No one should be excluded from academia because they can't afford to stay in a hotel.
Academic conferences are expensive. Here is my solution.
Academics are expected to go to conferences, attend workshops, and participate in scholarly gatherings in other cities, states, and countries regardless of their economic background. Realistically, this is only possible for those of us who have the financial means to travel. As students, as graduate students, or as early career academics, we have to face the financial challenges of paying registration fees, buying flight tickets, and finding reasonable accommodation close to the conference hotels. No travel grant covers all of these expenses.
Here is my solution:
I am building a database and gathering names of academics and scholars who are willing to host students and early career scholars in their guest rooms for short-term scholarly activities. When a student is planning to attend a conference, let's say in Boston, they will be able to search this database by city or state and find all the volunteer hosts in the area (both in and around MA and Boston specifically). They will then email their hosts and arrange their stay.
That way more students and scholars will be able to participate in these conferences and workshops, build networks, and create more diverse academic communities.