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Vacation Rentals from $5 a Night … for Real

SmarterTravel

Move aside, Airbnb.

Hovelstay, a Los Angeles-based startup that launched this past August, has moved beyond its for-students-only model and is welcoming all travelers to its “anti-luxury” properties. The vacation-rental site formerly required registrants to have a “.edu” email address, limiting its properties to college students looking for a cheap place to crash. Now, Hovelstay is opening up registration to users of all ages who are seeking seriously budget accommodations around the world.

Hovelstay lists a number of inexpensive and interesting properties from just $5 per night for a shipper container in the Costa Rican jungle to $103 per night for a cute, compact apartment in Hong Kong. The site categorizes its properties three ways: “survival hovels,” “good enough,” and “clean and comfortable.” The latter category includes the higher-end offerings, some with (gasp!) private baths. The great bit is, almost every vacation rental is less than $99 per night.

All users are required to provide personal information to Hovelstay to ensure that they’re not, presumably, axe murderers. Hovel owners are required to do the same. Similar to the Airbnb model, after a reservation is made, the site provides both users with each other’s contact information so you can chat and plan your trip.

While we’re not sure we want to stay in a Costa Rican shipping container any time soon, we’re always appreciative of new vacation-rental marketplaces, especially ones that offer ultra-cheap accommodations. And these are some seriously cheap rentals, with just 1 percent booking fees through February 2015.

Consider Hovelstay another example of how the sharing economy works well for almost everyone, at least when budget comes to mind.

(Photo: Hovelstay)

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(Photo: Luxury Hotel Room via Shutterstock)

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