We travel to explore, learn, and grow. And even though we spend our travel days visiting museums, relaxing on a beach, or dining in great restaurants, it is important to have a clean, safe, reliable place to come back to at the end of the day.
When choosing your accommodations, it’s important to think about what you’re looking to do on your trip. Are you staying in a big city with no access to a car? Perhaps it’s best to get a place close to public transportation. Need somewhere with five beds? You probably want to look at places other than a hotel. Whatever you need while traveling, be sure to follow these five tips when looking for your next travel accommodation.
If You’re Looking For A Home Away From Home
Extremely popular sites such as Airbnb, Travelmob, HomeAway.com, and 9flats.com offer travelers the option to stay in other people’s own homes. With shared rooms, private rooms, or whole house options, you’ll be able to find the house, cottage, apartment, or bungalow you’ve been looking for.
The best part about using this type of lodging is the ability to search for exactly what you need. Need parking? Looking for Wi-Fi? Hoping for a washer and dryer inside your place? All of these become realistic options when opting to stay in a place like this.
If You’re Looking For A Quick Night’s Sleep
Need to travel to another city but don’t have time to spare for a full night’s rest in a hotel? A sleeper train might be the best way to go.
Kill two birds with one stone: travel while you sleep. Nowadays trains with sleeper cars are the way to travel in luxury. Some rooms have more than one bed, and some even have their own private bathroom — including a shower!
If You’re Traveling With A Large Group
Traveling with a large family or group of friends? Staying in multiple hotel rooms can get pricey. Sometimes it's better to all stay in the same place: a house.
Many times in touristy places with lots of activity it’s easy to find timeshares or houses available to rent. Home Exchange is one of the largest communities of housing swaps on the planet. VRBO lets you search for properties that host the exact number of people you need. Have a pet you’re bringing along? They have houses that allow pets, too.
Staying with a large group in a vacation home provides many benefits a hotel cannot. Some have their own private pool, access to bikes, and even their own boat and dock. Check out these options next time you and your guests need their own space and privacy.
If You’re Willing To Gamble
If you’re feeling lucky, several travel sites allow users to bid on their travel. Whether you’re booking a hotel for a one-night stay or a week-long getaway at a resort, you can bid what you think your stay is worth.
The bid has to be reasonable, or else the site could deny your offer. The other catch is that most times, you don’t know exactly where – or what – you’re bidding on.
The sites allow you to choose the type of hotel in a relative location. They only reveal the name of the actual hotel you’ve bid on after the transaction has gone through. And once you see the hotel, there’s no taking it back.
If You’re Looking For Something Off The Grid
Camping is a great way to get away that’s cheap. The great thing about camping is that there are several options depending on your level of comfort with the great outdoors.
Looking for a night under the stars? Purchase (or borrow) a tent and bring along a few sleeping bags. Not as adventurous? Cabins are a great way to stay in the outdoors without having to sleep on the ground.
Confused about where to start? Campgrounds are usually very easy to find and are affordable ways to visit new places. Not all offer trailers or campers, though so make sure you’re all set before you leave.
A great place to look is to check out the U.S.’s great state parks. Many offer a wide variety of accommodations that range from lodges with lots of people nearby to small cabins in the woods miles away from civilization.
Whatever you need in your next travel accommodation, be sure to explore all the options available. By prioritizing your needs and using the right tools to find your perfect place, you’ll end up with your dream hotel, house, or apartment on your next trip.