Saturday, January 5, 2019

How To Find Accomodation As A Solo Traveler?

I've always enjoyed my "me-time". I love spending time with my friends and family, but there are also activities which I prefer to do alone. In my opinion, learning to have fun on your own is one of the life-goals we all should achieve. I reached this goal this summer on my first time solo trip and I enjoyed it so much that I'm planning to repeat something similar ASAP.

Even though my trip was quite short, I collected a lot of information and experience that will definitely help me next time - including the tips and my personal experience about finding accomodation as a solo traveler.



There are couple of different ways of accomodation:

Travel agencies

Traveling wit travel agencies is not really a thing for solo travelers in general. If you're looking for a cheap "last-minute" trip, you probably won't find anything like that for a solo trip. Basically, you'll (almost) always have to pay for at least two people (or the full price of the apartment/room/mobilhome..) so even the cheapest offers end up being not very cheap.

That's why solo traveling is usually better when it's planned all by yourself. Not only you'll save money, but you'll have much more freedom in spending your free time.

AirBnB & Hotels

I have to admit I'm not a verz adventurous kind of traveler. I simply enjoy my privacy and comfort. And honestly I don't think it's a bad things. For me, the most important things about traveling is to enjoy the trip as much as you can and the journey itself and the accomodation are a part of my experience as well.

So the most convenient ways of accomodation for me are classic hotels, apartment houses and AirBnB accomodation.

One of the problems about solo traveling is the price - most hotels don't have single rooms, so you just simply have to pay for two or you pay for one but with some added fee.

My first tip to get a cheaper accomodation in a hotel/apartment as a solo traveler, is to BOOK IN ADVANCE. I was planning to go abroad since May but all of my plans were just abstract and at the end I was booking my hotel just few days before departure - while being compeltely desperate because most of the good and relatively cheap accomodations had been already fully booked.

Since AirBnB apartments in my "price cateogory" were full, I decided to book my accomodation through booking.com where I had a pretty bad experience this time. The apartments in Italy often charge you with extra fees for cleaning etc. or they want an extra deposit which they give back to you on the day of the check-out. My original plan was to visit Verona, Blogna and Venice or Florence, with a trip to the nearest beachside town. At the end I booked an accomodation which charged me with a super high cleaning fee - and since I wanted to stay just for two days in Venice, I would pay the same amount for the accomodation itself and for the cleaning. The problem was that I didn't notice this extra fee while booking (it was probably written somewhere with tiny-almost-invisible letters) and in the next step of the reservation, there was no mention about the fee. I confirmed the reservation and then got an email in which I found the "final price" ... At the end I decided to give up the deposit for this accomodation and instead I spent more than a half of my trip in Slovenia instead of Italy.

So while booking on booking.com, pay attention to all the price details or find a hotel on this site and then book it on its official sites.

Workaway

Workaway.info connects travel volunteers and hosts who are looking for help in exchange for free accomodation (and usually food as well). There are many different ways of volunteer work - fruit picking, house keeping, construction work, babysitting, teaching languges, yoga or surfing. The work usually takes abotu 3-5 hours a day 5-6 days a week and you can spend the rest of the time traveling around and exploring the place. Some hosts prefere long-term volunteers - for example for "au-pair" kind of volunteering (usually for couple of months), some allow you to come just for few days.


Workaway membership costs 34 EUR/year and you can also get more convenient membership for a couple.

It's necessary to write as many emails as you can and not so expect, that you'll find a perfect volunteer position immediately. I spent around 2 months looking for a volunteer opportunity but I didn't find anything that would fit. My originally intended Sri Lanka trip didn't work out because of the season (most of the hosts were located on the part of the island where there is rainy season in summer), a lot of people didn't answer at all, they already had enough volunteers, they didn't fit into my dates ... or the journey to the place was so complicated I just gave up (because as a first time solo-trip it was a bit too much). So my plans didn't work out this time but I'm definitely going to try this kind of traveling on my own.

If you don't care what kind of work you're going to do, if you just want to try something new, meet new people, improve your language skills and step out of your own comfort zone ... You can find a lot of opportunities on workaway :)

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is another way to get an accomodation for free. You just simply sign up on couchsurfing.com (for free) and find yout ideal host. Accomodation is for free but it's expected you'll provide the host with some "cultural enrichment" in exchange - coming there, locking yourself in a room and not even talking to your host is a bit rude.

Couchsurfing is not really my style and I wouldn't feel comfortable staying alone with a stranger on my trip. Of course it depends on the host you find but some hosts may expect some more "intimate" enrichment". Always try to choose hosts with a lot of reviews and - even if it may sound like prejudice - solo travelers are not recommended to stay with male hosts. Unfortunatelly I heard some pretty bad experiences even from people I know - and not even just from girls.

Hostely

Hostels are often the cheapest option for solo travelers because in opposite to hotels/apartment houses, they always offer single beds in dorms. You simply pay just for your own place to sleep and nothing more.

Another benefit of hostels is the fact that you can meet a lot of great people from all aroudn the world. On the other hand, you have to be prepared for less privacy, comfort - and in some countries also less security.

A great site where you can find hotels anywhere in the world (also available as an app) is www.hostelworld.com but many hotels can be also found on booking.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment

F