Vacacation time! 10 tips to score free or low-cost lodgings

  • Alexandre Zveiger/iStockphoto

    By Allison Martin/MoneyTalksNews

    We're deep into summertime, and vacations are in full swing. Unfortunately, the cost of travel isn't getting any cheaper. And lodging is one of the more expensive items on the list.

    Just prior to the July 4 holiday, AAA offered the following update on lodging expenses:

    "According to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, the average nightly stay in a Two Diamond hotel is 6 percent higher this year at $145, while Three Diamond hotels will cost 9 percent more, averaging $195."

    Wouldn't it be nice to eradicate that hefty travel expense? This may sound like a stretch, but it's possible.

    Following are 10 ways to cut your lodging expenses to zero or near zero.