The second biggest issue when it comes to travelling is how to find a good place which is closer to the main spots in the city.
I have to excuse myself from the hostel lifestyle frankly because I am a light sleeper and cannot sleep with people coming in and going out or drunk people struggling to get out of their clothes or puking or chatting or singing or shagging so no hostels for me but I do know there are apps available for good hostels like HostelWorld.
Now for the rest of folk trying to find a good hostel, there is a lot of help at hand along with a lot of clutter.
The first thing you need to know is your budget and once you have this question sorted, life becomes easy because only you can provide an answer to this. Keep a round figure in head with some flexibility around it.
Where to Stay?
This is a serious question and you will need to figure it out but this is a daunting task and can consume time. Luckily there is help to hand in the form of Kayak Heat Map. It lets you see the hot areas for different activities like shopping, partying or sightseeing.
City centres are generally the best areas in any city so you can travel around and you always get better deals towards the boundaries of City centre. It works much better and it is almost always less noisy as well for a good night sleep with good transport links.
There are tonnes of comparison website you can use to get a good hotel. Trivago is quite thorough when it comes to that. It shows you a good comprehensive picture across a lot of different booking sites.
In terms of filters, Kayak Hotels is very specific and you can add a lot of filters to make sure you get what you need.
This is the blessing in disguise when it comes to technological innovation. Every hotel sets prices differently each night based on demand and anticipation and if you don’t mind changing hotels, a quick change of hotel can save you tonnes of money. The best tool for this is Nightly.
It is a relatively new field but nightly is doing an excellent job. I hope they expand their criteria.
I absolutely love Airbnb and I have almost stopped looking at the hotel sites since I started using it. It provides so many amazing options in terms of accommodation that you just cannot get with a hotel.
It puts you in touch with a local and whether you factor it in or not, it is a HUGE asset. Locals have the best recommendations on where to eat and what to do in a place like a local. I have hung out with my hosts and absolutely love it.
It also provides you with flexibility. Where a hotel might cost you a fortune, a room in a house in the same area might come at the fraction of a price. The difference can be ridiculously high. I saved £600 pounds when I booked through Airbnb in Rio de Janeiro near the Carnival compared to the cheapest hotel available, think about that…
Some Tips for Airbnb
1- It pays to have good reviews as a guest and the more reviews you have for the host, the better.
2- If you are not sure, ask the host about anything BEFORE you book. It doesn’t cost anything.
3- The more photos a listing has, the better it is.
4- If you can’t get anything within your budget, ask a few hosts closer to your limit for discount. If you won’t ask you won’t get it but be polite and explain why you are asking for a discount.
5- Make sure you read the House rules and adhere to them. You don’t want to be thrown out in the middle of night in a strange city..
6- Always discuss with your host about arrival and departure and establish connection on phone before you leave for the trip.
7- If the place is not what you saw and paid for, contact Airbnb with photos, they will arrange another one for you. Don’t suffer in silence.
8- If you think the place doesn’t meet the standards, take the photos and raise a dispute with Airbnb. If it is valid you can get part or all of your money back.
9- Be respectful of your host and their privacy and don’t leave any surprises for them. Hosts have a lot of rights just like guests and if you ‘accidentally’ brought something with you, the host can raise it with Airbnb and you will end up paying with a negative review.
Misterbnb is the gay version of Airbnb. Now I like exploring different options and have booked through them but the website is generally more expensive than Airbnb with less choice. So go for this options if you want to have a very Gaycation.
If you love pets, this is a god send! With TrustedHousesitter you will be staying in someone’s house looking after their pets for FREE. The only money you pay is for the website membership which is negligible. It is on the rise and if you are an animal lover, this can save you loads with the comfort of a home.
Couchsurfing is the free version of Airbnb. If you have time and don’t mind shared spaces it can save you money. I prefer my own space so not my cup of tea but you never know right?