One of the most exciting things about traveling is looking for a place to stay in. After all, booking a room in a hotel or reserving a vacation rental gives you reassurance that you have a space to return to after a day of touring around a foreign place. With so many types of lodging options, however, choosing the right one can be a stressful challenge. Not only do you have to think about the accommodation’s availability, but you also need to consider the following factors as well:
- Your travel style
- Who you’re traveling with
- The amount of time you’ll be traveling
- Your budget
Fortunately, this article will help you narrow down your search by looking at the pros and cons of the different types of travel accommodations available to you.
Hotels are typical establishments travelers choose when looking for a place of lodging. Unlike other types of accommodations, hotels are known to provide their guests with unique amenities and services like housekeeping, spas, gyms, and 24-hour room service. Hotels also offer different types of rooms—from the standard single bedroom to the luxurious penthouse suite—to accommodate all kinds of travelers. Additionally, hotels have the means to ensure that their guests’ health and well-being are taken care of during their stay. For example, Westgate’s clean hotel policies are made to enhance the cleanliness and hygiene levels of their establishment by implementing augmented room cleaning procedures and keeping their housekeeping policies up-to-date.
However, hotels aren’t always affordable. Prices of standard rooms can get pretty expensive, especially if it’s a property operated by a a well-known hotel chain. Not all rooms come equipped with a kitchen, so you’re forced to purchase from the hotel menu or eat in nearby restaurants. Plus, most hotels look the same around the world, so it could diminish the cultural experience of the city or country you’re visiting. As such, it’s important to choose a hotel whose ambiance, character, and style of hospitality is well-grounded in the ways of its home town or city.
Hostels are inexpensive options for travelers who don’t mind sharing a room and facilities with other guests. This type of accommodation offers a dorm-style setting, fitting 4 or more people in one room. Some hostels also provide special accommodations for guests who are more comfortable staying in an all-female dorm. What’s more, with areas like the kitchen, living space, and dining room designed for communal use, it’s easy for guests to socialize and meet new travelers.
Unfortunately, with hostels, you can’t choose who your roommates will be. It’s possible that you’ll be sharing a room with a group you just don’t have anything in common with, and it may affect your travel experience. Dorms can also get crowded and loud fast since guests can come in and out whenever they please. Also, features like room service, maid service, and room amenities are almost nonexistent in hostels, so you have to pack your own towels and toiletries when staying in this type of lodging.
Motels are great travel accommodations if you’re looking for a quick place to stay while on a road trip. Motels are located near major highways, so they’re easy to access even when you’re driving in the middle of the night. These types of establishments also come with parking space and other amenities like swimming pools. Plus, they’re low-cost, making them great options for travelers on a budget.
Sadly, motels don’t have the best reputation. Although there are nice motels, some selections are poorly maintained or located in questionable areas. As such, if you’re planning to stay in a motel, do your research first before checking in.
Homestays are great economical options for travelers on a budget and students staying abroad for a long time. For a fee, you’ll get to stay in your host family’s home and immerse in their lifestyle, giving you a more authentic cultural experience during your stay. The arrangement also often includes meals, light cleaning services, and the use of their laundry and kitchen equipment, saving you money as a result.
However, since you are a guest in their home, you have to follow your host family’s house rules. This may limit the amount of time you get to explore the surrounding areas, especially if you have a set curfew. Another problem you may encounter is the language barrier as some host families have only a few people who know how to speak your native language.
- Bed and Breakfasts
Like what their name suggests, traditional bed and breakfasts offer guests a cozy room to stay in for the night and a homemade breakfast for when they awake. They’re typically run by locals who own the guesthouse, pension, or home, and as such, no two bed and breakfasts are 100% alike. However, you can rest assured that the guesthouse, pension, or home you’re staying in is unique, from its interior design to the meal that’s served on the table.
Nevertheless, bed and breakfasts are typically situated far away from the city center, so they aren’t ideal places if your intention is to shop and see the sights in the city. Call times for breakfast may also vary, with some lodgings serving up the first meal of the day very early in the morning.
- Short-Term Rentals
With the availability of apps like AirBnB, short-term rental spaces are becoming popular options for many travelers. Not only are rental spaces easily accessible, but they also come in a variety of types that can accommodate solo travelers and people traveling in large groups. Many short-term rental lodgings are designed to make you feel at home, so you can use the following amenities during your entire stay:
- Laundry area
- Swimming pool (if available)
There are a number of downsides when staying in a short-term rental. If you experience an issue during your stay (e.g. clogged plumbing or a faulty air conditioner) the owner of the space may not act quickly when addressing these problems. Some hosts may also have acquired their short-term rental property illegally, placing a negative impact on the neighborhood it’s located in. If you’re interested in staying in a short-term rental, it’s in your best interest to research and read reviews beforehand to ensure that you won’t be inconvenienced during your stay.
Looking for a travel accommodation is exciting, especially when you get to see all the unique amenities a hotel, homestay, or bed and breakfast provides. Although these features will tempt you to book a space in a particular lodging, you need take a step back and think whether or not this type of accommodation suits your needs. Thankfully, by using this article as your guide, reaching a decision will be quick and easy.