Recently I had the lovely experience of a fire alarm sounding for over five hours at my charming Airbnb (Yes you read that right: five hours. I wish that was an exaggeration…). I figured if I had to live through that nightmare, I might as well make the best of the situation and write a post to help you avoid ending up in horror-movie-worthy accommodation. So here are the tips and tricks I have learnt throughout my travels. I hope they help!
1. Read the reviews!
It’s easy to be convinced by a five-star rating or put off by two-stars, but always take a minute to read the reviews as they’re a much better indicator of what the place will be like. Places with lower ratings might actually be better for you… hear me out. Someone might be leaving one-star reviews because the room was too small for their taste, or they didn’t realize the bathrooms were shared, or maybe the accommodation is right on a street with a busy night-life, etc. If you’re on a budget and you plan to spend all you time exploring anyway, you probably don’t need a massive ensuite room. Perhaps you’ve come to this particular place specifically for the night-life others complain about. What I’m getting at is that what’s a problem for one person might not be to you. So, read those reviews! See if the accommodation is actually one-star-worthy or if it’s just people being fussy.
2. Location! Location! Location!
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s always a good idea to stay just outside of the city. Even if it means you’ll have to put down some cash for an Uber or a tram, you really do save a lot of money overall by staying in a cheaper area. Realistically you probably won’t be running back to your accommodation that often, you’ll be too busy exploring. So, pack a bag with everything you’ll need for the day and get on that Uber/tram!
3. Hotels, hostels, airbnbs…
This one is mainly down to personal preference. Airbnbs are becoming an increasingly popular choice, understandably so, but just make sure it’s a reputable place and that there is someone you can contact should you run into any problems. Preferably this will be someone who actually answers your calls and doesn’t just pick up to immediately hang up like the lovely landlord I got to deal with… Hostels are of course perfect if you’re on a tight budget, or perhaps you’re travelling alone and you’d like to meet some new people. Even if you end up with a weird room-mate, the low cost usually makes for a pretty sweet deal. Hotels, despite being the pricier option, are always a safe bet. Depending where I’m travelling, I sometimes opt for hotel because they safety they offer.
Those are my top three tips on choosing accommodation. Do you have any more? Let us know all your secrets in the comments below!