Image by Francesca Tirico
Words by Eve Davies
One of the first questions asked when planning a trip is: where will we stay?
Whether a city break, beach holiday, or adventurous expedition, accommodation holds the potential of making or breaking a trip. With so many options available, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of each. I have looked into hostels, hotels, and Airbnb to help you plan the picture-perfect, post-lockdown trip we’ve all been waiting for.
Hostels are an affordable option if you are travelling solo and looking to meet new people. After all, what better way is there to get to know someone than sharing a bedroom? Most hostels have communal spaces: kitchens, bars, cafes, and games rooms, which are great places to meet people from all around the globe, hear and share some incredible stories. Some hostels even include breakfast, which is handy if on a budget.
I know the prospect of sharing a confined living space with several strangers can be daunting for many people, for many reasons. In such situations, one could consider the gendered smaller room options that most hostels now offer. If you are travelling as a couple, be it friends or boyfriend/girlfriend, and still want the social experience, you could consider a hostel private room – but be aware these can be just as expensive as a hotel.
Some people may feel uncomfortable leaving their belongings in a room of strangers while out exploring all day. Even though everybody is in the same boat in hostels, I would advise not leaving anything too valuable unattended.
If a hostel sounds like your thing, the best place to browse modern, quirky stays is at www.hostelworld.com!
Air bnb (https://www.airbnb.co.uk) is an online marketplace for lodging and vacation rentals, primarily offering homestays at relatively low cost. From farm cottages, to boujee beach houses, log cabins, inner-city apartments and penthouses, Airbnb offers a medley of stays. It is a great option when travelling as a couple or group. When the cost is split, it often works out cheaper than most hostels, and with this comes personal space for you and your fellow travellers.
Airbnb is known for quirky, modish rentals. The website boasts endless authentically stylish apartments from all around the world – there’s almost too much choice! It also offers ‘experiences’ meaning you can book onto day trips and events alongside your accommodation. Keeping all bookings on one website is inevitably a great way to remain organised and stress free – nobody wants to waste time on holiday scrolling through their inbox for a lost booking confirmation.
Another advantage of Airbnb is that they are hosted by local property owners. Some like to welcome you in person, others leave directions to a key box. Either way, be it in person or over the messenger feature on the website, the hosts are usually willing to offer advice about the local area to help you make the most out of your stay.
Airbnb offer a home away from home, so it is important to remember that there will be some domestic responsibilities during your stay. Most Airbnbs provide a cleaning service between visitors but not daily, meaning it is up to the guest to keep the place tidy. If you like the idea of cooking for yourself whilst away (and don’t mind doing the washing up), Airbnb should suit you. If not, a hotel is probably more your thing.
Hotels are hospitality masters and are best when you want to wind down and recharge during your time away. Hotels come with several luxury amenities, including spas, pools, and fitness studios. Plus, with 24/7 staff, there is always someone around to assist you, be it bringing a drink to your table, breakfast to your bed, or folding your pyjamas. Most hotels offer room service so you will not be in trouble when hunger knocks late at night. Many hotels have a restaurant on site, with most offering package deals, and are commended for their food speciality. So, you needn’t worry about washing up or locating the nearest supermarket.
Hotel cleaning services usually come daily to make beds, replenish supplies, clean and tidy the room. What better feeling is there than returning from a tiring day in the city or on the beach to find your bed made, clothes folded, and a pearly white towel waiting for you to shower?
The majority of hotels have high security measures in place to ensure you and your belongings remain safe throughout your stay. Although some facilities are shared – for example pools – guests are granted privacy when in their room, unlike in hostel dorms.
Expectantly, the luxury hotels described can be pricey and therefore more suited to those with a higher budget. Hotels are great for families, those travelling for work, and elder couples, but younger travellers may prefer the convivial, sociable experience of hostels.
In conclusion, there are many aspects that will contribute towards your decision. For example, your budget, whether you are travelling solo or with company, and what kind of trip you are taking. Some important questions to ask yourself before booking your accommodation include: Do I want to meet new people? Do I mind cooking and tidying for myself? Or do I want to take time to relax and recharge?