No one can deny that travelling is a pleasure, but we can’t say the same when it comes to actually planning the trip. With so much to prepare, sometimes things get left until the last minute and we end up spending more than we intended.
Booking flights, paying luggage fees, organising itineraries, excursions, and all that transport... just thinking about it all is enough to make you crave a holiday. Yet, perhaps top of the list – once you’ve chosen your destination and booked your flights, of course – is to find holiday accommodation.
To avoid getting stung by high prices, it’s a good idea to set your maximum budget before starting to do your research. Of course, this is up to you and only you can decide how much you want to spend. With Spaces, you can set money aside from your main account to make sure you don’t touch it before your trip – all you have to do is create a Space, give it a name (for example ‘Marrakesh’), then drag over and drop the amount you want to keep it safe for later.
Which type of accommodation is within my budget?
Although your budget will greatly depend on local prices at your destination, the type of accommodation you choose to opt for is another factor. Rest assured, however, wherever you go, you’ll find at least a handful of good options – unless you’ve chosen a very remote location in the middle of the Sahara Desert, that is.
Below, we’ve compiled a selection of options to help you choose the best one for your next adventure. To make it a little easier, our choices are ordered from most to least expensive, allowing you to end the list on a high (believe it or not, you’ll even have the chance to stay somewhere without spending a penny!). Take a look:
1. A hotel, where comfort comes first
Yes, no surprises there. As one of the most comfortable options, it is unfortunately also one of the most expensive. Providing all the necessary services, such as cleaning, room service, a restaurant and added security, a hotel is a safe bet for those who don’t want to worry about a thing. Recommended if you’re travelling alone or as a couple, and for short stays and city breaks.
2. Aparthotel, best of both worlds
Combining the advantages of a hotel’s services with the freedom of an apartment, an aparthotel feels like you’re renting your own place, but without a permanent contract. Highly recommended for longer stays – for example if you’re planning to spend 2 weeks sunning yourself on a Mediterranean beach – and especially if you’re travelling as a family or a group of friends.
Most will offer facilities such as a pool, a restaurant and private security. And, guess what? You won’t have to worry about making the bed because a cleaning service is usually included.
3. Airbnb, a home away from home
Airbnb was created when the founders set up an air mattress in their apartment to make a bit of extra cash. Yes, we know – we were pretty amazed when we finally found out where the name comes from too.
Years on, and this popular platform offers apartments and private rooms at accessible prices, although rates vary a lot depending on the type of apartment you choose. Best of all, you can reserve using the app, and you’re in direct contact with the owners from the moment you make the booking. This choice is highly recommended for couples and groups because, like an aparthotel, you can enjoy a lot more freedom than if you were staying at a hotel.
4. Guesthouses, for that personal touch
A guesthouse somewhat resembles a hotel, but offers a slightly more personal touch at a lower price. Although this type of accommodation usually provides fewer services than a hotel (don’t bank on having a pool to splash about in or a fancy restaurant to dine in), what guesthouses lack in luxury, they make up for in a more personal atmosphere. Let’s put it this way – if you stay here, you’re much more likely to have a chat with the owners and pick up some local tips.
Of course, you’ll still have the privacy and comfort of your own private room, but you won’t be paying extra for luxury facilities. If you’re planning to be out and about all day, a guesthouse will provide you with a great place to recharge your batteries – an ideal option for couples on a budget.
5. Hostels, cheap as chips
As original, budget-friendly holiday accommodation options, hostels have long been the go-to for backpackers. You pay for a bed in a shared dormitory, and bathrooms are communal. Usually, there’s also a kitchen for guests so you don’t have to blow your budget on eating out. And with a laid-back vibe to boot, it’s a great way to meet people if you’re travelling solo.
However, as it’s one of the cheapest options around, we highly recommend reading a few reviews before you book, because some hostels aren’t very... luxurious. Politely put.
Cheap? Absolutely. Hygienic? Here’s hoping.
6. Couchsurfing, because the best things in life are free
You can’t get cheaper than this – it’s completely free! Through the Couchsurfing platform, people provide you with a free place to stay in their homes, typically offering a sofa (hence the name).
It’s a great way to meet new people, find out more about the local culture and, best of all, you won’t spend a penny on accommodation. And you’ll get to experience your destination like the locals do. Bear in mind though, although Couchsurfing is suitable for all budgets, it might not suit everyone’s tastes. Why not try it out and tell us what you think?
So, now you know. Set a budget for your next trip, plan ahead and do your research – and you’ll find that you probably won’t need to overspend a single penny on accommodation at all. Good luck!