You’re excited for your upcoming holiday – you’ve chosen a destination, you’ve booked your flights and rental car, and now you just need to find somewhere to stay. Unfortunately, choosing budget friendly travel accommodation can often be the most confusing part of the whole process.
Firstly, remember that Google is your friend – it’s always wise to do your own research and not rely on what the accommodation provider is telling you on their own website. If you want to stay somewhere both comfortable and with a good reputation, find out how many years your potential accommodation provider hotel has been in business, and whether its reviews are favourable. Remember, however, that people are often more inclined to leave reviews for negative experiences; one bad review shouldn’t tarnish ten excellent ones.
Everyone’s accommodation preferences are different. Perhaps you don’t mind if you are greeted by a surly receptionist, but you hate even a spot of dust in the room you’re staying in? Or perhaps your definition of a perfect getaway is one by the beach with an abundance of water activities over one with vibrant nightlife and shopping? Some websites allow you to sort reviews based on the qualities that are important to you, such as service or cleanliness. Even if you’re on a budget, you’re likely to find something in your price range that suits your preferences; be prepared to sift through the listings on a few websites.
Airbnb allows you to rent rooms or entire homes owned by locals, and is one of several cheap alternatives to hotels (although how much prices differ between Airbnb and hotels depends on location). Renting through Airbnb can also be an interesting way to meet locals and get insider tips on your destination.
If you’re really trying to travel on a shoestring and therefore looking for free places to sleep, you can always try Couchsurfing. The community is based around travellers sharing their homes with other travellers, and can be an excellent way to meet new friends and travel buddies. Again, remember to check your potential host’s reviews! It’s also worth searching for a place to stay well in advance of your trip, and communicating with your host to ensure that staying with him or her will be a good fit for you.
Always check the location of any potential accommodation; staying in a bad neighbourhood might not be the best idea if you’re a solo traveller. However, staying farther away from the city centre than you might originally consider can be an excellent way to save a bit of money, even if it means a longer commute to the areas you want to visit.
While you might be able to endure a couple of hours on a budget airline, or even a few days in a rental car, choosing travel accommodation that is right for you is essential to the tone of your holiday. If you don’t have a place you’re happy to return to after a lengthy day of sightseeing, you’re not likely to enjoy yourself as much as you could, so always do plenty of research and choose wisely!
About the author:
Alex Cordier is a freelance writer who has been published across various sites on topics including home, travel, health and lifestyle. Her passion for travel and thirst for adventure have taken her to different parts of the world. You can find more of her work here.