There are rentals, and then there are rentals. While vacationers on a budget might be quick to book a standard hotel room for a couple hundred bucks a night, adventurous vacationers will expand their horizons and consider other rental options sure to leave a lasting impression. The internet is buzzing with crazy rental homes that will satisfy your craving for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. With everything from old-timey wagons to tree houses to homes with really weird amenities, these properties will blow your mind — not your budget.
So yes, you could stay in a hotel. But would you stay in one of these crazy rentals if the price were right?
1. A 15th century castle
- Nightly rate: $160
- Location: Galway, Ireland
We’re all royalty in our own minds, so it’s no surprise many will jump at the chance to stay in the master bedroom of a real castle in Galway, Ireland. For $160, it’s a cheap opportunity to relive medieval history and observe the kingdom below from highest room in the castle. What makes this historic rental unique is its homage to history and incorporation of modern technology. Solar water heater anyone? We’re not saying it’s haunted, but royal treatment aside renters should expect winding staircases, fireplaces, cobwebs, and everything else that comes with a 600-year-old castle. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: An earthly experience
2. The earthen hut
- Nightly rate: $100
- Location: Geyserville, California
From a distance, it’s a wonder people pay $100 to stay in a hut that looks to be straight out of The Hobbit. But up close, this cozy hut features a living roof of grass and herbs, which can be harvested to make wheat juice. Sculptor Miguel Elliott subscribes to the concept of earthing, whose followers believe making direct contact with the surface of the Earth allows our bodies to receive a charge of energy that benefits our health and wellness. But if you’re willing to experiment with such a philosophy, you’ll enjoy stained glass windows, an earthen floor, and a rocket stove that provides a heated bed. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: A rental for the dogs
3. The dog house
- Nightly rate: $124
- Location: Cottonwood, Idaho
You must love dogs to stay in this rental because you’ll be in the dog house — literally. This beagle-shaped rental located in Cottonwood, Idaho, is a one-unit inn with the best views of the prairie fields. But don’t think you’ll get through this stay as a casual dog lover. The canine theme is heavily pronounced throughout. You can even take home a souvenir at the gift shop and artist studio, where the owners create canine carvings by chainsaw. We deem this rental right up there with some of the craziest properties in the world, but it’s worth staying for the laughs and Instagram posts alone. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: A nod to the Oregon Trail game
4. 1920s sheep wagon
- Nightly rate: $125
- Location: Shirley Basin, Wyoming
Anyone looking to relive their childhood catching typhoid fever on the Oregon Trail computer game should book a stay in this quaint sheep wagon in Wyoming. This wagon is situated on a working ranch and has been fully restored to include a full bed, pull-out tables, and a wood-burning cook stove. We’re not sure just how romantic the Old West really is, but the hosts offer a “romance package” perfect for honeymoons and couple’s retreats. It’s nothing but wilderness out there, but it seems vacationers are more than willing to pay $125 a night for modest Old West living. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: Mirror, mirror on the wall
5. Mirror, mirror house
- Nightly rate: $165
- Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
It’s only maybe slightly vain to rent the mirrored house in Pittsburgh. But artists in need of some real inspiration might consider booking a few nights in this intriguing home. The exterior is covered in mirrors, and the interior continues the theme to include original artwork and furnishings using — you guessed it — mirrors. There’s not a place you’ll walk where you don’t see your reflection. And while such decor might seem crazy to some, the reviews from past guests speak for themselves: It’s an experience worth trying. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: Living like a pirate
6. Pirate house
- Nightly rate: $148
- Location: Helston, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Immerse yourself in the heart of Cornwall at the rental Airbnb dubs the “Jack Sparrow House.” This cottage is tiny and oddly shaped, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not livable. This crazy rental property once won shed of the year in the United Kingdom. The horsebox shower seems to be a fan favorite of previous guests, as well as the gorgeous views from the lofty and romantic master bedroom. The loft provides views of Falmouth Bay, the orchards of Tregaminion, and Porthallow Beach. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: A quirky ship
7. Off-the-grid spaceship
- Nightly rate: $125
- Location: Taos, New Mexico
Would you pay $125 to go off the grid in New Mexico? Plenty of others would. The owners of this unique property filmed every step of the building process on their YouTube channel, Off Grid Build, and now they rent this beautiful home to adventurous people willing to live dangerously in the desert. This sustainable home catches its own rain water and generates its own electricity. But off-the-grid living in this specific rental means you must be willing to live in an “Earthship community,” as one guest puts it, as there are other nearby neighbors doing the same thing. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: A rental that oozes weird
8. Concrete boombox
- Nightly rate: $175
- Location: Kehena Point, Pahoa, Hawaii
Most would have no problem renting a home overlooking the Pacific Ocean that’s within walking distance of a black sand beach. But what if the rental home was a big concrete box? Maybe its prime location perched on the beautiful Kehena Point in Hawaii will sway your decision.
People love this quirky boombox-shaped rental home with round windows and outlandish architecture. Everything from the walls to the floors is made of concrete, yet the home is equipped with all the modern amenities vacationers dream of. But if you choose to rent this home, be prepared for weirdness. Per the owner’s description, “Leave your heels at home, immerse yourself into the laid back, poncho wearing hippie friendly, whale watching, swim with dolphin, organic loving community.” Check out the HomeAway listing.
Next: A historic railway car
9. Train car
- Nightly rate: $195
- Location: Livingston, Montana
Stay waterfront on the Yellowstone River in Montana in a fully restored Northern Pacific Railway Parlor Car. For about $195 per night, guests can experience the Old West in luxurious style. This unique train car was Montana’s entry into the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, and it has since been restored for guests to relive the old days in style. It’s just minutes away from the famous Chico Hot Springs and is a fisher’s paradise. Check out the Centennial Inn.
Next: Live like a caterpillar in France
10. Cocoon tent
- Nightly rate: $147
- Location: Fondettes, Centre, France
Apparently, traditional tree houses are not good enough for the French. This crazy rental tree hut in France takes elevation and isolation to a new level — and people can’t get enough. What will $147 per night get you? A cozy nest with a large round bed and a few small nets to store belongings. Simply use the climbing nets for access to your sleeping quarters, then use it as an elevated hammock to take naps among the trees. Nearby cabins in the forest serve as bathrooms and additional living rooms. Why choose the other normal rentals on the property when you can live in a secluded cocoon for the night? Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: Don’t be so square.
11. Cube house
- Nightly rate: $178
- Location: Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
Those who intend to build a house shaped like cubes probably do so with the plan to make it an investment property — and they probably aced high school geometry, too. Luckily, these homes, built by Dutch architect Piet Blom, are one of Rotterdam’s most iconic attractions. His asymmetrical design is meant to resemble an abstract forest with each triangular roof representing a treetop. It seems guests are more than willing to see for themselves. This innovative three-story rental provides 360-degree views of the cube community and is sure to make a nice contribution to your travel log. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: What it’s like to stay in a cliff
12. Cliff home
- Nightly rate: $92
- Location: Nazelles-Négron, Centre, France
When you hear about a home built into the side of a French cliff, “comfort” and “convenience” are not the first two adjectives that come to mind. But shockingly, guests continue to shove money at the owners to stay in a home just two miles from where Leonardo da Vinci lived in Amboise. You are surrounded by off-white stone walls, and there’s hardly a window in sight. But the gorgeous views, prime location, and fan-favorite soaker tub make this wacky adobe worth the money. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: A treehouse vacation on a budget
13. Suspended tree house
- Nightly rate: $200
- Location: Fern Forest, Hawaii
If you’ve ever watched an episode of Treehouse Builders then you know just how trendy elaborate treehouses are becoming. This one-bedroom tropical treehouse could take some getting used to, as it’s suspended 15 feet in the air. But if you can stand the height, you’ll enjoy treehouse views of the Hawaiian jungle and a hanging bed below. But be warned: Living in the jungle means you’ll hear everything from monkeys to wild pigs at night. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: Bus living that’s worth the money
14. Converted school bus
- Nightly rate: $55
- Location: Salinas, California
Maybe in another lifetime you dreamed of living a nomadic lifestyle in an RV or converted bus. Well, now’s your chance to see whether this vagabond lifestyle is for you. For a reasonable $55 per night, vacationers can rent this unique school bus on a five-acre ranch on Monterey Bay, California. You’ll need GPS to access this hidden bamboo garden farm retreat, but once you’ve arrived you’ll enjoy a queen mattress and LED mood lighting that shines in the night. The Airbnb hosts promise fresh eggs in the morning, as well as chicken, goats, and ducks that’ll likely befriend you during your stay. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Next: Ever wanted to stay in an airplane?
15. Airplane living
- Nightly rate: $109
- Location: Saint Michel Chef Chef, France
Sure, airlines have gotten a bad rap lately, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t jump at the chance to stay in an actual airplane. The interior has been hollowed out to make room for a dining room table, a bed, and additional living space. The cockpit has been transformed into a restroom you’d have to see to believe. What time is not spent marveling at your quarters can be spent perusing the French seaside, as it’s located near the beaches of Tharon, Pornic, and Saint Brévin. Check out the Airbnb listing.
Follow Lauren on Twitter @la_hamer.