While ‘holiday’ seems to relate to ‘stress-free’, booking one can actually be quite overwhelming. One of the main choices will be your accommodation – do you splurge on an all-inclusive hotel that backs onto the beach or are you going to sleep tight in a 13-bed dorm?
Will it be early nights of peace and quiet or staying up late by the campfire? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, with this easy guide to help you decide your hostel or hotel.
Where are you travelling?
Do some research. What are the hotels like in the area you’re going to?
They might be expensive and basic – a comfortable metropolis designed for the businessman.
Or they might be affordable, personalised and homely.
Consider the different options and their locations. Is it worth having less luxury to be in the city-centre? Are there public transport links? Is it in a touristy area? Gain a sense of what’s available to you before booking anything.
How much money do you have?
Sounds like a given but it is something really important to consider.
Draw up a rough budget of your expenses (food, transport, sightseeing, etc.) and work out how much you have to spare.
Staying in a hostel will spare up some more dollar for day trips and souvenirs.
Alternatively, hotels might offer inclusive rates or package deals.
How long are you travelling for?
When thinking of budget, you’ve also got to consider how far that money needs to stretch.
Have you been saving all year for your one-week off of work? Maybe treat yourself to a hotel with a pool and white fluffy towels.
If you’re on a longer trip (like a gap-year or a month inter-railing), then it’s probably sensible to look into hostels.
Who are you going with?
While hostels are a fab cheap alternative to hotels, usually the cheapest options are shared dormitories.
This is great for a backpacker travelling solo. Not so good if you’re going on holiday with your mum. Single-room subsidies can sometimes be just as pricey as hotels, so if you’re travelling with a partner then bear this in mind.
What kind of experience do you want?
Hotels and hostels will vary hugely, and just as important as it is to choose between hotel and hostel, choosing your exact abode can be a difficult decision.
Look thoroughly at review websites, and prioritise what you’re looking for.
If the main purpose of accommodation is to get a good night sleep, then you don’t want to book a hostel that has a beer-pong championship and karaoke every evening.
But if your main goal is to meet fellow travellers, then a lively events schedule could be just right for you.
Consider location, facilities and aesthetics. Identify which things are most important to you, and on what you can compromise.
Not convinced either way? Don’t worry, there are plenty of other options.
If you’re after the comfort of a hotel without the high prices, look into B&Bs.
If you want a cheap, authentic travel experience and want to get away from other travellers, then consider finding a home-stay.
Looking for home away from home? Try apartment rentals.
In can be daunting looking for travel accommodation, the amount of choice can be overwhelming. But with some careful investigation and our handy guide, finding your dream holiday is easier than you might think.