Make note of any interesting hotels you come across while surfing the Web or watching TV. When traveling pick up any brochures of unique accommodations you find. Many times a hotel lobby will be filled with these little brochures all arranged in a nice little display rack.
Consider staying at a Bed and Breakfast. B & Bs are becoming increasingly popular as each one provides a unique experience over any standard hotel chain. From quiet often charming rooms to great homemade food these are many times cheaper than regular hotels and motels.
If you are traveling abroad and seek a special kind of quiet try a convent or monastery for a truly unique experience. In many countries you can stay for far less than what a hotel would cost with some places only asking for a token offering. Just be prepared to give up some of the more traditional hotel amenities like TV for the peace and quiet.
If plan on traveling to one of the great parks in the United States check into staying at a nearby lodge or cabin. Many parks have on-site accommodations and of course you could always pitch a tent if you really wanted to rough it and save money.
When a friend of mine goes on vacations he looks for condos or homes for rent. This can be a great idea if you are traveling with your family as you get all the comforts of home and can save money buy cooking your own meals.
Many people will do a house swap with you as well but if you happen to live in a spot that might not be very popular with travelers it could be hard finding someone to swap with you.
Going to Europe and into backpacking? You might consider staying at a youth hostel during your continental travels. Many have a dormitory arrangement with shared baths and kitchens but they can be quite inexpensive and you get a great opportunity to meet some interesting people. Just be sure to use a little common sense if you plan on staying in a group environment.
These are just a few of the many options available to the traveler looking for a little more adventure. Keep your eyes and your mind open to new possibilities and you will be rewarded with rich memories for years to come.