I have been on the move for quite a few months now. I have been receiving questions like, you have a lot of money to travel?
Most of my travels are pretty impromptu. Usually I will decide on my first destination, and the remaining destinations will just come to be me via ideas online or inspiration from others.
Accommodation accounted for 30-40% travel cost.
In all of my expenses, accommodation usually accounted for about 30-40% of my budget.
There are few kinds of travelers in the world, depending on your nature, some would love to see the nature and enjoy what the world have gave us, some love to be immerse in architecture, some travel for the love of food and some just want a relax vacation.
I am more of the “see the world, try new things” kind of traveler. Also, because I need to get back in SERIOUS SHAPE, I stop traveling for food. (P.S. Having said that, when I do see food which is very interesting, I will still EAT it. Most of all, we don’t live forever eh)
What’s your accommodation needs?
My accommodation needs is farly basic.
Because I spend most of my time out exploring, all I required of my room or stay is to be clean and able for me to rest in the night.
So because of my very impromptu travel plans, I always use the following 4 sites for my accommodation to suit my travel budget.
2. Hostel World
I have personally used them all, and now I’m going to go into details about them.
I cant explain enough how much I love TripAdvisor. You can search for all the best attractions om the places that you are going on the site. Also, if you have no idea what to do for a “3 days in NYC”, they have all the guides for you to choose from.
What’s good about TripAdvisor?
REAL travelers leave genuine review of each accommodation they stayed in. So you know you are getting the real deal rather than marketing talk kind of deal. Another good point is that, you can filter your search base on price and the dates you are travelling.
Often, to make sure I get the best deal, I usually cross check the price on various websites.
- Hostel World
The perfect fit if you are traveling on budget and on backpack.
What’s good about Hostel World?
Almost all hostel are located in downtown, and are often near to various attractions. You know you could save quite a fair bit on transportation if you stay near attractions that you want to see.
In most hostels, to keep the travelers happy, they usually organize games or activities where travelers can join. Some hostels might even have a bar that have cheap booze too. And breakfast are usually included with your stay. Since you are staying there, have a good breakfast before you go. And that is one cost down.
Airbnb is a website where locals can rent out their rooms or apartment online. I have used this website on numerous occasions.
What’s good about Airbnb? You are staying with locals! They will be the best person to provide you all information you need to know about the place. When I arrived on my first night to New York City, my landlord, an elderly lady, gave me all the maps, best places to dine, and all the tips i need to know about the city! She even show me the kitchen, pointed at those cup nodles she has and said “feel free to have them when you are hungry.” Amazing hospitality!
Usually these location are a little distant from downtown. If you are able to find one apartment which is near the metro station, you can take the train to almost everywhere. My saving on this was massive. I saved probably US$50 a night just by choosing to stay in Airbnb rather than a hotel.
Another good site I would recommend is Couchsurfing. You will be staying with a local too, except it’s FREE! However, staying with a stranger can be daunting to some.
What’s good about Couchsurfing?
It is almost the same as Airbnb. You will be staying with locals, but rather than you paying, you will be staying for FREE instead!!! This will bring your accommodation cost down to literally ZERO! IF you are traveling on budget, this will definitely help.
Feeling uncomfortable staying with a stranger yet? You can check out couch surfing events and hangouts, to see who is available to hangout and what are the events that you can join. Even if you do not want to stay in couch surfing, you still have the opportunity to make new friends.
I had my first couch surfing experience in Spain. Thou I did not stay with my new found friend, I was fortunate that he was able to show me around the local places. Places where only the locals go.
I will be traveling to Mexico in a few weeks time, and am blessed to find a host who is able to host me. I will definitely update my experience again on a later date.
Another thing that I always do, is using the google map to check the location of my stay. I always calculate the distance from my stay to the attractions and also the duration I will require for using public transport to get there. Things always add up end of the day.
Hope my experience with these sites are useful to you guys.
What sites do you use for booking your travel stay? Share it with me.