The three major things you have to consider when planning for a trip are: 1)Airfare 2)Pocket Money 3)Accommodations. If you budget wisely for these three, then you're all set to travel! Although numbers 1&2 are very important, decent digs is what I value the most.I've been getting lots of queries from my darling readers, asking for tips on accommodations. So I've decided to narrow it down into these basic pointers which hopefully you'll find helpful. These are the general things you must consider when planning a trip.
Is it centrally located? Are there bus/train stations located near the area? Is it a safe neighborhood? Are you looking for peace and quiet in a residential neighborhood? Or do you crave the noise and the chaos of a busy nightlife street? Is there a mini mart close to your property?
These are questions you need to ask when hunting for accommodations. It could be as simple as doing a google map search to see where this hotel is located. Investigate the landmarks nearby and you will have an idea of what kind of area you will be staying in. If the hotel is surrounded by banks and offices, then this shows you that it is more of a business hotel. If it's surrounded by night clubs and pubs, then you should be ready for sleepless nights with pumping music. Be sure to check if your property provides easy access to bus stops and train stations, by commuting via public transportation this immediately cuts your costs in half. But if you prefer a more idyllic and secluded place, then be sure to research for car rental services nearby.
I don't need a gold-plated toilet bowl (although my pompous tush would appreciate that!) and swarovski chandeliers in my room, comfort and cleanliness are always the winners for me. Most people take this for granted but trust me, a toilet that doesn't flush or a bed filled with dust mites will cause you unnecessary stress while on vacation..so make sure you do a full inspection online and read up on the reviews of each hotel.
3. VALUE FOR MONEY
When you have the winning combo of Location, Cleanliness and Comfort..all you have to consider next is the PRICE. If the price is commensurate to the quality of the hotel, then it becomes a no brainer! To make it a true bargain, it's best to consider the secret add ons as well like internet access, complimentary breakfast, airport shuttle services, etc. As you all know I'm a savvy budget traveler but a very discriminating one at that, I work hard to save up for my travels so it's important for me to get my money's worth! When it comes to accommodations, I always recommend short term vacation rentals. I still stay in hotels from time to time but apartment rentals are quickly becoming much more competitive in the market, offering charming and comfortable alternatives. Since most hotels are overly priced and extremely cramped, it's much more comfortable to stay in an apartment. Most vacation rentals come with kitchenettes, washing machines, ironing boards, internet access, dining areas which could make you feel much more at home even if you're far away from home. You can even cook your own meals which will will save you loads of moolah! Plus apartments make you feel more like a local which adds to the appeal of travel.
Here are some sinppets of my favorite short-term rental experiences:
Right at home in our Malta apartment
Living ala-Mama Mia in Santorini
Feeling Zen in a local Ryokan in Kyoto
Bunking in Copenhagen with my sister
For years, we've been kicking it old school and researching for hours for decent apartment/studio rentals. It's quite tedious to look for properties online especially since most hosts don't bother to advertise on the internet. Years ago we had to literally fax them an inquiry or make a long distance call just to book a room! But I discovered a new site that makes it much easier and much more secure to book with vacation rental hosts. It's called ROOMORAMA. It's an international booking service that allows you to book for short term rentals. They have properties all over the world, so all you have to do is key in your destination of choice and your preferred dates and a whole list of properties will appear. They offer different types of rentals, from studio apartments in the city to full beach houses, each catering to different tastes and budgets. On the right side of the screen, you'll see the Roomorama booking widget on my sidebar..give it a go and start daydreaming about your next vacay!
Patrick and I have been dreaming about our honeymoon already! Although it's several months away, we've been saving up for it this early on. Instead of staying in a regular hotel, we're choosing a ROOMORAMA apartment instead. We want to have a memorable travel experience so picking a charming flat with lots of character would definitely add to the romance of our honeymoon! Yihee!!! We haven't figured out which destination to visit yet (there are sooooo many beautiful places to choose from!!!) so in the meantime, I'll share some of our favorite ROOMORAMA picks with you every month..that way, we can all fantasize about travel together! :) Sounds like a plan???!
I'm giving away a
gift certificate from Roomorama
which can be used for your next vacation!
1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below.
2. Click LIKE on the Roomorama Facebook Page.
3. Answer this simple question:
"Which Roomorama destination would you like to visit and WHY?"
Post your answer on MY Facebook Wall and add the hashtag #roomorama. Contest ends on April 3, 2012.
"Hi Patty! I want to visit Hong Kong. It's definitely my dream honeymoon destination. Pls help me get a gc from #roomorama"