Most of us who love to travel get a kick out of unique and novel experiences — it’s part of travels endless appeal, after all. Around any corner can be a completely unexpected, new, and fun surprise. Seasoned travelers are often searching out new places –  trying to find “the next” best beach, mountain, urban, or rural destination.

One of the easiest ways to find these yet-to-be-discovered gems is to look for novel and quirky accommodations. Travelers might spend months planning transportation, sightseeing, or must-try food — but the default lodging is often a typical hotel. And there’s nothing wrong with that, of course — but if you’re up for a new level of adventure, check out these outside-the-box accommodation ideas from around the world that will bring your vacation to the next level of enjoyment.

Live out a childhood fantasy

Remember watching Swiss Family Robinson as a kid and thinking that looked like the most amazing adventure ever? Treehouses are not just for kids! Modern treehouses have come a long way from the backyard forts of your childhood, yet they somehow conjure the same magic and excitement that they did in your youth. From the jungles of the Amazon to towering tamarind trees facing the South China Sea, there are plenty of treehouse lodgings that look like something pulled straight from a childhood reverie. You can look at gorgeous photos and start filling your head with high-up dreams here.

Chill out in an ice hotel

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland where the northern lights come right to your bed! Photo: Tarja Mitrovik via Wikipedia

The cold and snow are not for everyone, and if you’re strictly a warm-weather kind of traveler, this might not sound appealing. But if you are at all fascinated by Northern cultures, aurora borealis, and the mysteries of a winter wonderland, this might be just the thing to pass a freezing weekend while waiting for spring to arrive. Many of these hotels are extremely well-appointed, with luxurious design, high-end restaurants and bars, spas, private igloo-suites, and even wedding chapels located right in the structures themselves. Take a look at this list to start thinking about your next frosty foray.

The ultimate in up-cycling

Taking the idea of overnight accommodations well beyond just the remodeling of historic buildings, people all over the world have found beauty, shelter, and comfort in unexpected objects, forms of transportation, and natural spaces and have transformed them into superb places to spend a night of rest in style. Train cars, airplane hangars, caves, lighthouses, windmills, boats — basically, the only limit is the imagination.

Cappadocia, Turkey where you can stay in a cave hotel!

Camping for people who don’t like camping

Want the best of camping — fresh air, breathtaking views, cozy fires, wildlife watching — without the crick in your neck or the twigs in your morning coffee? You could try “glamorous camping,” otherwise known as glamping. Spend the night in wall-tents, yurts, teepees, or island huts that feature nothing but the most luxurious amenities. Glamping comes with all the incredible aspects of camping like stargazing, observing wildlife, fresh air, and being in nature. But it also comes with all the comforts of a traditional hotel like a hot shower and proper sheets on a real and comfortable bed.

Glamping in Africa will bring the safari to your backyard. Photo: Roderick Eime via Flikr

Let the accomodation be your guide

We’ve all planned a vacation before. It starts with the destination in mind and then goes on to flights, where to eat, what to see. The last step is where to sleep. But if you’re still trying to decide on the destination part, why not let the perfect accommodation decide for you? Most booking sites are filled with unique accommodations. You could do the entire plan backward for a change and begin the vacation, honeymoon or anniversary trip planning by first picking the accommodations.

This houseboat in Paris has its own private hot tub on the deck and modern interior with all the comforts of a hotel. Or this spectacular castle in Cumbria, England would sure make the perfect romantic getaway. Or this Airstream in southern Spain with its own pool and awesome deck. Imagine the relaxing afternoon swim there! Or this treehouse in Bali is postcard perfect and you can never go wrong with Bali.

It’s no secret that Croatia has some of the most stunning beaches. In this house for you and 9 friends, you can have the beach and your own infinity pool! Imagine the spectacular nights of dinner on the veranda and midnight swims. Or how about renting an entire historic estate in St. Croix? The Estate Belvedere comes with overflowing charm based in the Danish influence of the Caribbean. Formal garden, gorgeous interior rock walls, and an old sugar mill on site. You might intentionally miss your flight home!

Soak up the city from your own houseboat like this beauty in Copenhagen, Denmark

So go ahead and spend an hour dreaming of an inspired accommodation. Once you’ve picked it, plan the rest of the vacation around your new destination. Perhaps the perfect accommodation will be in a location you never dreamed of visiting, but will be a new favorite! Bonus: get $20 off your first booking on Airbnb by using this link.

Need more inspiration?

If you’re ready to take on a vacation and rest your head in a space that’s definitely outside the typical hotel room, find some extra inspiration here. From huts, castles, and boutique hotels to a re-creation of a Hobbit’s Shire in rural Montana, this site allows you to search for lodging ideas from all over the world that will really send you on a trip. Once you get some inspiration for the type of place you want to stay, I can help you find it in your dream location and book it at a great rate!

Ready to plan your next adventure? You can get in touch with me today by clicking here!

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81 thoughts on “You may never want to stay in a hotel again

  1. Christy Peeples DuBois says:

    I don’t think I could do the tree houses because of my fear of heights however I drooled over a host of accommodations on Airbnb from your inspirations. I’m all about nice accommodations when we travel. Thanks for this great post.

  2. Kimberly Bryan says:

    I’ve always wanted to travel to Ireland. 🇮🇪 It’s such a beautiful country. Thank you for the chance! ❤️

  3. Melissa Allen says:

    I really want to go to key west! I know I’ll never be able to afford to go but it’s so beautiful and unique!

  4. Amanda R says:

    I would love to be able to treat my husband to the Caribbean this year! We have two young children and have never had a vaction before. We definitely need it!

  5. Rebecca Weiss says:

    I’d like to travel to a beach and spend some time by the water. My kids would love playing in the sand.

  6. Sarah L says:

    I want to travel to New Zealand. At the rate I’ve been able to save for the trip, I’m looking at 2025

  7. TinaH says:

    I’m not an international traveler. I love experiencing my own country. I’d love to travel to St. Augustine, Fl.

  8. Tracy Robertson says:

    I want to go to Las Vegas sometime this summer or early fall and stay in a hotel with a beautiful swimming pool to enjoy!

  9. Monica Kirkham says:

    Well… before reading this, I just wanted a simple trip to sunny Florida. I hate the cold… hate hate hate it, but now, I suddenly feel I must stay in one of those ice hotels!!

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