We’re not always privileged with friends on deck who own a beach side place to stay. We also don’t always know someone in the city of our next international adventure. So when you’re in a hunch and looking to decide between hotel, hostel or airbnb, read from my experience!
Hotels ~ the easiest and safest way to go is getting a hotel. They have security, they’re usually rated by hundreds of people, and they’re easy to find on various apps. You can be at ease staying in a hotel; no one will come busting through your door, you don’t have to share your space with a random and you usually get a continental breakfast. But is all this truly worth the price you pay?
My boyfriend and I went on a road trip to San Diego, California and arrived at around midnight thirty on a weekday. We called various hotels in the vicinity and attempted at getting something cheap since we were going to be checking in so late. Every single hotel was over $100 for the nine hours we needed. It’s absolutely ridiculous that a company would charge that much for rooms that they’re not even going to fill. No hostel was around, and it was obviously too late to rent out an Airbnb. We did the cheapest thing ever and parked and San Diego’s airport overnight. $35 cartel (I really wanted to make this word work for car/hotel, but now it’s just a reference to drugs) for the night. Worth every penny.
Hostels ~ if you want to pay $10 for a bunk bed and risk the unknown of sharing a room with 6 other randos, hostels are the way to go.
I was always so afraid to go down the hostel road after that Hostel movie (I never watched it, but the commercials freaked me out). But surprisingly enough, my hostel experience has been pretty good. To be frank, they’re not super clean, but cheaper than three bags of Doritos. Also, you will probably kill a cockroach or some sort of large arachnid during your stay.
Prices range from $8-$50 per night depending on the type of room you want. They most likely have a lenient cancellation policy of 24 hours and will give you a full refund. They usually offer complimentary breakfast which can be as nice as a plethora of options to just mini muffins.
Above all, you will meet a lot of people who can help you. The hostel workers know the surrounding area and give great recommendations. Many other people your age will be staying as well, so it’s a great way to meet people from all over the world!
Airbnb ~ if you have time to plan ahead, check out Airbnb! I’ve had both amazing and terrible experiences with this website, but I’m going to continue to promote its use regardless. If you aren’t familiar with Airbnb, it’s this great website that allows you to rent out a variety of spaces for a time limit of your choice. You can rent a room in an apartment for you and your friends, or an entire home for a group of people!
It’s extremely cheaper than a hotel, but just as nice and very practical if you’re staying for a long period of time. They have full amenities to use in the kitchen, so you’re not always eating out, parking for your car, and other great accommodations. I highly recommend staying with a host who has various positive reviews and lots of photos. Another thing, if the space looks way worse than the pictures, TAKE PHOTOS!! I was royally screwed after I booked an Airbnb last minute, and the apartment was disgusting! I just canceled my reservation and left because it was horrible. I ended up losing $200 because I “didn’t take pictures”. Do your research, talk with the hosts and make sure everything is perfect when you arrive. If not, please don’t make the same mistake as me and document it!
Other than my negative experience, which was mostly my own fault, Airbnb is a great, mostly clean, safe and fun way to take a great trip! I met some great people through Airbnb and the hosts usually help you with everything you need to know about the city!
And as a bonus**** if you’re interested in an Airbnb, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can get you $35 off of your first booking!
Whichever you decide, knowing all the options you have available before going on a trip can save you money and make your vacation that much better!