Subject: Re: Inexpensive Lodging

Here are some organizations offering cheap lodging while getting to meet the local people. Elena


This association of friendly, travel-loving people publishes two directories per year full of listings of members who want to stay in one another's homes. You make your own contacts and plan your visit at a time that is convenient for both parties. Membership cost. $20 a year, $35 for two years. Information: Hospitality Exchange, 406-538-8770,


This exchange club is limited to travelers over age 40. You receive an annual directory from which you choose your hosts and others choose you. Visitors pay hosts $15 for a single room or $20 for a double per night and $10 for each additional person. The club also offers house-sitting and pet-sitting services where members move into your house while you're on vacation and enjoy a visit to your neighborhood in exchange for caring for your house or pets. Membership cost: $60 a year. Information: Affordable Travel Club, 253-858-2172,


Everything is free in this cooperative network of people willing to accommodate travelers, from membership to your home stay. In return, you must host other travelers whenever convenient. Although most members are Australian, American, British or Canadian, there are about 6,000 members in more than 100 countries. Cost: Free. Information:


This club is exclusively for travelers over age 50. You pay $10 for a single room or $15 for a double for each overnight stay, including breakfast. Choose host families from the club's directory, and arrange your visit directly with them. A quarterly newsletter keeps you up to date. Membership cost: $60 a year single, $75 per couple. Information: 800-962-2392,

ELDERTRAVELERS.ORG is a Web site for mature travelers that helps match guests with hosts in the US, Canada and several other foreign countries. Members post information about themselves, their homes and communities and may even include photographs. Costa Free. Information:


Servas, the world's oldest free hospitality exchange, was formed more than 50 years ago to promote friendship and peace among people throughout the world. Working through mutually arranged visits, it enables hosts and visitors to share their lives, interests and concerns about social issues. More than 14,000 hosts in 130 countries welcome other members in their homes for a night or two without charge. It is open to travelers of all ages, who must provide two letters of reference and be interviewed for acceptance. Cost: $50 a year for travel within the US only, $85 for US plus international travel. Information: US Servas, 212267-0252,


This club was formed to foster international understanding and friendship among women from many cultures. Women Welcome Women World Wide (5W) has approximately 3,000 members in 70 countries. In addition to providing a list of members with descriptions of themselves and their homes, it also schedules conferences and gatherings that are announced in its three newsletters each year. Male partners, family and friends are allowed to accompany members on visits, although they may not join the club. Membership cost.' $35 a year. Information: 2038664774,

Affordable Travel Club. 6556 Snug Harbor Lane - Gig Harbor, WA 98335 telephone or fax (253) 858-2172. e-mail atcmiller@ (close space after @) For those of you who like a Bed and Breakfast atmosphere, annual membership fee of $60.00 allows members (over the age of 40) to enjoy the hospitality and knowledge of other members for a gratuity to the host of $20.00 per night per couple, or $15.00 per single. There are currently members in 22 countries outside the US.

Guestroom Network, 604/533-7336, $4 per night when visiting a member.

The World for Free, $25 annual membership.