Houston is all about the businesses, which means hotel costs are pricier during the week and then drop on the weekend. Houston makes for a perfect weekend break destination, and you won't have to worry about any of the hotels being fully booked. You could even pick up some theatre tickets for weekend-only shows while you're here.
Aim to book your hotels in advance if your travel plans are fixed so that you'll be guaranteed a place to sleep. If you're a little more flexible, however, you can take advantage of the affordable last-minute hotel rates. As long as you aren't visiting during a large event, there will be plenty of hotels available a few days before you visit, and you'll be able to secure a room for far less than if you had booked in advance.
Unsurprisingly, the priciest neighborhood in Houston is right in the center of downtown. With everything in walking distance, you'll be looking at spending $200 for a mid-range hotel, and over $500 for a luxury resort.
If you're looking to save money, however, there are plenty of cheaper neighborhoods to look at. In general, the farther outside of downtown you are, the cheaper it'll be. One option could be Pasadena. You'd be a 20-minute drive, or 90-minute bus journey, away from the center of town, but you'll also find yourself fairly close to a beach and adventure-sport activities.
If you love quirky neighborhoods with a soul, opt to stay in Montrose. It's vibrant and diverse, but also full of eccentricity. Wander through an art gallery, have a cup of coffee at one of the independently owned coffee shops, or search for bargains at one of the thrift stores. With plenty of B&Bs available in Montrose, your stay won't break the bank, either.
Houston has the second-largest Indochinese population in the United States, and the large, bustling Chinatown proves it. Located in the southeast of the city, you'll be able to find cheap Asian food here, from Chinese food to Indian, Pakistani to Middle Eastern. There are dozens of cheap hotels and motels in Chinatown, so you can stay close to the vibrant diversity of Houston without spending much money.
There are hundreds of Airbnb options for Houston, especially if you're looking for a deal. Within the downtown area there are over 120 apartment rentals for under $100 a night. Half of these are entire apartments, so you'll have privacy, a kitchen, and many other amenities you wouldn't otherwise have in a hotel. Airbnb offers better value for money than hotels in Houston, all while allowing you to experience life in the city as a local.
Airbnb also has you covered if you want to stay outside the hustle and bustle of downtown Houston. Overall, there are more than 700 options in the area. Do you have a big group traveling with you? Book a home that has space for you and all your friends; for a few hundred dollars a night, you can sleep in a castle-style home just outside the city or in a roomy townhouse in the heart of the action.
Hostels are fantastic if you're looking to save as much money as possible. They're your cheapest option when it comes to accommodation and, as long as you don't mind sharing a room with a few strangers, are a lot of fun, too. Houston isn't a big hostel city but there are still a few decent options.
The HI-Houston: The Morty Rich Hostel offers fantastic value for money, with six-bed dorms coming in at just $25 per night. Relax with new friends around the outdoor swimming pool, play a few games of pool in the games room, get your laundry done, and enjoy a complimentary breakfast. Not bad considering it's only two miles outside of downtown Houston.
The second option for a hostel in Houston is Houston International Hostel. The main advantage to staying here is price -- you can get a night in a six-bed dorm for $18. Houston International Hostel is in the Museum District, where you can find plenty of exhibits and attractions to keep you busy.
Getting to and from Houston's airports to and from the city is easy. From George Bush Intercontinental Airport, you can choose to rent a car from any of 9 companies once you arrive or you can take a taxi, which is the priciest option available. There's a service called the SuperShuttle, which is an affordable yet slow option that will take you direct to your hotel door, and there are public METRO buses that run direct from the airport to downtown.
From William P. Hobby Airport, you'll have a much faster experience. Like with George Bush Intercontinental Airport, taxis are available once you've collected your bags, and they cost about half as much as they do from George Bush Airport. You can also hire a rental car or take the SuperShuttle or the public METRO buses. The cheapest option in this case is to take the bus.
The airport hotels in Houston are of a high quality. Nearly all of them offer a free airport shuttle service, as well as a free breakfast. You can often find a hotel swimming pool and fitness center, as well as a restaurant if you're feeling hungry after your flight. The area around George Bush Intercontinental Airport, in particular, has lots of restaurants and bars that stay open throughout the night.
There's no end to the range of activities available to Houston budget travelers. Take in a show at the Miller Outdoor Theater -- open between March and November -- located in Hermann Park. You can pack a picnic and watch a film, a dance performance, or even a concert. Discovery Green park is always worth checking out at any time of year. Buy some fresh fruit and vegetables at the Green Market on Sunday, ice skate on Kinder Lake during the winter months, or head to the amphitheater during the spring to listen to local musicians play.
Take a free 90-minute boat tour of the Houston Port, and learn about the history of the area and the boats that pass through every day. If you're visiting during summer, head for the Water Wall in The Galleria neighborhood. The 64-foot tall fountain offers a relaxing respite from the humidity. For those who like to visit quirky attractions when they travel, consider visiting the Art Car Museum. You'll kill hours of time as you wander past elaborately decorated cars painted with examples of contemporary art -- art cars are unlike anything you've ever seen before.
For more information about Houston and what to do while you're in town, head to Visit Houston Texas, the website for the Houston tourism board (http://www.visithoustontexas.com/?gclid=CMSz2-b8icICFYqFfgodEEkAwQ). There, you'll find information about upcoming events, guides to every neighborhood, recommendations on where to eat and drink, and even discounts on activities in the city.
© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.
© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.