Editor’s note: This story is part of the Road Trip special section.
If you want to travel the world and save money doing it, your lodging options aren’t limited to hotels.
Increasingly, travelers are turning to alternative lodging options like Airbnb.com. According to the website, Airbnb has more than 1.5 million listings in 34,000 cities and 190 countries.
To search by city, date range, number of guests, price range and room type, (you can stay in someone’s spare room or rent out an entire home or apartment,) you first need to register with the website. Then, you can start drooling begin over spacious floor plans located in some of the precious diamond jewel district cities of the world.
A few hotels in Dubai can run upwards of $3,400 dollars a night, limiting some of the most exquisite forms of worldly luxury to those only with deep pockets. But on Airbnb, you can find accommodations for as low as $70 dollars a night.
In Croatia, you can get an entire Tuscan styled home with absolutely stunning views within walking distance of the Adriatic sea for as low as $36 dollars a night —that’s $252 dollars for an entire week.
And you even get a porch.
A porch that you don’t have to share with the annoying hotel guest in the next room with the screaming 3-year-old.
Privacy, check. Affordability, check, check. Still, questions about safety may remain. Unlike hotels where you can simply phone a manager, what do you do when conflict arises and you’re 7,000 miles away from home?
Airbnb has safety tips for guests and hosts to follow.
The website recommends that guests carefully read profiles and reviews of desirable hosts. It also suggests approaching references of the hosts who appear to have built a strong reputation on Airbnb and familiarizing yourself with the rental’s amenities and house rules.
Airbnb recommends those who use their service to process payments on the website, allowing the company to protect users from fraud, theft or other security issues.
Just like the hosts receive reviews from guests, registered guests can also be reviewed by hosts.