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
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.