Traveling is a pleasure and making travel plans are exciting. However finding an accommodation during travel at a right price is little tricky. And if you’re travelling on a shoestring budget, it becomes difficult not because of fewer choices; but because the hotel you’re choosing must meet your needs and give you the most value for money. Therefore, finding a hotel on a shoestring budget is all about a right balance between quality and price—quality services, excellent facilities, and good location. There’re certain things if followed properly may maximize your advantages in a minimalist budget.
Set your objective
You must have a clear holiday plan. This will help in deciding a hotel. For sure, if you’re looking for spa, Jacuzzi and sauna in your room or even in your hotel, they aren’t going to come cheap. The clarity about your objective will help you decide where to stay, and this could probably save you time and money too.
Decide season and length of your stay
Generally the tourism industry divides the entire year into high (peak) season, low season and average season. In high seasons even the most mediocre hotels double their tariff. High seasons depend on a number of factors such as weather conditions, festivals, fares, etc. Therefore, it becomes difficult to get a hotel accommodation in reasonable rates. It would be wiser for a budget holidaymaker to travel in low or average seasons when the hotels lower their tariffs. Besides seasons, the length of hotel stay also takes significant share of travel budget. A long trip may cost you more but a slightly more expensive hotel near the area where you want can save your transportation costs as well.
Plan your budget
Draw your budget graph, decide how high and low you can go for spending on your accommodation. Also list the services and facilities you want to avail and extra transportation costs if necessary.
Know your alternatives
Now you know your objective, decided your season and length of stay, as well as calculated how much you want to spend on accommodation and transportation. So let’s find out what all alternatives you have for your accommodation.
Besides hotels or resorts, there’re more options of accommodation to choose from. The point is that the accommodation should fit your budget, needs, and objectives. Some of the options that you may find useful are:
- Hotels: You may know all about hotels. They are everywhere – on hoardings, advertisements, the Internet, in the remotest places and at the most central locations. Finding them is not at all a task. But in most of the cases they’re expensive with additional services. They are ideal for business trips, leisurely stay and relaxation. Most hotels have their own websites already if you want to book online. You also find them on number of portals such as www.tripadvisor.com, www.bookhotels.com, www.hotels.com, or www.fodors.com. You may also google to find out more such sites that offer valuable tips and good bargains on hotel accommodation. And it’s not painful either.
- Hostels: If you’re hesitant of shelling out extra bucks, and can compromise on a few facilities that are offered by hotels, then hostels will be perfectly ok for you. YMCA is a perfect example hostels that offer accommodation for tourists. Hostels are good choice for backpackers and adventure tourists. You may check out their website for their services, facilities, and terms & conditions. You may also visit www.hostels.com and www.hostelworld.com
- Rental Apartments / Villas: They’re new fad in the travel business and often the preferred choice of large families who travel with young kids. Apartment or villas can be rented for a longer period of time with a comfort of home away from home. They may not have the luxury of hotels but they surely offer comfortable stay. Apartments are perfect for a couple or group of people who want their privacy, or a whole family that is staying for a long trip in a foreign country.
- Bread and Breakfasts Inns: They are similar to hotels but with few facilities. They are found everywhere, and offer accommodation for a night and some breakfast. They quite good for an overnight stay. Most are cheaper than a full fledged hotel but offer some of the services that the hotels have.
- Camping Areas: As name suggests, they’re only for backpackers and trekkers who travel with a folding tent kept in rucksack. They are the cheapest accommodation as you only need to pay for a camp site. Camping sites often provide bathroom services to those who stay.
Once you’ve decided what fits your budget and needs, you may narrow down your search by being specific. The Internet is a great resource. Use it to the fullest. There’re plenty of online portals and web sites that list hotels from around the world.
Compare you online search with your criteria. Look if the property you chose matches or at least offers most of the facilities you want. Book it. NOW! And once you’re back forget not to share your experiences with others online.