The coronavirus pandemic has forced most of us to stay locked inside our homes, leaving us to daydream about exotic destinations and unique travel experiences. However, what we rarely think about when planning our next holiday are the types of accommodation that best suit our needs and our distinct travel style; we stick to what we know and play it safe. But there’s a whole world of opportunity awaiting for us, offering new insights and unique experiences that might just be a better option for our type of tourism. Once the situation dies down, and we are finally able to explore the planet once again, here are six types of accommodation worth considering for your next trip:
Hotels – Best for short-term and luxury stays
Although hotels are one of the most common accommodation options that are favored around the world, they also tend to be among the most expensive. However, hotels usually come with incredible comfort and security, especially when it comes to famous high-end chains. These types of accommodation can also provide luxurious services and amenities, including minibars, room service, and swimming pools, among others. For these reasons, hotels come at a higher cost, and are more suitable for weekend stays or bigger spenders aiming for luxury and comfort. Of course, a two or three-star hotel might be a more affordable option, but these accommodations often offer a subpar experience, which is why other forms of accommodation might suit budget travelers better.
Hostels – Best for budget and solo travelers
Hostels still remain the most popular accommodation among solo travelers and backpackers, particularly when it comes to European countries. As they often focus on room sharing (sometimes with up to 20 people), hostels are a great option for anyone on a tight budget. However, there are a number of more high-end hostels now available where you can rent a private room, offering a more boutique experience for mid-range travelers. With equipped kitchens, shared living rooms and other communal areas, hostels can offer everything a tourist might need to take care of their basic needs, while still providing an opportunity to socialize with likeminded travelers and make meaningful human connections.
Serviced apartments – A great option all around
Apartments used to be reserved for families with children and larger friend groups that aimed for more affordable accommodation, while still getting a cozy and homey experience. But as the travel industry changed, so have tourist demands, especially when it comes to large and crowded Asian cities. For instance, finding convenient apartments for rent in Hong Kong has become the norm in this urban hub, both for short and long-term stays.
This type of accommodation offers comfortable and quiet private sleeping areas, along with shared communal spaces, such as the kitchen, living room, laundry room, and even a charming relaxation zone. As these apartments provide the opportunity for making friendships and experiencing different cultures, while still allowing for privacy, it’s the ideal option for anything from business trips to Millennial solo travels.
Guesthouses – Good for unique travel experiences
Another form of accommodation that can most commonly be found around Asia, guesthouses are usually quite small and budget-friendly. They can be anything from a hut or bungalow located right on the beach to a small hotel in the city, or even a rented room in someone’s house, resembling a bed and breakfast.
The best thing about guesthouses is that you can often negotiate the price with the owner, which can turn out to be quite affordable, or at least barter a deal that offers accommodation with breakfast included. Regardless of the situation, guesthouses can provide some of the most unique and authentic experiences, allowing you to live just like the locals, at least for a while.
House sitting – Suitable for flexible long-term travel
When a homeowner is going away for a longer period of time, they need someone to take care of their house and all the responsibilities that come with it. This is where house sitting comes in. The homeowner will allow a traveler to stay in their property rent-free, but this deal will usually involve housework, pet sitting, or other forms of home maintenance. This situation can be quite beneficial for both parties, as the homeowner can have some peace of mind knowing that their home is safe and taken care of, while the traveler gets comfortable, homey and free accommodation.
Travelers looking for this option will need to have some experience and good references beforehand and might need to spend a bit more time searching through websites and social media platforms in order to find a great house sitting opportunity. Alternatively, CouchSurfing works in a similar manner, only the host is usually at home, and can be a great local guide for the most authentic travel experience.
Work exchange – Best for young, adaptable travelers
Another way to travel the world and get free accommodation is to pay for it with your time, energy and knowledge. From hostels and local farms to NGOs and small local businesses, there are many organizations around the world that offer accommodation in exchange for work or volunteering. The work usually involves more basic tasks, such as cleaning, maintenance or welcoming guests, making it undemanding, while still providing a wonderful opportunity to get in touch with the local culture and expand your horizons.
As there is a large number of work or volunteer exchange options available, you can find both short and long-term deals that best suit your travel needs. However, this form of accommodation might be more suitable for flexible and adaptable people who aren’t bound by a tight schedule or a set travel routine, like traveling nomads who want to work while exploring the world.
From traditional to newer and more unique solutions, there are many different forms of accommodation you can come across while traveling; you just need to find an option that suits your travel needs the best.
Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on well-being, travel hacks, and sustainable living. She also likes to experiment on daring new home decor trends and write about it as a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator blog. Settled in Sydney for the time being, Lilly shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.