Lodging Ideas for a Tight Budget
There are a lot of really nice hotels in Seattle. And really nice equals really expensive. There are many moderately priced hotels as well. Sometimes that is even too expensive, plus a moderate price most often equals a moderate experience. There are options to the hotel/motel/fluffy, victorian B&B scenes that also offer a more personalized experience in the city.
If you have never heard of Craigslist. Know it now. In Craigslist's own words, it is a, "local community classifieds and forums - a place to find jobs, housing, goods & services, social activities, a girlfriend or boyfriend, advice, community information, and just about anything else -- all for free, and in a relatively non-commercial environment."
Craigslist is a huge phenomenon in Seattle. Folks swear by it for buying, selling, finding jobs, apartments, band members, community groups, etc. I had one friend tell me that she she's had such good luck with Craigslist, sometimes thinks that if she typed in "truth" or "God," She'd find it there.
Anyway, there is a section under the Seattle site for sublets and temporary housing. Particularly if you are planning to stay for more than a few days, this is a good page to browse. There are even "by the night" postings at times. There is also a "housing wanted" page and a "house swap" page.
Which brings me to another tip: Housing Exchange programs. If you own a home or rent a place you can loan out, there are programs to match travelers who are willing to let others stay in their home in exchange for the same in a city they'd like to travel to. A couple organizations recommended to me are: Intervac, and Home Exchange. Members can make decisions around whether they allow children, smokers, etc. and whether they will allow use of other amenities, such as the car. Read the sites for rules and the full process.
An even more intimate option is Couch Surfing. Where people offer a free place to stay for a traveler for the sake of meeting new people from around the world. Of course this also means you are willing to make the same offer to your hosts, or others, at some earlier or later date.
Finally, last but not least, Seattle does have a hostel that has great rates and is smack-dab downtown. It is right under the Pike Place Market, which is a classic Seattle landmark and is just blocks from other sights.