the smart guide to travel accommodation

Among the questions I receive the most when I come back from a trip is “where did you stay – how was the accommodation”. After “how was the trip” and “how much did it cost”, reserving accommodation seems to be pretty important for a lot of people. As I always wanted to create a short series of posts regarding the basic “how-to” for a trip, I think it’s a good idea to start with booking a room.

picture of the pool at Nomadas hostel in Merida, Mexico
Picture of Nomadas hostel in Merida, Mexico. A hostel with pool, evening salsa lessons and guitar concerts – what not to like?

Recommendations  from people I meet on the road, or friends back home, or hostels or guesthouses that I find on booking websites. The possibilities abound – but how to chose what is “best”? After all, someone might want a quiet room with A/C, while I might prefer a bunk bed in a shared dorm room. And of course once I start reading the different reviews the job of booking travel accommodation becomes pretty difficult.

I like Hostelworld website because it offers me a lot of tools and criteria to find the perfect travel accommodation. I used Hostelworld for a ton of reservations – for Spain, Mexico, China and they always proved reliable and easy to work with. Even when I needed to quickly make a reservation in order to apply for the Chinese visa, Hostelwrold was an easy choice.

Looking for travel accommodation in London, for example, I start by looking at the general availability of rooms for the days I want. Also, this general list of hostels gives me an idea of the price range. Afterwards, I start to narrow the search a bit: for me the important thing is to stay as close to the main attractions as possible and also have the possibility to meet new people. While hostels are great for this, not all are created equal. So I select only travel accommodations that have a review score greater than let’s say 70%, I skip hotels, campsites and apartments, maybe tweak a bit the district I want to search for – and see what I can book. The only thing left is to read some of the reviews.

So – searching for a place to stay in London took me less than 10 minutes, and I was able to find exactly the type of place I want to call “home” (for a few days at least). While everyone might have different likes and dislikes in accommodations, I hope this short post offered one more tool that might be helpful.

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