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Stay in a furnished apartment or in a monastery

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

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

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

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National hotel occupancy rates and prices will soar to near pre-pandemic levels this year, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association. And vacation demand is up 27% from last year, according to a forecast from AirDNA. That has left many travelers scrambling for alternative accommodation arrangements.

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