Braving your flight bookings is only step one of planning a holiday. What’s more important is that which waits for you at your destination. Accommodation, besides airfare, takes a huge share out of your travel budget – and more often than not, it leaves you underwhelmed for the price you end up paying. At the same time, the hospitality industry around the globe is expanding with each passing year, giving you reasons aplenty to look beyond standard hotel accommodation for your next vacation.
Read on to find out lodging options that may suit your travel style better, help you save money, or simply add to your experience of being in a foreign land!
Hostels can be the go-to option for young backpackers, where shared rooms, dormitories and communal facilities characterize this budget accommodation. Most hostels feature a communal kitchen, giving you the option of fixing up a meal or two to save money. This option is also ideal for solo travelers looking meet young like-minded people and make new friends, or for those don’t mind plenty of company during their stay.
Probably the best way to soak in the culture of a place, home-stays may also be the cheapest option out there. The idea of a homestay is to live with a local of the city or town which you visit, and pay rent in cash or kind. With locals renting out spare bedrooms to travelers, the latter are offered a close-up look to new cultures and lifestyles. It’s best to do a thorough research to ensure that your hosts are trustworthy, flexible and friendly – and social media has plenty of homestay networks that make this process a lot easier!
Holiday Homes or Vacation Rentals
Villas, cottages, chalets, manors –properties that may be used by owners as a “second home” are often rented out to vacationers for a short duration. Since they’re usually larger than hotel rooms, holiday homes offer the space, privacy and personalization of one’s own residence – and are perfect for large groups and families looking to spend a weekend relaxing in a home away from home. To find out more about holiday homes, click here.
Several ashrams, monasteries and convents around the globe are welcoming of travelers looking for a place to stay at little or no cost. While not the ideal choice for those looking for luxury, one can be assured of cleanliness and basic amenities that are enough to foster a comfortable and peaceful stay. You don’t have to follow a particular religion to find a temporary home in such an accommodation, although mindfulness is key to being a good guest.
If you’re looking at long-term stay or an extended vacation spanning a few weeks, service apartments are ideal. They combine the flexibility of a full-furnished private residence with the convenience of a hotel, but at a fraction of the cost. Most serviced apartments are equipped with a functional kitchen, room service and laundry facilities for their guests, giving you the freedom of your own house/apartment while adding the service of a hotel to it.
B&Bs and Inns
Bed & Breakfasts or Inns are independently run lodging that (as the name suggests) includes breakfast in the room rate. Most B&Bs are not sprawling establishments – the number of rooms may range from two to ten – and may also accommodate the hosts that run the establishment. However, it is this intimacy that often adds to the charm of the place, making it ideal romantic getaways. There are a range of B&Bs available out there, ranging from basic rooms with shared bathrooms to luxury B&Bs that offer specialized services.
So the next time you take off alone or with your family for a much-needed holiday, ditch the hotel and make lodging a part of the adventure!