And so it goes… my second post, this one is about how to find the perfect accommodation for you.
Do you like quietness? Expensive room service? Or just a place to crash at night? In this marvelous world of globalization rest assure that there is the perfect place for you to enjoy that very well deserved vacation.
First things first: always use sites that you trust, and read the reviews of the people. If there are no reviews, or negative: MOVE TO THE NEXT OPTION
What type of traveler are you?
- The 5-starts traveler: You love the pampering of expensive ropes, 24/7 room service, and someone making your room every time you leave it. There are several options in every major city. My recommendation is stick to one hotel chain so you make reward points, and eventually, redeem it for a new vacation. Marriot has an alliance with Star Alliance (United, Singapore Airlines, ANA, etc) and has all types of hotels, so it is a good option. But because of the name of this blog is “on a Budget” won’t go into much more details (Use Agoda, Booking, Expedia or directly to the hotel web-page).
- The “I want a homey feeling” traveler: Now you can rent homes/apartments/rooms within homes, with several comments and ratings, which will help you a lot make the right choice. (Airbnb or Booking)
- “I just need a place to crash with my group” traveler: A lot of options of 3-stars hotel that will give you a good bed and a nice hot shower. This is a good option for parties of 2 or 3. (Agoda or Booking)
- Party of One Traveller: You can always find places like hostels in any city. The place will give you a bed, and usually the bathrooms are shared. I have to admit I was freaked out about the concept, but I have found very good options where bathrooms are like Club House type, and very confortable beds, so, if you just need some place to store your bag and sleep (cause you leave at 8.00 and come back at 12.00 midnight) you’ll find yourself only paying USD 25/50 per night in the top cities. If you are in Japan, try the capsules! It is a great experience. (Agoda, Booking, Expedia or Airbnb)
Ok, where can you find that spot?
Airbnb: I think I don’t have to explain to much about it, but just in case, this is a site where people like you and me put on rental their summer house, their apartment while they are in a very long trip, etc.
- PROs: Great for big groups, more than 3 it will usually be cheaper than any hotel. You have the confidence that if it is something def not in line to your expectations, you’ll get the money back. Can contact home owner and ask as many questions as you like. And it has the local feeling that no hotel gives you.
- CONS: It can be toooo homey, I once found cloth and all the personal effects of the owner; and it can get weird. No room service, you will have to do the cleaning. Read carefully all the details of the apartment (got once to one without elevator and my dad could not go up through the stairs, and it was a warning)
Agoda.com: the BEST KEPT Secret if the internet. I have found great hotels in San Francisco and Kyoto in this site, with incredible good prices.
- PROs: It is hard to get anything cheaper. You can pay once you arrived in most of the reservations. Haven’t had any issue with any hotel. It is very user friendly.
- CONs: it is only for hotels (even thought you can book for large parties); and you don’t get points or anything on top.
Booking.com: I prefer Booking than Expedia if I am just looking for hotels (and the price is the same as Agoda). Why?
- PROs: very user-friendly. Competitive price. You can search houses, hotels, etc and you get points by booking with them.
- CONs: pretty much is a great site, just that you can get it cheaper in Agoda 🙂
- PROs: It searches in several sites at the same time (You save a lot of time). The search is done in a map, so it is easier to get the places in the area that you want.
- CONs: For some reason, I get lose in the middle of the search, or sometimes the prices are higher than in the actual web site.
- PROs: Include search in houses and hotels. You will find great discounts if you book hotel+something (car, air ticket or both). One of the places with the most amount of reviews, so it will be easier to see if you will like it or not.
- CONs: The mobile app does not have as much functionalities like the web page. And in the web page I still find difficult to understand the difference between customer ratings and hotel raiting.
Any recommendation from your side? I will try it in my next trip!