How To Find The Best Accommodation When Travelling

How To Find The Best Accommodation When Travelling
How To Find The Best Accommodation When Travelling

Your flights are booked, you’ve saved endless cute coffee spots and viewpoints and activities on your Instagram and now you have the task of finding a great place to stay. But finding the best accommodation for your travels can sometimes be a little daunting, right?

Where you stay when you’re travelling can play a huge role in the enjoyment of your trip, so there’s a lot of pressure to find that perfect place. However, when you have hundreds or even thousands of accommodations to sift through, it’s hard to know where to start especially as there’s so much choice and you want to find the best deal possible.

I used to dread finding accommodation especially as the choice of properties can feel a bit overwhelming. Fortunately though, over the years I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that have made finding the best accommodation at a reasonable price that bit easier.

As you probably know I travel a lot, and one website that I always use whenever I need to find accommodation is Booking.com. It's been my go-to website for years and I find it helps to simplify the process of finding great accommodation. The filters are really useful, you get great deals and discounts and the website is super easy to navigate, and it's just nice seeing all the different kinds of accommodations all in one place.

I've stayed in a range of different properties during my travels this year - from a swanky tropical villa in Bali, to a cool city apartment in Montreal, to a big resort in San Diego - and all have been booked through Booking.com, so it's a site I love and use all the time.

So, when Booking.com approached me recently to work together and share more about how I use the website as well as their range of unique accommodations, I figured it was the perfect match. I'm always getting asked about how to find the best accommodation when travelling, so I thought I'd put this post together and share my best tips and tricks to help you find unique places to stay at the best price, wherever in the world you may be!

Think about style of trip 

The very first thing to think about when you're looking to find somewhere to stay is the style of trip that you're going on. This will really help to determine the kind of place that's best for you and then you can narrow down your search from there.

Think practically. If you're going on a weekend city break and you won't have a car, you'll probably want something quite central, in a nice area, that's close to local attractions and restaurants so that you can walk everywhere. If you're spending a romantic few days away in Ubud and you'll have access to a scooter, you may want something more secluded and luxurious with its own amenities, away from the hustle of the town. If you have kids, for example, or you want to have the option of eating-in, renting a house or apartment might make more sense so you can make use of the kitchen and save some money. Thus, knowing the style of your trip will really help you to figure out exactly what you're looking for, which will make the search process much less daunting. I also find that search filters are great for narrowing down the selection of accommodations, which brings me to my next point...

Make use of the search filters 

Search filters are your best friends when you're trying to find accommodation as they help you to save a lot of time so you're not wasting your energy looking through places that don't match your needs. I usually filter accommodations based on price and property type, and sometimes based on whether they offer free cancellation and a complimentary breakfast. When we visited Ubud, for example, I knew I definitely wanted to stay in a villa with a private pool, so the filters really helped to narrow down my search and saved a lot of time. We ended up staying at a gorgeous place called Villa Tree Moon about 10 minutes from Ubud centre, and it was incredible and exactly what I wanted.

Also, if you're keen on staying in a specific location, I'd recommend using the map filter as it allows you to see all the accommodations on a map so you can get your bearings and find a place that works for you.

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Rent an apartment or house 

As much as I love staying at hotels, I also quite like staying in furnished apartments or houses especially if i'm visiting one place for a long period of time. It's nice having the option to eat and cook at home rather than going out to eat 3 times a day (plus it's more affordable), and especially if you're travelling as a family or a group of friends, it's great being able to have everyone together rather than in separate hotel rooms.

You might not know this, but you can actually book homes and apartments on Booking.com too so it's really easy to find a home away from home during your travels. I discovered their range of great apartments earlier in the year when I visited Montreal with my dad. I wanted somewhere with 2 bedrooms but not necessarily separate hotel rooms, and I ended up finding a really cool apartment right in Old Montreal that had everything we needed. I came across so many listings for beautiful, rustic lofts and apartments, so there is actually a huge range of unique accommodations on the site aside from hotels.

Pick a place with free cancellation 

One thing that's worth noting is how important it is to read the small print whenever you're booking accommodation, regardless of the website or method that you use. For example, some hotels will charge a daily rate for wifi, breakfast may not always be included, and the front desk may not be open 24/7 which would make it unsuitable if you're due to arrive in the middle of the night.

Another big one to look out for is resort fees. Often, bigger resorts will charge a daily resort fee, which is in addition to the standard nightly rate and it could be as much as $40-$50 per night. Other potential charges include a property service charge, VAT, and city tax, which may not be included in the nightly rate. These fees can quickly amount to hundreds of dollars, so make sure you read the small print so you know to factor in any additional costs and you find accommodation that suits your needs.

Book all your accommodations through one website 

It always helps to be organised when you travel and keep all your information in one place so that it's easily accessible when you need it. That's why it's a good idea to book all your accommodations through one website (if you can) to keep all your bookings together. I also recommend creating an account, so that it's easy to keep track of your reservations and a lot of sites will offer benefits for loyalty members too.

Because I'm an avid user of Booking.com, I'm now classed as a Frequent Traveller and a Genius member, which means that I get 10% off all Genius-eligible accommodations around the world. You also get perks such as free airport transfers and late check-outs which is really nice. I actually managed to save $140 on my upcoming Bahamas booking due to the Genius discount so I was really happy with that as the Bahamas is definitely not a cheap destination! I also use the Booking.com app which makes it easy to find places to stay especially when you're on the go, and on there you can also see your reservation dates as well as things like the hotel address.

If you do decide to book your next trip through Booking.com, if you book using this link you'll get $40 CAD / $30 USD off your stay!

Read the small print 

One thing that's worth noting is how important it is to read the small print whenever you're booking accommodation, regardless of the website or method that you use. For example, some hotels will charge a daily rate for wifi, breakfast may not always be included, and the front desk may not be open 24/7 which would make it unsuitable if you're due to arrive in the middle of the night.

Another big one to look out for is resort fees. Often, bigger resorts will charge a daily resort fee, which is in addition to the standard nightly rate and it could be as much as $40-$50 per night. Other potential charges include a property service charge, VAT, and city tax, which may not be included in the nightly rate. These fees can quickly amount to hundreds of dollars, so make sure you read the small print so you know to factor in any additional costs and you find accommodation that suits your needs.

Rent out your own place 

Travelling isn't cheap, and you inevitably end up spending more than you anticipate whether it's because of those sneaky resort fees or you quite simply overspend. That's why renting out your place is a great option as it allows you to earn some extra money to put towards your next trip.

You could either rent out your whole place while you're away, or simply rent out a room while you are in town, and it's a nice way to top up your travel savings funds without having to do too much. This is actually a new addition to Booking.com - you’re now able to rent out your home/apartment and it's free to list your property too. You can find more information about renting out your place here.

Hopefully these tips will help you in your search to find the best accommodation when you're travelling. I'd love to know if you guys have any great tips and where's next on your travel list! Don’t forget you can also get $40 CAD ($30USD) off your next Booking.com reservation using this link.

[Disclosure: This is a paid post created in partnership with Booking.com. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own!]

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