My accommodation preference

There are places everywhere in the world where you can safely find a place to sleep for the night. Choosing a place that you find acceptable depends on personal preference, how much money you are willing to spend and how far out of your way are you willing to walk to get to your new ‘home’, the cleanliness of the place, how secure it is etc. The following is a list of things that I immediately look for when I step into a new “home for the week”.

Close to transportation and downtown: Having a base close to the action and to the bus or train station is what I usually give preference to. Being close to the train/bus station means that you are not carrying your gear for kilometres navigating through a strange city. Plus you won’t be trying to figure out obscure bus routes in a brand new city where you may not speak the language. Being downtown gives you convenient access to all the amenities and not a long walk back home at night.

A dorm room in a hostel: They are the cheapest and most social of all the places where you could stay. There are mixed or single sex dorm rooms and some have lockers where you can safely store your pack. The down side is that you are sharing it with other people who snore, make noise, turn on the room light, etc. when you are trying to sleep. This is where the earplugs and a sarong acting as a blindfold over your eyes comes in handy.

Self-catering kitchen: This will save you a lot of money on food and time looking for that cheap place to eat somewhere in your new city. Sometimes there is just a basic hot plate and basic utensils while others have full cooking stations complete with microwave, fridge, ovens, sink, and pots and pans and you are able to store your food in the fridge.

Common room: This is where you are going to find your new friends for the duration of your stay. This is the place where you find the backpacker community. Also, if you are tired and want a safe place to hang out, watch TV, read a book, and talk to someone, this is the place to do it. It is a great way to meet other travellers and provides a relaxing social setting.

Hot water: In a lot of the warmer climates, some of the guest houses don’t have running hot water. If you are there during low season when the prices are lower and temperatures also lower, it is not pleasant trying to get yourself clean.

Security: If I have my own room, I always insist on taking my room key with me. I want to ensure that I always have access to my gear when I need it. During my travels, I have never been forced to return the room key when I step out. Sometimes they ask for it, but I just don’t give it back. I don’t want anyone to know when I am gone or have access to the room with everything I own in one bag.