Image by Kenny Louie obtained from Flickr.com under Creative Commons License
So, you’re planning a city break and have found the flights you need; the next decision is where to stay. These days most large cities offer a range of alternatives including some you may not have considered before – which is where this article comes in.
Here we take you through six of the most appealing routes to finding a bed for the night:
Hostels with private rooms
Now this is Grown-up Travel Guide so we’re not going to recommend you bunkspace in a dormitory room. Yet many hostels offer private rooms with en-suite facilities which are comparable to what you will find in budget hotels. These are often spacious enough for a family and excellent value.
This is a relatively new development – a luxury hostel is more akin to a designer hotel but as well as dorms offers excellent value rooms with a focus on style. They are often centrally located too – meaning you may be able to walk to most of the main sights.
Hotels – chain
These are a safe – if unadventurous – bet. Best suited to solo travellers and couples, you generally know what you’re getting and once inside your room you could be almost anywhere in the world. On the plus side the location is likely to be excellent and service reliable.
Hotels – independent
Image by leyla.a obtained from Flickr.com under Creative Commons License
It’s difficult to generalize about these places and that’s precisely the appeal. From the tiny, quirky boarding house or B&B to the huge, glitzy family-owned palace, this kind of accommodation is ideal for those who believe that a hotel is a vital ingredient in a vacation rather than just a place to sleep.
The best independent hotels reflect the local area and provide a unique experience as well as four walls and a roof.
Short term room rental
Airbnb.com is the most well-known company in this category which is based on the idea of renting out a spare room for what is usually a very low rate. The homeowner gets to meet new people and earn a little cash while the traveller benefits from the local’s experience and a nice price. It’s not really for the shy and definitely better for solo travellers, but can make for an interesting time with the right host. There is of course a large element of uncertainty as you don’t really know what they are like until you are in their home, but horror stories are rare.
In many ways the perfect choice for those wanting – or needing – more space, renting an entire apartment or villa can give you the best bang for your buck. When you split the cost among those staying – for example groups of friends or two families – the rate per night is almost certain to be affordable. For stays of more than a few nights being able to wash your clothes is a bonus and it shopping for local food and preparing a meal or two in your own kitchen can be fun too.
If you choose to go this route use an established operator – HouseTrip makes the whole process simple and transparent. You can view all the details online and pay for your stay just as you would for a hotel – and hosts are rated so you can see what other travellers thought of the accommodation.