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Stay in a furnished apartment or monastery

Hotels are full this summer. Vacation rentals are too expensive. So where do you stay?

That’s a question I had to answer quickly when I arrived in Athens for a one-month visit. My vacation rental fell through at the last minute. And the usual suspects – Airbnb and Vrbo – had a limited and pricey selection.

Then a friend suggested that I check Blueground, a network of furnished apartments in 25 cities. The monthly rate of around $1,300 was far less expensive than a comparable vacation rental. My unit had new furniture and appliances and was in a safe neighborhood.

Domestic hotel occupancy rates and prices will soar to near pre-pandemic levels this year, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. And demand for vacation jumped 27% from last year, according to a forecast by AirDNA. That’s left a lot of travelers scrambling for alternate lodging arrangements.

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