Travel Tips

What are the Different Accommodation Types Available for your Travels?

Disclosure: Your support helps keep our site running. We may get a referral fee at no cost to you if you click on our links and make a purchase. Thank you for your support.


There are many different types of accommodation on offer, with each providing various facilities and a different experience. In this post, we will explain what Hostels, Guesthouses, Apartments and Hotels are like, and the types of facilities you may get at each. You may also want to read our post with things to think about when choosing where to stay.

Here are the different accommodation types available when you travel.

This article has been written by Mike Clegg who has travelled extensively and whilst doing so has stayed in a large variety of accommodation, from budget hostels to luxurious hotels. The below gives an insight into the different types of accommodation that you could choose based on his experiences. You can read more about him below and on his bio.

Different types of accommodation

1. Hotels

Hotels can offer the most facilities and come in different star levels, often from 1-5 with five being the highest. Star levels of hotels are often determined by the country and not defined by a worldwide authority, so what may be a five-star in one country, may only be a four-star in another.

Generally, a one-star hotel will be a basic room with the bare essentials. There is unlikely to be a pool, bar or anything besides the room.

As you go up the star levels the hotel will offer benefits, such as the furnishings will be nicer, you’ll have a lot more facilities in your room and also around the hotel. In your room, you’ll likely get bigger and better televisions as you go up, better coffee facilities, bigger and more comfortable beds, and in some hotels heated toilet seats (Shangri-La At the Shard in London). Around the hotel, you may get a pool, fitness and spa facilities, bars and multiple restaurants.

Also as you go up the service will also improve, with higher-ranked hotels having more staff, butler services, 24-hour concierge and will basically do everything to ensure you have the most amazing stay possible.

Find Hotels

Art Delux rooms at Prince de Galles
Rooms at a luxury hotel

Common features of hotels

Features vary a lot across hotels, please check what the hotel offers on booking.

  • Separate bedroom and bathroom
  • Sometimes different room options throughout the hotel
  • Living rooms (suites)
  • Restaurants and bars
  • WiFi access
  • Concierge
  • Butlers
  • Work Desks
  • TVs with multiple channels, movies and more
  • Room service
  • 24-hour receptions
  • Well-equipped rooms including toiletries, bathrobes, coffee machines and more
  • Pool and fitness facilities
  • Business and conference facilities
  • Great for week-long holidays, weekends and also luxury breaks

Find Hotels

2. Self-catered accommodation / Vacation rentals

Apartments, cottages, cabins and villas are especially great for longer stays or if you want to have your own space or cook. Many self-catered properties come with great furnishings and facilities allowing you to settle down for as long as you need. Villas in hotter countries might even come with their own pool allowing you to have your own private place to relax in the summer sun.

For apartments consider looking on VRBO (now part of HomeAway), PlumGuide or Airbnb. On VRBO you can also find villas, cottages and other self-catered accommodation and they have places to stay in 190 countries.

Apartment rental
Apartment rental

Common features of apartments

  • Modern and well-equipped
  • Bedroom, kitchen and living spaces
  • Sometimes washing machines
  • WiFi access
  • Great for long stays

3. Hostels

Hostels often provide the cheapest type of accommodation. They normally offer shared rooms with bunk beds, but some also have private rooms available. Often the amenities are shared and you don’t get towels or toiletries included.

Despite this hostels are fantastic options. They are normally very friendly and great for meeting new people, they are often in great locations and may even provide superior views compared to some of the top hotels in the area. Such as the image below which was taken from the top floor of Hostel Uppelink and probably offers the best views of Ghent Historical Centre. Read our post on what it’s like to stay in a hostel for more insights.

Head to where you’ll have a choice of over 36,000 properties in 170 countries, along with guest reviews and often free cancellation.
Ghent Old Town at night
Ghent Old Town at night

Common features of hostels

  • Shared rooms and facilities
  • No free toiletries
  • Towels for a fee
  • Affordable bed options
  • Social atmosphere
  • Free WiFi
  • 24-hour reception
  • Often good location
  • Often used by younger guests
  • Great for travellers wanting to connect

4. Guesthouses

Guesthouses are fantastic and may also be family-run. The hosts often take pride in the property, have nice local furnishings, and will make you feel like their home is your home. Guesthouses may come with shared facilities like bathrooms and kitchens.

You may get homemade food and even tours of the destination through guesthouses. A good example is Goa Guesthouse in Mostar, where Emir the host, provided an exceptional local breakfast (for a small fee) as well as special tours around Bosnia and Herzegovina (also for small fees).

Breakfast at a Guesthouse Guesthouse

Common features of guesthouses

  • Homely environment
  • Friendly staff, with them often being the owners
  • Cooking facilities
  • Fully equipped with a bedroom and living space
  • Food options, including breakfast, lunch or dinner
  • WiFi access
  • Great for cultural stays

5. Holiday resorts

Another accommodation option to stay in is a resort. Resorts tend to be self-contained and come with all the facilities you need and can often be great for family holidays. They can sometimes be located in central places such as close to the local towns, as well as in more rural and isolated locations, which can be perfect to just get away from everything and for honeymoons.

Padma Hotel Resort, Ubud
Padma Hotel Resort, Ubud

Common features of resorts

Here are some of the features you may get at resorts. These would vary across resorts depending on where you stay.

  • Large pools, sometimes even multiple
  • All-inclusive options which can include meals and drinks
  • WiFi access
  • 24-hour reception
  • Gym facilities
  • Classes such as Water Aerobics
  • Excursion and activity options
  • Well equipped rooms with private bathrooms, television facilities and more

If you’d like to read about an amazing resort we stayed at head to our post: Exotic Retreats at Padma Resort Ubud in Bali.

6. Ski chalets

Chalets are a common type of accommodation that you’ll find at ski resorts. They are often referred to as a home-from-home due to the cosy interiors and structure of the properties. Such as you’ll often get a lounge, bedrooms and kitchen. Chalets can often come with other highlights such as a sauna or steam room, hot tub and sometimes even a small swimming pool. These are perfect for when you get back from your time on the slopes, or even if you wanted to have a day off to relax.

One of the biggest benefits of chalets is that they are often catered, meaning you have a host who will provide breakfast, afternoon tea and cake as well as dinner in the evening. This is fantastic after a long and tiring day on the slopes meaning you can just come back at the end of the day and relax. For chalet holidays departing from the UK head over to Skiworld.

Beautiful lounges in catered Chalets - Chalet Altair in Nendaz Switzerland ©Skiworld~
Chalet Altair in Nendaz Switzerland ©Skiworld

Common features of ski chalets

Some of the common features of ski chalets include:

  • Catering – including breakfast, afternoon cake and evening dinner
  • Private bedrooms and bathrooms
  • A cosy lounge to share with the group
  • Balconies which might also offer fantastic views
  • Wellness facilities such as a hot tub, sauna and sometimes a pool

7. Campsites

Camping is a type of accommodation that offers an outdoor and adventurous stay. It involves setting up camp in a natural environment, like a park, forest or beach. Camping can be done in many different styles, from standard camping to glamping.

One of the benefits of camping is the opportunity to connect with nature and the environment. You can enjoy activities like hiking, fishing, and stargazing, without the distractions of modern life. Camping is also a great option for budget-conscious travellers, as it is usually much cheaper than hotels or resorts.

Common features of camping

Some of the common features of camping include:

  • You get a pitch or area to set up your tent or caravan
  • There is normally a campsite fee
  • There would normally be shared toilets and showers
  • Sometimes you will have an outdoor electricity point
  • Some campsites will have small restaurants, fast food or a cafe available
  • There might be a small supply shop
Tents at festivals - Photo by Angelika Levshakova on Unsplash - CC0
Tents at festivals – Photo by Angelika Levshakova on Unsplash – CC0

8. Couchsurfing

For those travelling on a budget then couchsurfing might be a good option. This normally offers free accommodation for travellers. It involves staying with a local host, who offers a couch or sometimes a spare room for travellers to sleep in. Couchsurfing is a great way to meet locals and get insider tips on the local area.

One of the benefits of Couchsurfing is the cost. It is completely free, making it a great option for budget-conscious travellers. Couchsurfing is also a great way to experience local culture and way of life, as you are staying with a local family or individual.

9. House Sitting

House-sitting is another option that can be helpful when travelling on a budget. This type of accommodation can offer a free place to stay for travellers. It involves looking after someone’s home (and sometimes pets) while they are away, in exchange for free accommodation. House sitting is a great way to experience living like a local, without the cost of accommodation.

One of the benefits of house-sitting is the cost. It is normally completely free, making it a great option for budget-conscious travellers. House sitting is also a great way to experience local culture and way of life, as you are living in a local home. One of the only costs may be a membership to a house sitting website.

Where can you book travel accommodation online?

Here are some of the best places to book your travel accommodation online:

  • Offering over 29 million properties across the world
  • HostelWorld Listing 36,000 properties in 178 countries
  • Tripadvisor – A fantastic resource for planning your trips as well as booking your accommodation
  • VRBO – Offering cottages, cabins, apartments, farmhouses and other property types
  • PlumGuide – Beautiful apartments and places to stay
  • Trivago – A service that provides results across many providers
  • HotelsCombined – Providing you with the best hotel options by searching across 235,000 hotels in 225 countries.
  • – Offering accommodation in over 200 countries
  • Agoda – Listing over 2 million properties around the world
  • Airbnb Perfect for those looking for an apartment, house or spare room
  • Direct – Finally direct is always a good way to go if you know where you want to stay

You can use the map below for a fun interactive way to search for both hotels and self-catered accommodations. Simply change the location to see options throughout the world.

Choosing the right accommodation for your trip

Choosing the right accommodation for your trip can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider, including budget, location, facilities, and style. To choose the right accommodation, you need to consider your needs and preferences, as well as the needs of your travel companions.

One of the best ways to choose the right accommodation is to do your research. Read reviews from other travellers, compare prices and facilities, and consider the location and accessibility of the accommodation. You can also consult with a travel agent or tour operator, who can offer expert advice on the best accommodation options for your needs.


Wherever you do decide to go, always read reviews to get the opinions of other travellers. If you use then you will be able to read and see ratings from previous guests. Or you could use other sites such as which provides a huge number of reviews on most properties.

Alternatively, check for personal reviews on blogs. We offer some from hotels we have stayed in (click here). Some bloggers will get free stays which can change someone’s opinion slightly vs if they have paid for it, but this should be stated, and whenever we are lucky enough to get free stays we always give an honest opinion.

We hope this helps you decide what accommodation type you want for your travels. Also, see our guide on planning and booking your trip.


Written by

Mike Clegg

Mike is a traveller, photographer, WordPress developer and the creator of He started this website so as to share his experiences and tips with travellers. He is from the UK and has travelled to many places around the world. He loves to shares his pictures and stories through Instagram and this website... [Read full bio]

If you would like to write a guest article so as to raise your profile then please get in touch.
Noticed a mistake? Let us know.

Related Articles

See more articles in the Travel Tips category