Lodging

Bedroom - lodging

Welcome to your ultimate guide to finding the perfect spot to rest and recharge during your travels. Our lodging page contains information on various accommodations that can help you with your research. We’ve listed many types of lodging, from snug bed and breakfasts to expansive dude ranches and everything in between. Here’s to making your next stay as unforgettable as the adventure itself.

Before we begin, if you travel often, don’t forget to sign up for loyalty programs with the airlines and hotels you are using. It doesn’t cost anything, and those points add up over time. 

Hotels & Resorts: Your Classic Getaway

Cadilac hotel in Miami Florida

Navigating the sea of hotel chains can be daunting, so we tend to stick to familiar brands like IHG and Marriott. They are the trusty companions in our travels, delivering a standard of service and amenities we’ve come to know and love.

Now, let’s talk about a surprising underdog – Best Western. Depending on your travel style, it might not be a brand you would consider in the U.S.; however, they are popular overseas. In Europe, Best Western hotels can be downright charming, with a stellar reputation for comfort and class. Trust us, we’ve been there, and our expectations were met and exceeded.

Wandering beyond familiar territories? Booking.com seems to have its own passport, offering a treasure trove of options outside the U.S. Just approach the reviews and terms with a keen eye – read carefully, and you’ll unveil the true story behind those shiny ratings. With a little bit of reading and some attention to detail, you might find a hidden gem waiting to make your vacation memorable. We use Booking.com quite a bit outside of the U.S. I will always check the hotel’s website, but I have often found that they use booking.com for their reservations. We like to travel off the beaten path, so sometimes sites like booking.com and agoda.com are handy.

All-Inclusive Resorts: Put Your Feet Up and Relax

All inclusive resort in Cancun Mexico

Want a quick and easy vacation plan? That’s where all-inclusive resorts shine, especially in places like the Caribbean. Putting your feet up, grabbing a cold drink, and just soaking in the sun – it’s a no-brainer why they’re a hit. It’s not just beaches, though. Even for something like skiing, companies like ClubMed have got you covered. We had a blast skiing with Club Med at Val d’Isere in the French Alps.

When you stay at an all-inclusive resort, your room, all the food you can eat, drinks (yep, even the boozy kind), and plenty of stuff to do from morning to night are all part of the package. Just a heads-up, though: the top-shelf liquor, fun day trips outside the resort, and those oh-so-tempting spa treatments cost extra.

We’ve checked out a few in the Caribbean ourselves. They’re great and all, but honestly, we’re not the type to hang by the pool day in and day out. We’ve got too much energy for that – we like to get out there, see the sights, meet the locals, and experience the place. So we don’t do all-inclusive a lot, but when we do, we usually go with friends, which makes the trip all the more fun.

Homey Stays: Airbnb and VRBO

Condo exterior in Maui Hawaii

In the universe of homestays, options like Airbnb and VRBO once felt like a good alternative to the usual hotel scene. Pre-COVID, we enjoyed the homely vibes and unique experiences these stays offered. But in the past few years, it has gotten, well…a bit more complicated.

Lately, fees have been popping up, including cleaning, service, and substantial administrative fees. And then there are stories making the rounds, where the dreamy ‘beachside villa’ turns out to be a ‘beach-adjacent box’ or where reservations poof into thin air, leaving folks more stranded than a castaway. We know friends who have had these experiences.

So here’s the deal: if you’re about to dip your toes into booking a homestay, look for hosts who’ve earned their stars in the hospitality sky and pour over reviews like you’re studying for finals. Because a good read can save your trip from going south.
Extended stays? We’ve got a pro tip for you: bypass the digital middleman and book directly through property management companies like VACASA.

Health & Wellness Retreats: Rejuvenate Your Body and Mind

Yoga by the lake

When the daily grind turns into a bit more of a grind, it might be time to visit one of the many health and wellness resorts. You’ll find a sprinkling of properties dedicated to health and wellness across the U.S., tucked away from the buzz and the busy. Not just in sunny Arizona, where they’ve practically cornered the market on Zen vibes, but anywhere you need a recharge.

These are not your typical resorts; wake up to the harmony of nature and spend your days deep-diving into self-care with a side of luxury. You could spend the morning with yoga or finding your center with guided meditation. Maybe you’re into pampering your stress away with a menu of spa services. And for those who want to explore the fringes of wellness, there’s more: mediums to connect with the ethereal, sound bowl therapy to recalibrate your inner peace or even nutritional guidance to reboot your eating habits.

Charming Bed and Breakfasts: Personal Touches Make the Difference

B & B room near Gettysburg PA

Instead of a cookie-cutter hotel room, you get the key to a personalized room that often feels like a home away from home. Most B&Bs provide a comfy bedroom, a private or en-suite bathroom, and a breakfast to kick-start your day.

Many B&Bs are homes where the hosts pour their hearts into giving you an authentic and intimate experience. It’s not just about a place to crash, but about the character and the charm, and maybe even making a new friend at the dining table come morning. Whether in a bustling city or on the outskirts of town, bed and breakfasts offer that personal touch to your travels.

We have stayed in several, and some are better than others. Read the fine print; breakfast can be anything from a granola bar to a full scale home cooked meal.

Dude Ranches: Saddle Up for Adventure

Man on horse looking at a lake in Colorado

How about donning a cowboy hat and leaning into ranch life at a dude ranch? Vast open skies, the scent of sagebrush, and the thrill of the great outdoors. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill getaways – dude ranches serve up a slice of the cowboy lifestyle with a side of hospitality.

The days are chock-full of activities. Ever ridden a horse under the big sky? Or how about lending a hand during a cattle drive? It’s not just for the movies. Most dude ranches offer the complete package, all meals included. I’m talking hearty, home-cooked breakfasts, lunches to fuel your adventures, and dinners that taste like tradition.

If you’re inclined to get your hands dirty, guests are welcome to join the working team at some dude ranches. Get a real feel for the wrangling, the roping, and the riding. But hey, if roughing it isn’t your style, don’t worry. Plenty of options dial up the luxury, with spas and gourmet food for that pampered prairie experience.

My favorite site for a dude ranch is either duderanch.org or duderanch.com.