Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Perfect Accommodation Style


Today’s post was written by guest blogger Karen Stephenson. You can find her on Instagram at @wren_stephani

So you’ve picked where you want to go on your next trip. The next step is lining up your ideal accommodation. It is usually best to organize this before you book in all your activities. Otherwise, you may find yourself without shelter, or worse yet, blowing your budget on overpriced accommodation because you were already restricted on dates.

Before we get into the confusion of the best websites to use to book holiday accommodation, you should sit down and decide what type suits you best. This will depend on your personal travel style, as well as the location you have chosen. For a long time, we only had limited hotel options and hostels for gap year travelers. But in recent years, with the growth of companies like Airbnb, you can basically rent a converted shed at your destination.

Financial Needs

How much of your travel budget are you willing to spend on accommodation? If it is a high percentage, then this choice is obviously important to you. You may be planning to spend a lot of your time in your lodging, or you are really looking forward to a good night’s sleep. If this is the case, it is best to look into hotel or apartment options. These will be more expensive, but you will feel more comfortable during your stay.

Alternatively, a hostel may be a better option if you have less money available or would prefer to spend more of you money on activities, food, and entertainment. In a hostel, you usually share a dormitory or room with a few others, which means your personal space can be limited.

Accommodation Hostel
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Do You Need Space?

A hostel is also a good option for those that are really only looking for a place to rest their head at night. Someone that will spend most of their time off exploring the city, partaking in activities all day and happy to grab food on the go.

If this does not sound like your ideal holiday, you may be better to secure an apartment or hotel with your own space. Certainly if you are planning on hosting any family dinners or doing work while away, an apartment will give you the additional kitchen or table space you need.

If you want the extra facilities but have a tighter budget, sharing a house with a local through a company like Airbnb may be a great option. The cost is often lower than a private apartment, but you will have access to all the home comforts of a kitchen, living area, etc. Be sure to check on each listing what facilities you have access to, as this is the the host’s discretion.

Accommodation Bedroom
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How Social Do You Want to Be?

Are you looking to meet new people on your travels, or would you prefer a place to chill out alone at the end of the day? It is easier to meet new people sharing a room in a hostel than staying in a hotel or private accommodation. Shared accommodation like Airbnb offer a happy medium. You have the opportunity to meet a local host with local knowledge but still have some of your own space. This new option appeals to both solo and group travelers.

Accommodation with friends
Photo by Katy Belcher on Unsplash

Security Needs

Feeling safe in your chosen accommodation is very important. Think about what that means to you. Do you feel safer being surrounded by people or are you more secure if you have solo access to your room? If you are concerned about your belongings, make sure your hostel or hotel has a safe or locker for your valuables.

The one drawback of Airbnb is that they are subject to fewer regulations. If you are sharing an apartment with the host, you may not have a lock your room door or a safe for your belongings. This is not necessarily a less secure option, but be careful with your choice of host and pay attention to the reviews.

On top of this, Airbnb hosts can sometimes cancel your booking whereas hotels and hostels usually will not (or they will have an obligation to book your elsewhere). This has been known to ruin people’s holiday plans. Pay attention to the cancellation policy wherever you book, and if you have a lower risk appetite, stick to the more regulated hotel chains.

Accommodation Venice
Photo by Rebe Adelaida on Unsplash

How Long is Your Trip?

While sharing a room for some of us can be relatively easy for a couple nights, it may be a completely different story if you are staying for two weeks or a month. Always bear in mind how long you are planning to stay in your selected accommodation and whether your needs may change over the course of this period. Often, the longer we stay in one place, the more we need it to feel like home. This is why people that travel for long periods, passing slowly through different cities, will often choose a private apartment rather than a bed in a hostel dormitory.

In the end, it all comes down to person preference. Indeed, you may find that you pick a private apartment for a romantic trip away with your partner, but a hostel for a solo trip to Bali. What works for you on one trip may not work on the next. Luckily, we now live in a world where there are so many accommodation options available that you will be able to find one that fits your needs perfectly.