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  1. Default University lodging

    I've heard that an excellent way to save money on accommodations is to stay in a university dormitory. How do you go about renting those, how much do they run normally, and are there any especially good ones from Oklahoma to San Fran?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default University Housing - No Joy

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First of all, no university or college is in the business of renting out individual dorm rooms on a per night basis. Secondly, any that would consider doing so will be on a very individual basis. There is certainly no way that anyone can make blanket statements about the availability of such rooms, how much they would cost, who you should contact. or anything else. I did check a few of the larger Universities along your route such as the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Neither mentions anywhere on their Residence Life web pages any availability of their dorm rooms to anyone other than full-time students or 'closely related activities' such as on-campus conference participants or - occasionally - visiting parents. You can try contacting those schools directly, but I wouldn't have too much hope. And I couldn't find any other colleges along I-40 that would make convenient stopping points for you.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a budget myth

    The "Stay at University Housing" idea seems to be a popular one among some "budget travel" writers, because it is an idea that I see from time to time when reading articles. On some level, it seems like it could make sense - colleges have lots of empty rooms over the summer - but on the practical level, it just doesn't happen. Universities generally go into barebones staffing when classes aren't in session, and dorms are generally shut down. They might keep one or two buildings open for summer/international students, and perhaps have rooms available for people taking part in summer camps, conferences, or other activities on campus, but other buildings are generally locked down. They just aren't in the business of short term rentals, and it isn't worth the hassle it would take to staff a dorm like a hotel.

    There might be some exceptions, but they are few and far between. You would have to contact each individual university to see what their policies might be, and as Buck indicated, its likely going to be a very time consuming, and fruitless task.

    I'd recommend sticking to other budget options, like hostels, budget hotels, or camping.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Not recommended.

    In 2001 I stayed in two such places. They were in the 'Hostel Handbook', advertised as hostels. They were AWFUL!

    One I recall was in Lincoln Nebraska. Can't remember where the other was. In each case I was the only person in a huge building, with access only to a bedroom and a bathroom. Upstairs! Nothing within walking distance to get a meal. Nowhere where I could prepare something for myself, not even a drink.

    I recall in one case, the caretaker who lived next door, saying to me as she left, "I'd never stay here on my own". Imagine how that made me feel.


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