ecopackers cusco

Cockroaches, stained linens, and maybe flashbacks to the film Hostel might have come to mind when you read this headline. Sometimes, there is such a thing as too cheap, right? What do hotels that offer up rooms at less than $10 per night year round — not just for special promotions — really look like?


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It’s easy to brush off hostel-style accommodations as subpar, but many of them have more amenities than you might expect, with nicer lodging options to upgrade to (that still end up being a fraction of the cost of standard hotel rooms). The catch, of course, is that these hotels aren’t smack dab in the tourist-heavy destinations — which could be good or bad, depending on your travel style. Pricing is also heavily location-based; most of these properties are found in Asia, South America, and Africa. And, because the savings tend to attract younger crowds, these lodgings tend to be less quiet.


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Still, having to spend less for a hotel room than a McDonald’s lunch for two has an obvious appeal to the savvy spenders among us. Here’s a look at what’s out there at these incredibly low price points.

Cosy Guest House — Jodhpur, IndiaCosy Guest House -- Jodhpur, India - 620Famous for its blue buildings, Jodhpur houses both mirage-like views of the Jaswant Thada and extreme heat from the nearby Thar desert. You’ll need air conditioning at The Cosy Guest House, which offers up private rooms for about $10 and up. Thanks to its elevated location, you’ll enjoy great cityscape at the hotel, particularly from its rooftop bar (though this means a farther trek to some attractions). From the hotel, guests have access to laundry and massage services and a doctor on call.

Ecopackers — Cusco, Peruecopackers cusco roomAs the capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year — but insanely affordable lodging is not out of the realm of possibility here. At Ecopackers, a private suite will cost you $57.50 per night, while dorm-style beds, if you don’t mind the company, run between $11 and $17.50. All guests enjoy orthopedic mattresses, a colonial courtyard, a bar, and even a movie theater.

Maverick City Lodge — Budapest, Hungarymaverick lodges 1The frugal brother to Vienna and Prague, Budapest offers the same Middle Ages scenery, history, and delicious beers as its brother, but at a fraction of the cost. Case in point: Maverick City Lodge, located in the heart of the historical Jewish Quarter, offers free city maps, frees tours, and board games as a means to mingle with fellow guests in addition to private rooms from $35 and shared rooms from $10. The Lodge is even on the verge of opening a trendy restaurant.

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