Travellers find cheaper alternatives to lodging, from house swaps to dog walks

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Travel rates are rising, and are now higher than before the pandemic, but travel-hungry consumers are finding creative ways to save money and still vacation.

Lillian Smith has spent about eight of the last 12 months travelling around the world, hitting France, Morocco, Japan and South Korea. Her cost for lodgings in that time? About one night in a hotel, along with the time she spent walking dogs, watering plants and changing litter boxes.

“I have always dreamed of travelling to Japan but didn’t have the budget for hotels and Airbnbs,” said the 30-year-old freelance designer from Mississippi. Her solution was to agree to house-sit, walk dogs, and care for plants for people around the globe.

Economic activity has slowed in recent months, but many still yearn to quench their thirst for travel that grew out of sitting at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Travel rates are rising, and are now higher than before the pandemic, but travel-hungry consumers are finding creative ways to save money and still vacation.

Some are taking road trips instead of flying or booking a budget hotel room. Others are more innovative – spending $100 to $250 for annual memberships to websites that connect them with people who need simple chores done while their dwellings are vacant. -Reuters