When you go on your next vacation, wouldn’t it be nice to focus your spending on delicious meals, enlightening tours, and fun souvenirs? Dropping all of your limited budget on a hotel during your stay in Chicago limits your spending power and leaves you fumbling in your pocket for loose change on Navy Pier rather than finding the fun you planned on your trip.
Keeping things cheap can require creativity, as Chicago is a major metropolitan destination, and not known for being the least expensive of places to stay. Cheapest options may be hostels. Those locally-run, shared sleeping experiences can be a mixed bag, though choosing a reputable hostel can result in a restful and pleasant stay. Just make sure the hostel has good policies regarding protecting your personal things. Another option, provided you seek one in a safe location, is a motel. Mostly scattered in Chicago’s suburbs, the motel is the barebones, no frills option for those who don’t want to spend too much. They don’t require a parking fee, unlike hotels downtown, and all of those amenities one is used to don’t come out of the cost of your stay.
As for actual hostels, you may wish to look through those that are rated one-star or that simply show prices that meet your needs. After all, a one star doesn’t mean dirty or poor quality. It’s a rating that suggests that a very small hotel includes a television and a fair bed, but no restaurant, pool, business or spa facilities, and nearly all the usual amenities cast aside for a bare bones, simple, comfortable sleep.
Sometimes the best way to stay cheaply in Chicago is to look for reasons why the hotel is offering a discount. Perhaps they are under new management after a more disastrous and poorly managed run. They may be cutting costs because of the weather; the city is more walkable during the summer, and hard winters can limit the call for tourism. As always, weekends and holidays are going to be the most expensive times to drop in, while weekdays can be much cheaper.
Cheap hotels in Chicago can be found with a little effort and a willingness to focus on the basics rather than all the little extras luxury hotels like to add. While you should never sacrifice safety or hygiene, you can choose to forgo laps around a massive indoor pool or drinks at the cocktail bar in favor of a cheaper stay.