Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hostels Hotels and Rentals when travaling

This summer, as I previously mentioned, I will be making my 4th hop across the Atlantic to cross more of Europe off my map. One of my best friends and I will be visiting jolly old England, and lucky old Ireland. (ok I just came up with the lucky thing after googling Ireland Mottos and finding none) Previously I've been to France, Italy (x3), Spain, Poland and Hungary. I've also backpacked around's the related? I'll tell you.

The one thing all of these places have had in common? I've stayed at some of the best and worst places a poor traveling student can stay.

The Good: Two of my all time favourite places I've stayed came from renting directly from the owner, and were essentially condos/rooms in homes. In Italy last summer we rented 2 bedroom condos in Pizzo and they were beautiful, clean, felt like home. In Hawaii, on the north shore, we rented a loft in a home owned by a woman named Maria, and it was heavenly.

The beautiful view from our room on the north shore.

The Bad: In Italy, Venice and Rome, a couple years ago, traveling on a base budget, my buddy Chris and I opted for staying in trailers on campgrounds outside of town. Yes it was exactly how it sounds. Imagine a 8 foot hard top trailer split into two rooms, each with a single cot, and enough space to put your bag on the ground. Complete with a 5min walk to communal bathrooms and showers...not recommended for bad weather traveling. Pro: I think it cost like 14bucks a night. Con: all of the above plus 30-45minutes of public transit into the city center.

Venice in the distance, taking the boat in from the campground.

The Ugly: Last summer, we arrived in Maui, and grabbed a cab to our hostel, the driver promptly listed a dozen or so reasons why we didn't want to stay there. It appeared to be in the shadiest part of town and we pulled up to 4 cop cars, lights on, and a swarm of police officers. Despite that we stayed, in a tiny, paper walled, sweaty room next to a stairwell. Seems if you're not planning on drinking your face off into the wee hours of the morning, you are too old to stay at this particular place. On the bright side, they offered daily free tours and trips to various places round the island...the only redeeming factor really.

Group of travelers on a hike run by a particularly sketchy hostel. Still a good time.

Ok maybe I haven't had it that bad yet. And maybe, for some people the Bad and the Ugly are right up your ally, but this time around I want to have a more comfortable trip. Which means I should aim between pricier rental properties and cheap-o hostels and try hotels in Europe, at least once.

So I looked into some options to book a hotel online before we go, and found some great, relatively inexpensive results. For instance, we can get a 3 night stay in Dublin city center, in a 4-star hotel for about $150, not bad split between the two of us. Plus we'd get to sleep in a real bed (not a cot or bunk), without having to pick up sheets from the front desk, and without having to listen to everyone else in the building all night.

On the other hand, hostels tend to be geared towards helping tourists get to all of the important sights in the city, so staying in a hotel, might require more planning in advance to make sure we find our way to The Guinness Beer Tours and Dublin Castle. But I figure I'm internet savvy enough to take care of all that in advance.

I'm not the only one online to weigh in on the pros and cons of hostels versus hotels, but I'd love to here where you typically stay when you travel? And what have your experiences been?


  1. If we have just an overnight somewhere we rent a commercial hotel room. But if we're staying for a while we do the research and find an apartment or condo to rent. We were really pleased in Venice, Florence, and Bermuda. Turin the apartment was exactly as described, except it was very noisy and echoey so I didn't sleep well there. Two of the places in Nova Scotia were merely very nice, and the other two were great. In London UK we were lucky enough to stay in my brother's flat while he wasn't using it.

    So I'd say do the research and rent the apartment or condo. Or as you've done with good results, rent the room or loft. I find hotel rooms very bland and expensive for what you get.

  2. Before going on trip it is important to plan many things. There are things which are to be taken on rent while going on trip. Like you have to take hotels for accommodation, You have to take buses and trains for reaching destination. So it is important to do research before deciding anything. It is good to hire a car for making your trip fun and comfortable. I have been to Dublin last week and i hired a car from Dan dooley car rental. It was nice and comfortable. For further information, you can visit