Most of the amateur travelers (surprisingly seasoned travelers too at times) make a common mistake of overlooking the importance of a good accommodation while traveling. Yes, accommodation is the most expensive item on the travel checklist after flight expenses, but it is also a home away from home while you are on the move. Thus, it is imperative that we single out an accommodation that is comfortable and does not burn our pockets at the same time. But the next obvious question is, ‘Is it possible to have something that is both, comfortable and inexpensive?’ The answer is, YES! To know how, I am listing below a few pointers that should be considered while choosing the right and appropriate accommodation.
- Know your Travel Purpose
I am sure everyone will agree that different travel purposes have different requirements for accommodation. You can not possibly stay in a lodge if you are on a business trip and you cannot stay in a luxury hotel/resort if you wish to have a budget trip. So before you zero in on any accommodation make sure you know your travel purpose well. I am listing few of the preferred “purpose-accommodation” combinations:
- Business – Hotel, Service Apartment
- Leisure – Resort, Bungalow, Villa
- Exploration –Motel, Homestay, Guesthouse, B&B (Bed & Breakfast), Tent
- Spa Holidays –Resort (with a good spa of course)
- Safari –Caravan, Forest Cottage, Tent
- Honeymoon –Resort, Hotel, Villa
- Backpacking –Lodge, Guesthouse, Homestay, B&B
- Family Holiday – Bungalow, Villa, Service Apartment, Hotel
PS: This is not an exhaustive list and you are free to explore and experiment (that’s how you become a travel pro)
- Know your Travel Companions
This is very important for people traveling with kids and with older members of the family. They are the ones who are vulnerable and also with lot of demands. So make sure you consider them while selecting a place. The safest and the best options are:
- Hotels/Resorts with all the basic amenities or,
- Service apartments in case of people who like cooking (Most vegetarians, I am one of them, face difficulty in terms of food while traveling. For them service apartments is the best option)
Also another factor to be considered while traveling with kids and elders is to make sure the accommodation is near a hospital/clinic, chemist and most importantly near a local super market in case of any emergencies.
- Know Your ‘Touristy’ Destination
Most of the travelers have certain tourist destinations/places-to-visit list while traveling unless they have booked a tour operator. This list could be another factor for deciding an accommodation. Make sure most of your touristy destinations are near your accommodation to save time on traveling to and fro.
- Know Your Budget
The most obvious factor is knowing how much you can shell for your stay. For that, draft an approximate total travel budget and allocate percentages to every line item (flights, food, shopping, stay, internal travel, etc). Make wise choices and pick a stay best suited for your pockets.
- Know Your Personal Preferences
Many people have personal preferences of their own like free wi-fi, air conditioned rooms, full board and half board options, swimming pool, gym, indoor games, etc. Make sure you have a list and zero in on an accommodation that can provide you most of them (if not all)
- Last but not the least, do your Homework well before booking
Check the reviews and ratings as this could give you a reality check for your hotel. Most of the travel portals allow users to ask questions to reviewers. Make good use of this feature and clear all your doubts before you book. Also many travel portals have timely offers. Avail these offers and save on some moolah. Few of the travel portals I usually go to are Agoda, TripAdvisor, Expedia, etc
These are few pointers that I personally contemplate before selecting an accommodation. There could be many more and you can have a different method for selecting. Please feel free to write them in the comments section below in order to enhance my knowledge and experience.
Travel healthy, Travel safe, Travel world!