So you are planning a holiday, gap year or just a month or two travelling and you are wondering what is the best accommodation for you. I have broken it down into seven different categories to best suit your needs.
1. All-Inclusive Packages
Use this option if you are booking short holidays or package holidays. This is a good choice if you do not want the hassle or responsibility of booking the different aspects of your holiday individually. If anything goes wrong or you need to contact somebody for help your travel agent is readily on hand. Go with a reputable company though like Thomson Holidays (TUI).
TUI are ABTA and ATOL protected. Always make sure your travel agent is covered for both of these. We have all heard about flight companies going bust and holiday goers being stranded. You want to make sure you are covered for any outcome.
Even though you may opt for an all-inclusive package you must remember to buy travel insurance. You do not need to use insurance provided by your travel agent, but you must get some. Check for the best policy using a search engine such as Confused.com to get the best deals.
2. Booking.com – bookings for under 30 days
We have been using Booking.com throughout our journey. The layout of the website works so well for us. I have compared the prices on various different websites and Booking.com always seems to come out on top. The one thing I really like about this website it that it has a ‘free cancellation’ option. This way when you see a really good deal, but your plans are not yet concrete, you can still book and secure a room. If your plans do happen to change or you find an even better offer, then you can simply cancel free of charge. They also offer a ‘refer a friend’ bonus. If your friend clicks on your referral and they fulfil their stay you will both each receive £15.
3. Airbnb – for cheap nights and/or bigger rooms
Sometimes you are just looking for a cheap room to lay your head. Or maybe you are looking for a bigger apartment than the standard hotel room. This is where Airbnb comes in.
To create a little extra income people will either rent out part of their own house or let the whole building through Airbnb. This is more beneficial for them than trying to rent it out using the traditional methods and you can take advantage of this. I know plenty of friends that use this company. The only reason I haven’t taken advantage of this option yet is due to my need to stay flexible. Airbnb just doesn’t have the same cancellation polices as Booking.com.
Perhaps you even have a room you are not utilising?
4. Couchsurfing – for really cheap nights
There is a website called Couchsurfing.com which allows travellers all over the world to connect. It works by people allowing travellers to come and crash at their place. The host is usually a fellow traveller as they understand the need to have a free night. Sometimes things don’t go to plan and you just need somewhere to sleep, perhaps you missed a flight. Couchsurfing is a free service, but you can upgrade if you wish. They do have a section on how to keep yourself safe and what to look for in a host. I have not tried this out, but I hear about it often. It seems to be an ever-increasing popular option with travellers on a budget.
Never disregard a chance to camp. Especially if it makes your stay exceptionally cheaper. We camped on Easter Island for 10 days. This saved us a lot of money that would have been wasted on accommodation. This is a great option if you do not intend to spend a lot of time in your hotel. You don’t need fancy or expensive camping gear. We bought ours from the reputable yet affordable Mountain Warehouse.
We loved our time on Easter Island and have kept hold of our gear ready for some more camping in the USA.
6. Work Away – for longer stays
If you are planning on travelling for longer periods of time and you don’t mind doing a little bit of work, then I highly recommend Workaway.info. I have many friends who have used this company with no problems at all. The annual fee is around £30 which I think is incredibly reasonable. This allows hosts to be able to get a bit of free work and in return they provide you with accommodation and sometimes food. You do have to read the individual advert for specific details and then apply. You will connect with the host before any decision is made. This gives you chance to introduce yourself and ask any questions you may have. If I use this in the future I will update this section with a review.
Trusted House Sitters – for those who are more flexible (and love animals)
If you want to visit a certain country but you are a bit more flexible with dates you should take a look at Trusted House Sitters. This option allows travellers to stay free of charge at a hosts property in exchange for house and pet sitting.
Please only use this option if you have a genuine love for animals. If you are using it simply as a means to have a place to stay at night, while you go out all day and sightsee, then you are better finding another option. I think this is great for people who really want to get to know an area. Perhaps you are thinking of moving. Or if you need some downtime between your hectic travel plans. It costs around £90 per year to join. You will need to create a profile and apply for any positions you think are suitable for. Again, you will connect with the house owner before any decisions are made. I love this idea and cannot wait to try this myself. I used to own a pet sitting service before I decided to go travelling and I am missing my furry companions. My partner doesn’t quite cut it.
Some of my links are affiliates and they may or may not pay me a small fee for any sales made. However, I will only ever recommend those that I have tried/tested or thoroughly researched. There will be no extra charge for you. Any amount I make, however small, will help my blog to continue to spread the veggie way. Friends not Food!