When planning your travel you will come to the decision of what kind of accommodation you need? Here are tips and advice on the things you should think about when choosing accommodation for your travels.
How long will you be staying?
If you are intending to stay for a long time at a destination, then consider staying in an apartment, such as what’s available on Airbnb. Apartments tend to have kitchens, washing machines and almost anything you need for a long stay. You will probably be able to get preferential rates for longer stays too. If you are only staying for a short period of time then consider staying at a hotel or hostel.
Suggestion: Long stay: apartment / Short stay: hotel or hostel
When will you arrive?
If you are arriving late such as after 10 pm, then a hotel or hostel may be best. I have often found that Airbnb hosts aren’t big fans of late check-ins and may also charge a lot extra if you plan to arrive late.
Suggestion: Hotel or hostel
How many people are you travelling with?
If you are travelling in a large group and want to stay in the same room or apartment, then depending on what kind of trip you are after then you may want to get a private dorm room in a hostel or stay in an apartment such as Airbnb. Hotels aren’t great for large groups, as you may end up having to pay for multiple rooms and this can add up.
Suggestion: Hostel or apartment
Do you need cooking facilities?
If you are on a budget, such as when backpacking, or you are staying for a long time at the destination, then cooking facilities may be important to you. In that scenario, an apartment or hostel will be better than a hotel or resort, as they often provide such facilities.
Suggestion: Hostel or apartment
Is it a special occasion?
If you are travelling for a special occasion, such as a birthday, honeymoon, or something else then consider staying in a luxury hotel. Luxury hotels offer lots of benefits and facilities to ensure you have an incredible and memorable experience, and they are often so nice that you may not even want to leave the hotel.
Suggestion: Luxury hotel or resort
Do you want to be centrally based?
If you are visiting a city and intend to spend a lot of time exploring, then centrally located accommodation is generally best. I find hostels are often in great locations and are still quite affordable. Whilst centrally located hotels tend to be a lot more expensive than hotels a bit further out. You may also find apartments in good locations as well, but most Airbnb places I’ve stayed in have been a little further out.
To find your accommodation in a central location use a map such as this to help you to search. It helps if you also know of some local landmarks or popular attractions which are located centrally in your destination, as this can help you to identify where might be good to stay.
Suggestion: Hotel or Hostel
Will you be driving?
This applies more for city destinations, and that if you are driving then it’s worth either getting a hotel that provides parking facilities, or looking online before you visit, so as to see what the parking is like in the area. I would generally recommend avoiding driving in cities, as it will ramp up the cost for parking, and you may also end up spending a lot of time in traffic or even getting lost.
Suggestion: Hotel with parking facilities
How close is public transport?
Something that I always think about when booking accommodation is how close it is to public transport stops, such as a subway or tram stop. I have been on trips in the past (when I was younger), and hadn’t thought about this and ended up having to get a taxi every time I wanted to go anywhere, which quickly adds up.
Are you wanting a social environment?
For backpackers and those that want a more social environment then you may want to stay in a hostel. Hostels tend to have common areas where people hang out and there are often evening events, such as bar crawls etc.
Do you need fitness facilities?
If you are into your health and like to exercise when travelling then you may need to either stay in a hotel that has fitness facilities or look to see if there are public gyms in the area that allow for one-off visits. Generally, though your best bet, if you need fitness facilities, is to stay in a well-equipped hotel.
A few other things to consider, that are also important when booking somewhere to stay includes:
- That the accommodation has good reviews
- The cost matches your budget
- If you need any special assistance such as a lift or wheelchair ramp and that the accommodation has the facilities
- The check-in and check-out times work for you
There is a huge variety of great accommodation out there to suit everyone’s needs, and I hope this post gives you some ideas of the things to think about when booking a place to stay. Start finding your perfect accommodation on Tripadvisor, Booking.com, Trivago (see below), or another top accommodation provider.
Noticed a mistake? Let us know.
Article main photographs by TravelAndDestinations team. Read more about where we source images.