Prices run about $175 per house per night
This quirky destination features a range of tiny houses on wheels, each with their own design and artwork. These charming small hotels are cozy yet efficient, and all have their own cooking area, toilet, shower and heat. These little caravans will have you convinced that your next vacation rental should be a tiny house. As these accommodations are arranged in a grouping, there is a community feel complete with chairs, a fire pit for marshmallow roasting and even a pingpong table.