If the cost of hotels has forced you to put off your next big trip indefinitely, you may want to consider a cheaper—and potentially more fulfilling—way to stay.
Lodging bills can be significantly lowered by staying in the homes of members of the Educators Bed & Breakfast Travel Network (www.educatorstravel.com). Membership is $36 a year, and stays range from $36 to $41 a night, depending on the size of your party. And if the member is out of town for at least five days, you pay $40 a night for the whole house. Members also earn credits by hosting travelers.
Chuck and Maryann Mason—retired music and social studies teachers, respectively—host visitors at their home in Ashland, Oregon, just 15 minutes from the acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare Festival. They plan to visit members in Japan within the next couple of years. The network has enabled them to travel more than they would have otherwise. “You meet some wonderful people,” Maryann says. “It’s a type of travel that suits people with the expectation of having an adventure and having a good time.”
Outside of the United States, members can visit New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and England, among other countries. Retired professor Norm Smith, who cofounded the network with his wife, Hazel, says the system is useful because houseguests get the local scoop on the best places to go. Plus, he adds, members have formed lasting friendships with one another.