The destination is chosen, the plane tickets are purchased, and it’s finally time to start looking for that perfect accommodation for the trip. To be honest, this is our least favourite part. It’s just that the stress of choosing a place to stay can be so complicated – it’s not only looking for good reviews and soft pillows, it’s finding where in the city you want to stay, how close public transportation is, and if they serve a decent breakfast or not. Then you also need to factor in prices into your budget, and if it makes more sense to spend a heap on accommodation with a spa, or if you should spend more on experiences and suffer through a few nights in a hostel.
To make it simple, let’s break down the four most common types of accommodation. Then we’ll give you our advice for when you ought to choose luxury accommodation, camping, hotels and motels, or the dreaded hostel. Spoiler alert, hostels aren’t always so dreaded anymore!
Luxury accommodation for the rich and famous
Luxury accommodation may truly be for the rich and famous, but it’s also available for us lowly folk to access as well, given the right circumstances.
True luxury often means getting exactly what you want – so if you’re willing to pay the cash, you should be able to request champagne upon arrival and your exact toothpaste brand for your stay. If you’re having a hard time getting your partner on board with booking luxury, you could possibly argue that with all the complimentary items you’ll get, you’ll be saving money! Okay, it’s a stretch, but worth a shot.
You can pretty much guarantee that if you’re staying in luxury accommodation that their dining will be top notch. Many hotels will see people from all over the city come visit their hotel dining, and not necessarily guests of the hotel. Many of the top hotels in big cities will play host to some excellent 5 star or even Michelin star rated restaurants, so you can enjoy a fine dining experience without even having to leave the building, which works great if you’ve already been taking advantage of too much free champagne!
If you’re into this kind of thing, the guest activities that luxury hotels often offer is quite lovely. We’ve heard of luxury hotels offering anything from cocktails and campfires on the private beach, to private tours of the area given by locals employed at the hotel or resort.
Camping: Fresh air and night skies
Camping is one of the words that when said, people either light up or look at you in horror. Unfortunately for the latter, there is very little to do to convince them otherwise. But for those of us who either adore camping, are interested in it but are a bit nervous, or anywhere in between, we’ve broken down some things you’ll get out of camping to give you a better idea of what to expect.
A truly unplugged experience
There’s nothing quite like staring up at the night sky around a campfire listening to the cicadas or birds going to bed for the night. Camping helps reset your circadian rhythm, so you’ll feel more refreshed and reset after just a night or two. In addition, taking a couple of days away from your mobile device or other devices will help you feel more relaxed.
All the bonding
There are very few activities that will create instant team building like camping does. When all the devices are put away and you’re simply forced to stay in an area for a few days together, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to truly talk to each other and get to know one another. Meal times might take a while longer as you have to cook together over a fire or camp stove, and a little hard work with cleaning up and setting up camp can help you work through obstacles together.
Camping lets you do your trip, your way. If you want a weekend destination full of fishing, or have a wild boar hunting trip with your mates, camping is a great way to fit all of that in. Weekend hunting can be a great camping trip, and can easily and quickly be planned without too much thought.
Hotels, motels, Holiday Inns
Great for the budget
Hotels and motel accommodation will often be the most economical option for what you get. A clean, private room, in the heart of the city, without costing what a luxury hotel will, is a great option.
Standards of service
You can usually expect that in a hotel you’ll be given a towel, free soaps and shampoos, and linen service each day if required. These standards are pretty typical of all hotels despite their star ratings or location, which makes them reliable.
Hostels: not just for the kids
There’s no question that a hostel will usually be the cheapest option for a city or suburban area. Hostels today have plenty of private rooms as well as dorms, making it easy for you to maintain your privacy and get a good night’s sleep while saving money, without the snoring bunkmate or late partygoers.
One of our favourite benefits from hostels is the activities they often arrange for guests. You can choose a more party friendly hostel, which will arrange more partying activities like karaoke or drinks at a local pub. Other hostels might arrange doing a local activity together, like flamenco dancing in Spain, or a food tour in Italy.
We hope that this has helped you decide exactly what works best for you on your upcoming trip. If not, why not try a mix of all of the above and see what you enjoy? You never know, that camping trip may change you into a camper for life!