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Riding killer waves at Trestles Beach at dawn, ducking into Freemans Alley on the Lower East Side for an Insta-worthy selfie, and boozing and grooving with your squad to killer EDM jams at Basement nightclub in Mid-Beach Miami. Experiences like these ruin the ordinary while providing an unquenchable adrenaline rush to get out there and see and do more.

Of course, the price to change your life through travel can be a buzzkill. Here’s the good news: Hotels have figured out there’s an emerging community of stylish young nomads criss-crossing the country in search of adventure and demanding to stay at lodgings that are clean, buzzy, design friendly and affordable. These millennial-inspired properties often feature lively communal spaces, exquisite coffee selections and stylish guest rooms tricked out with record players and high thread count linens. If you’re young broke and awesome, here’s where to stay right now.

RELATED: 8 awesome hotels for travelers over 35

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Robey Hall: Chicago

Long before Brooklyn was a thing, there was Wicker Park, a scruffy cool Chicago ‘hood that in the ‘80s became synonymous with a new urban lifestyle. Its decades-long lodging drought changed when hostel-hotel hybrid Robey Hall scooted into town last year. Imagine a loft-like lobby where DJs spin vinyl and creative types jacked on espresso hover over laptops. Industrial chic rooms can be flexibly configured and go for as little as $130/nightly on weekends. Sister property the Robey is even cooler if you’ve got a few extra bucks to spend.

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Mama Shelter: Los Angeles

Skip check-in and instead make a beeline for the rooftop bar and lounge where everyone who is young and beautiful in LA is boozing, canoodling and watching the sun melt over the City of Angels. We love everything about this Hollywood gem, including cheerful SoCal-inspired rooms with comfy king beds, the insane décor at Mama Restaurant, a newfound neighborhood buzz and weekend rates as low as $169/nightly.

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The Downtown Clifton: Tucson, AZ

Drenched in desert heat, the Downtown Clifton is the affordable small hotel of our dreams. Think midcentury-inspired guestrooms draped in native-American furnishings, a communal outdoor patio for swapping stories with fellow journeymen and weekend rates as low as $99/nightly. The Clifton also serves as an ideal base for scratching every itch on your Southwest bucket list, including daytrips to Tombstone and Bisbee, and hiking nearby national parks.

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The Graduate Hotel: Madison, WI

Don’t tell Milwaukee, but lively Madison is hands down the coolest city in the Dairy State. Part of a collection of cheap chic, college town lodgings with locations in Minneapolis, Berkeley, and elsewhere, the irresistibly preppy Graduate Hotel Madison boasts a location just steps from campus, Lake Mendota and the state Capitol, and is awash in earth tones spruced up with bursts of preppy plaids. Ridiculously adorable guestrooms go for as low as $99/nightly.

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Society Hotel: Portland

Gather your crew on the hotel’s amazing rooftop and toast how awesome you are for finding this PDX gem. Straddling Chinatown and the Pearl District and thrumming with late-night scenesters, the Society Hotel really does have it all. Sure, bathrooms are shared, but that loss is your gain elsewhere. Rooms are as low as $119/nightly on weekends ($46 for a bunk room). Wanna join the lenghty line at overrated Voodoo Doughnut? It’s only a few blocks away.

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The Jane: New York City

Dang NYC, you ain’t cheap. But thank you Jane Hotel for bucking the Big Apple trend of exorbitant hotels by serving up teensy “cabin rooms” with shared bathrooms for as little as $125/nightly in the beating heart of the leafy West Village. We also love that your bellhops are dressed straight out of turn-of-the-century New York and that your rooftop bar is always abuzz. Lastly, thanks for being cheap enough so that we have cash left to spend on $17 cocktails.

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Moxy Nola: New Orleans

The Big Easy is deserving of a hotel that’s as quirky and charming as the rest of the city. Enter the Moxy Nola. Part of a new collection of budget-friendly lifestyle hotels (from Marriott no less) that also includes locations in Nashville, NYC, Seattle and Denver, the charming Moxy Nola oozes millennial delights like super fast Wi-Fi, breezy cool guestrooms, and thrumming energy throughout the lobby. It’s located a literal stone’s throw from the Quarter and we’ve spotted weekend rates as low as $179/nightly.


Linq Hotel: Las Vegas

Don’t ask why there’s a millennial-obsessed hipster hotel smack in the middle of the Strip. Instead, book a Linq Deluxe Room with two double beds (we love the crisp, white linens) for as little as $99/nightly on weekends and set your sights on Sin City tomfoolery like Happy Hour on the High Roller, beer pong at Tilted Kilt, poolside selfies and all of Vegas outside your front door.


Freehand: Miami Beach

This buzzy hostel-hybrid (with additional locations in Chicago and LA) practically re-invented the way free-spirited travelers party in Miami Beach so if you haven’t yet heard of the Freehand, get out of the cave you’re living in and get here stat. Cocktail bar Broken Shaker is reason enough to visit, but there’s also Afro-Caribbean eats at 27 Restaurant, a swinging pool scene and SoBe-chic guestrooms for as little as $140/nightly for a private quad ($27/nightly dorms).

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Austin Motel: Austin

Buh-boom, buh-boom. Hear that sound? It’s the beating heart of Austin and when you stay at centrally located Austin Motel that sound becomes a deafening roar. Located on Congress Ave, right in the middle of everything we love about that street (Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Jo’s Coffee, the Continental Club) this classic motel with the Insta-famous neon sign boasts quirky and eclectic rooms, a spiffy remodel and swinging pools scene. We’ve seen rooms for as little as $130/nightly.


Tagged: Beach, California, Cheap Tips, Chicago, City, Destinations, Florida, New York City, Tips & advice, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

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One thought on “10 hotels for when you’re young, broke and awesome”

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