Looking for an affordable place to stay but don’t have a valid photo ID? You’re not alone. Plenty of travelers want to keep their lodging details private for personal or security reasons. The good news is that you can still find cheap hotel rooms without having to show ID if you know where to look.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Many motels, hostels, vacation rentals and campgrounds don’t require ID at check-in. You can often book anonymously online and pay with cash or gift cards upon arrival.

Motels That Don’t Require ID

When it comes to finding a cheap place to stay without having to provide identification, motels can be a great option. Unlike hotels, which typically require guests to present a valid ID upon check-in, motels often have more flexible policies.

This can be especially helpful for travelers who value their privacy or those who may not have a government-issued ID.

National Chains With Flexible ID Policies

Some national motel chains have implemented more relaxed ID policies, making it easier for guests to check-in without providing identification. These chains understand that not all travelers may have an ID or may prefer to remain anonymous during their stay.

One example is Motel 6, which allows guests to check-in without an ID in select locations. They prioritize the ease and convenience of their guests, making them a popular choice for those looking for anonymous lodging on a budget.

Website: https://www.motel6.com

Independent Motels More Likely to be Flexible

While national chains may offer more flexibility in their ID policies, independent motels are often even more accommodating when it comes to staying without ID. These motels typically have less rigid rules and regulations compared to larger hotel chains.

They understand that some travelers may have unique circumstances or personal preferences that require them to stay anonymously. Independent motels can be found in various locations and are often a more affordable option compared to larger hotel chains.

If you’re looking for an independent motel that doesn’t require ID, it’s recommended to do some research online or check with local travel agencies for recommendations. You may also want to consider reading reviews from previous guests to ensure the motel meets your expectations in terms of cleanliness, safety, and overall experience.

Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com

When choosing a motel that doesn’t require ID, it’s important to keep in mind that policies may vary between locations and even within the same motel chain. It’s always a good idea to call ahead and confirm the ID policy before making a reservation.

Additionally, some motels may require a deposit or a higher upfront payment to compensate for the lack of identification.

By doing some research and being aware of the options available, travelers can find affordable and anonymous lodging without having to provide identification. Whether it’s a national chain with flexible ID policies or an independent motel that understands the need for privacy, there are options out there for those seeking a budget-friendly stay without the hassle of presenting an ID.


When it comes to finding cheap accommodation that doesn’t require ID, hostels are often a great option for budget travelers. Hostels are known for their affordability and social atmosphere, making them a popular choice for backpackers and solo travelers.

Unlike hotels, hostels typically offer dormitory-style rooms with shared facilities, which helps keep costs down. Many hostels also have private rooms available for those who prefer a bit more privacy.

Advantages of Staying in a Hostel

There are several advantages to staying in a hostel, especially if you’re looking for anonymous lodging on a budget:

  • Affordability: Hostels are generally much cheaper than hotels, allowing you to stretch your travel budget further.
  • Social atmosphere: Hostels provide a great opportunity to meet fellow travelers from around the world, making it easier to find travel companions or get insider tips on local attractions.
  • Flexible options: Many hostels offer a range of room types, from dormitories to private rooms, allowing you to choose the level of privacy that suits you.
  • Shared facilities: While sharing facilities like bathrooms and kitchens may not be for everyone, it can be a great way to save money and meet new people.

Tips for Finding Hostels

If you’re considering staying in a hostel, here are some tips to help you find the perfect one:

  • Research: Spend some time researching hostels in your desired location. Read reviews, compare prices, and check for any specific requirements or restrictions.
  • Location: Consider the hostel’s location in relation to the attractions and amenities you plan to visit. A centrally located hostel can save you time and money on transportation.
  • Facilities: Take note of the facilities offered by the hostel. Look for things like Wi-Fi access, lockers for valuables, and common areas for socializing.
  • Safety: While hostels are generally safe, it’s always a good idea to prioritize safety. Look for hostels with good security measures, such as lockable rooms or 24-hour reception.

Vacation Rentals

When it comes to finding cheap hotels that don’t require ID, vacation rentals are a great option. Not only do they offer more privacy and flexibility compared to traditional hotels, but they also often come at a lower cost.

Vacation rentals can be found through various online platforms and offer a wide range of accommodation types to suit different budgets and preferences.

Entire Homes and Apartments

One popular type of vacation rental is renting out an entire home or apartment. This option provides a sense of home away from home and allows travelers to have their own space and freedom. Websites like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com offer a vast selection of entire homes and apartments available for rent worldwide.

These platforms provide detailed descriptions, photos, and reviews from previous guests, helping travelers make an informed decision.

With entire homes and apartments, travelers can enjoy amenities such as a kitchen, living room, multiple bedrooms, and sometimes even a backyard or a swimming pool. This option is ideal for families or groups of friends looking for a comfortable and affordable place to stay without the hassle of ID requirements.

Private Rooms

If renting an entire home is more than what you need or budget allows, another option to consider is booking a private room within someone’s home. Websites like Airbnb and Couchsurfing offer private room rentals where travelers can stay in someone’s spare room or guest room.

This option not only provides a budget-friendly accommodation choice but also offers the opportunity to connect with locals and gain insider knowledge about the destination.

When booking a private room, it’s important to read reviews and communicate with the host to ensure a comfortable stay. Some hosts may require guests to provide identification, so it’s essential to discuss this beforehand if anonymity is a priority.

Campgrounds and RV Parks

When it comes to finding cheap and anonymous lodging, campgrounds and RV parks can be a great option. These outdoor spaces offer a variety of accommodations, from tent camping sites to RV hookups. One of the advantages of staying at a campground or RV park is that they often don’t require identification for check-in, making them an ideal choice for those seeking anonymity.

Benefits of Campgrounds and RV Parks

There are several benefits to choosing campgrounds and RV parks as your lodging option:

  • Affordability: Campgrounds and RV parks are typically more budget-friendly compared to traditional hotels. They offer a range of pricing options, allowing you to find a spot that suits your budget.
  • Scenic Locations: Many campgrounds and RV parks are situated in beautiful natural settings, offering a serene and peaceful atmosphere for your stay. Whether you prefer mountain views, beach access, or lush forests, you can find a campground that fits your preferences.
  • Amenities: Campgrounds and RV parks often provide amenities such as showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, and recreational activities. Some may even have swimming pools, playgrounds, or hiking trails, ensuring that you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
  • Flexibility: Campgrounds and RV parks offer flexibility in terms of the length of stay. Whether you want to stay for a night or an extended period, you can find options that cater to your needs.

Things to Consider

While campgrounds and RV parks offer numerous advantages, there are a few things to consider before choosing this type of lodging:

  • Seasonal Availability: Some campgrounds and RV parks have limited operating seasons, especially in colder climates. It’s important to check if the location you’re interested in is open during your desired travel dates.
  • Equipment Required: If you plan on tent camping, you will need to bring your own camping gear. RV parks, on the other hand, require an RV or camper for accommodation.
  • Research and Reservations: It’s advisable to research and make reservations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Popular campgrounds and RV parks can fill up quickly, so planning ahead will ensure you secure a spot.

Other Budget-Friendly Anonymous Lodging Options


If you’re looking for a unique and affordable way to travel while also meeting interesting locals, Couchsurfing could be the perfect option for you. This online platform connects travelers with hosts who are willing to offer a free place to stay.

Not only does Couchsurfing allow you to save money on accommodation, but it also provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and make lifelong friendships. With thousands of hosts all over the world, finding a couch to crash on has never been easier.

Monasteries and Convents

For travelers seeking a peaceful and serene atmosphere, staying in monasteries and convents can be a unique and affordable choice. Many monasteries and convents open their doors to travelers, offering simple and comfortable accommodations at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels.

These establishments often have strict rules and regulations, such as curfews and limited amenities, but they provide a tranquil environment that allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

It’s important to note that some monasteries and convents may require you to participate in religious activities during your stay.

According to a study conducted by TravelMag, couchsurfing has gained popularity among budget travelers, with over 400,000 active hosts worldwide.

When considering these alternative lodging options, it’s important to research and plan ahead. Check online reviews and ratings to ensure the legitimacy and safety of the accommodations. Additionally, make sure to be respectful of the host’s rules and guidelines, as well as the cultural and religious practices of the monasteries and convents.

By exploring these budget-friendly anonymous lodging options, you can save money on accommodation while embarking on a unique and enriching travel experience.


With some research and flexibility, you can find affordable lodging across the United States that doesn’t require photo identification. Motels, hostels, vacation rentals, campgrounds and other alternatives offer ways to book anonymously and pay upon arrival.

Just be prepared to pay higher rates and deposits without a valid ID. Safe travels!

Similar Posts