Booking Accommodation is one of my favourite parts of planning a trip. Ok, besides watching Anthony Bourdain to scrub up on what to eat, looking at beautiful Instagram pics of the destination and finding tips on youtube.
There are so many accommodation options these days, from the apartment to the boutique hotel. But with lot’s of options it’s easier to get lost along the way! Here are our tips to finding and booking accommodation that’s right for you..
1. Get Inspired
Search on Instagram for the destination you want to go or for travel blogger accounts and accommodation accounts like Airbnb or booking sites.
Look at some of your favourite Pinterest boards for that area, and you might find some great recommendations.
2. Select Type Of Accommodation
These days we are spoilt for choice! Staying in an apartment has become so much easier with Airbnb, boutique hotels are taking over the world one small little hotel at a time, and global hotel brands are becoming more innovative than ever before. Obviously there is even more to choose from, but we have focused on these, as they are some of our favourites. This is definitely a personal preference, but if you’re still not sure, here’s some pro’s and con’s of each…
Staying In An Apartment
Pros: More of a home-like and local experience, get local recommendations from your host, you can catch up on your washing (for free), and go to the supermarket and cook a meal at home.
Cons: Arrival time could be narrow/specific, which may be a problem if you arrive late at night or if you arrive early you may need to wait. Need to have some form of communication to be able to contact the host prior to stay. No guarantee of things like speed of internet and condition of the house, although fair assumptions can be made based on reviews. Location may be more suburban but you should have a choice of more central ones too.
Staying In A Boutique Hotel
Pros: Usually offers a personalised and authentic experience with a unique design.
Cons: May not have a hotel loyalty program, no brand standard for quality expectations, although assumptions can be made based on reviews.
Staying In A Chain Hotel
Pros: Brand standard quality to be expected, usually well located, have hotel loyalty programs, and usually plenty of facilities and a range of services.
3. Booking Accommodation Websites We Love
There are so many booking accommodation websites out there that it can become pretty overwhelming. And I don’t think there’s a definitive answer as to which one is the best. Some might specialise in certain types of accommodation whilst others may be best for a certain area, and sometimes it comes down to plain old personal preference… just because.
So here are some of our favourites and why we love booking accommodation through them…
Hotels Combined – The Comparison Website To Ensure Value
This website compares other booking sites prices for the same properties, to show you the best deal.
Booking.Com – The Huge Range + Number Of Properties
We find Booking.Com to have a huge range of properties all over the world, and once you’ve booked with them once, it’s easy to log back in and not have to re-enter all your details.
Agoda – Our #1 Pick For Asia
From our experience, Agoda has had unique properties in Asia and competitive prices.
Jetsetter – Curated Collection of Hotels That Are A Little Bit Fancy
Categorised into Royal, Posh and Brilliant, Jetsetters collection of hotels make your job easy if you’re looking for a top hotel.
Mr And Mrs Smith – Curated Collection Of Boutique Hotels
A hand-picked collection of boutique hotels across the world.
Airbnb – Stay In Local Apartments & Homes
4. How To Get Value For Money
There are many ways to get value for money when booking accommodation, but here are some of our favourites…
1. If you stay with a chain hotel or use a booking website that has a loyalty program, joining is usually free and that way you can collect Loyalty points to go towards future stays.
2. Using hotel comparison websites like Hotels Combined can show you where to find the cheapest deal.
3. Signing up to travel websites to receive their newsletters, as they will occasionally have deals in them.
4. Staying at hotels where you can earn frequent flyer points. These points can go towards future travel.
5. Staying at hotels where you can pay with frequent flyer points. Just make sure you check if you are getting good value for your miles before booking.
6. Be flexible. This can really help to keep costs down without compromising on where you want to stay. It might mean travelling in off-peak seasons or even just mid-week rather than on weekends.