We looked up all hotels and bed and breakfasts in Indianapolis, and discovered to our shock and amazement that it is not cheap to get a room in that city. (And by that, I mean that there was nothing under $50 a night. I don't know what your standards of cheap are).
At this point, I told Angel that I'd heard of this really weird concept called Airbnb.com. Angel hadn't heard of it before, but I knew the theory of it--that people rented out houses or rooms in their houses to complete strangers as an alternative to traditional hotel stays. After spending a few minutes on the site, we found someone offering a private room and bathroom with internet access and free parking available for $45 per night, located 1.5 miles away from the conference hotel.
Angel and I decided that we weren't afraid of adventure, made an account, and reserved the room. And then we wondered how everything would turn out...
A lovely out-of-focus picture of our temporary home.
Our host did a great job of staying in touch with us before arrival, and was home to let us in when we arrived at 3 in the afternoon. Our 2nd night staying there, the hosts were had some friends over, and invited us out into their backyard to chat and drink margaritas (except, you all know I don't drink margaritas, but I appreciate the friendliness of the offer). We had originally reserved the room for 3 nights and paid in advance, because that's how the Airbnb system is set up, but at 7 p.m. Saturday night, we decided that we might as well head home instead of waking up early for a long drive on Sunday. We told our hosts that we were headed out, and they immediately said that they'd refund us for the night that we didn't stay. To my perspective, that was not at all necessary, because we'd already paid, and besides that, we didn't even 'check out' or decide to check out until 7 p.m., but that was a much appreciated kindness that I definitely wouldn't expect from the typical budget hotel.
The very nature of Airbnb.com means that every stay will be different, but we had such a good experience this first go-round that now Angel thinks we ought to use Airbnb for every vacation to come!
Have you ever tried Airbnb or other non-traditional places to stay when traveling? I'd love to hear your story!