Making the right accommodation choices during travel can be a challenging task. That is why some people prefer to prebook a hotel or Airbnb. However, prior booking has some disadvantages, including exaggeration or overselling of products and services. Physical booking, on the other hand, might also be chaotic, especially when you are visiting a favourite traveller’s destination. It is a common problem for most travellers to find themselves in places like Naivasha or Mombasa without accommodation. So how do you make sure you get the right accommodation when travelling? Here are a few things to consider.
Your budget will greatly determine where you stay when travelling. The higher it is, the fancier your accommodation choices might be. You have a choice of hostels, Airbnbs, glamping sites, or various types of hotels. When making your accommodation budget, it is essential to factor in other things such as your length of stay and purpose of travel. Your location also dramatically affects your budget. Cities like Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi are more expensive than smaller towns like Kakamega, Nyahururu or Kericho. If your travelling adventure requires a lot of money, then you might have to cut down on accommodation expenses, and vice versa.
2. Length of Stay
Are you travelling on vacation or for adventure? If for the latter reason, will you be exploring one area or different and distant points? Vacation travel usually means staying in one place throughout your trip. Therefore, you might have to choose a more comfortable and luxurious space as opposed to if you were visiting for one night. Multiple night stays are usually cheaper than single nights because they are ‘wholesale.’
3. Type of Trip
Your type of trip also influences your choice of accommodation. If you are on a camping trip in Naivasha or on Mount Kenya, then you will not have to worry about booking hotel rooms. If you are on a road trip from the coast to the magnificent Lake Victoria, then you can settle for a less luxurious space for the single night stays. If you are on a business trip to Nairobi City, then your accommodation choices should be in tune with your endeavours.
4. Proximity to Basic Amenities
When staying in a hotel, hostel or Airbnb, especially on a long-term basis, always make sure you are close to basic amenities such as shops and hospitals. The only exception to the rule is when camping or glamping since these two are usually on off-road locations. If you are camping, then make sure to buy all you need before setting up camp. Never forget to have a first aid kit as well. If you are staying at a hotel or hostel, then make sure you choose one that is close to such amenities. Do this especially if you do not have private means of transport.
5. General Neighbourhood
When you are new to a place, it can be challenging to gauge whether a location is safe or not. You should, therefore, make use of the Internet and travel review sites to find out what other travellers are saying about a place. When you cannot find anything online, you might have to depend on your instincts. Some of the things to look out for when gauging the general neighbourhood include the level of littering, type of infrastructure and standards of surrounding businesses. For example, Nairobi’s downtown and uptown are almost like being in different towns. The former is often busy and loud, with nearly all the amenities available. It is also cheaper. However, the level of security is low, and you might have to endure the noise throughout the night. The uptown is the opposite of this with the disadvantage of added costs.
6. In-house Hygiene
As I mentioned earlier, booking in advance carries the disadvantage of product overselling. The photos you see on a hotel, hostel, camp, or Airbnb profile might not be what you get in reality. People tend to exaggerate their product photos with filters and photo editing applications to make them appear better than they are. Inspect a place if you have the chance before paying. There is also the possibility a hotel or hostel might look alluring on the outside while lacking basic hygiene inside. Look at the state of the bathroom. Make sure the place has proper drainage and water. Check on the linen and general cleanliness of the accommodation. If the standard is not acceptable, then look for alternatives. Do not settle for unhygienic living conditions while putting yourself at risk.
7. Inclusive Services
Before making the final payment, always find out what the fee entails. Ensure you get the most out of your stay. The more the included services, the better. For example, ask whether the costs cover bed and breakfast. If it is breakfast, will it be plate or buffet? Will you have room service options? Also, find out the check out time. To get the best option, make sure to have a few prospects to compare on.
8. Available Facilities and Amenities
For long-term stays, you might have to check out the available facilities and amenities various accommodation choices offer. If you plan to spend most of your time in the hotel, resort, camp or glamping site, this will be essential. These facilities such as laundry services, recreational activities, in-house entertainment and dining options should make your stay comfortable. Your personal preferences will play a significant role in determining the hierarchy of priorities in such a case.
Making accommodation choices might seem a simple task, but it is not. It requires just as much attention as the rest of the activities. Where you stay for the night should be comfortable, clean and safe, so that you can have enough energy to face every new day. It would be best if you, therefore, considered all the factors mentioned above to make a more informed choice. Happy travelling. Happy staying.