When it comes to finding accommodations while traveling, I’m somewhat of a pragmatist. I don’t require 5* stays mostly because I see it as a colossal waste of money. When I travel, I see my hotel room as somewhere to lay my head at night. I didn’t travel so that I could stay in a room, I plan to spend as little time there as possible! But this is just my budget conscious opinion and when it comes to securing accommodations, preferences are never one size fits all.
Still, half the fun of searching for somewhere to stay is in realizing how many strange and unusual places to choose from that will make your visit more enjoyable. Hotels are the default accommodations of choice, but how interesting would it be to stay in a monastery, an igloo or even a log cabin?
How do you find not only standard hotel rooms but find unique places to stay while you are on vacation?
I’m on a strict budget. What is the best type of accommodation for me?
If you are on a strict budget and willing to forego creature comforts in exchange for saving big bucks you should check out hostels.
There are two major clearinghouses that will allow you to search, review and book hostel rooms throughout the world: Hostels.com and Hostelworld.com (which also lists some B&Bs and Guest houses). You are usually required to pay a 10% deposit which is refundable providing that you purchase cancellation protection when booking your room (it will cost five bucks or less).
I have to say that hostels have come a long way. Almost every hostel has private rooms available for rent and some may have private baths to go along with them, though in rare circumstances. For the most part, you can count on a dormitory type arrangement where 4-12 people sleep on bunks and share a common suite of showers and toilets.
This is an ideal situation if you are planning on traveling alone or with a group of friends, not so much if you are traveling with a family. Still this is the most budget friendly option since some beds can be had for as little as 8 bucks per night.
Stay tuned next week for part two where I will discuss the ins and outs of booking vacation homes or apartments.