Monday, September 28, 2009

Budget for Your Vacation--Pt. 4 (Lodging-Hostels)

Now that we've had the opportunity to try and figure out what type of traveler you are, we need to talk about the different types of accommodations that are available for you when you travel.

The bulk of your budget is going to be taken up by accommodations and transportation. We've touched a bit on transportation in earlier blogs so today, I'd like to discuss the different types of accommodations available and how your accommodations will affect your budget.

Keep in mind that the type of traveler you are usually dictates the types of places in which you prefer to stay. But don't feel boxed in by your budget or the type of travel you enjoy the most. There are a wide variety of lodging types to choose from when you travel. There are hostels, bed & breakfasts, eco-hotels, agriturismo, campsites or camping cabins, locally owned hotels, hotel chains, convents & monasteries, apartments and even homes. Aside from price, be aware that location is also part of the reason you might be choosing a particular accommodation over another.

I'm going to talk a little bit about each type of lodging and help you see how this type of lodging could fit into your budget. Keep in mind that I don't believe that any of these accommodations are unattainable to the budget traveler. You should feel free to mix and match different types of accommodations throughout your stay. If you feel like treating yourself in one city, adjust your budget for the remainder of your trip. You are your own captain. Don't be afraid to take the helm!

Let's start with hostels. Hostels are everywhere! Hostels were typically associated with young, college-aged, budget travelers who basically needed a place to sleep and didn't mind doing so with several other people in the room. Hostels were, and still are, one of the least expensive types of lodging. The biggest difference now, is that hostels are no longer the accommodation of choice among just the younger crowd. Hostels of all types are available to travelers of all ages.

Different types of rooms are available and you can often choose between private rooms, same sex or mixed sex rooms, en-suite or shared bathrooms, and each accommodation can be for one person up to six people in each room. Most hostels have 24 hour access (they used to have curfews but most of them no longer have curfews in place) and free wi-fi. A lot of hostels have places to eat on-site or have large kitchens that are shared by everyone. Prices for rooms in hostels can vary greatly but most of them remain under $25.00 per night, per bed. Depending on where your travels take you and how the dollar is faring in the economy, you might even find a hostel bed in a dorm setting for under $10.00 a night! Keep in mind that for most travelers, hostels are usually just a place to sleep and grab a shower. If this type of accommodation sounds like it's right up your alley, you can start here at

If hostels sound a little too cozy for you, then maybe a bed & breakfast is the type of lodging you'd like to try. Different countries have different names for our traditional bed & breakfasts. In France, they may be referred to as Chambre d'Hotes. In Italy, Spain, and some Latin American countries, they are still often referred to as Pensiones. In Germany they may be referred to as Fremdenzimmer. Whatever you choose to call them, they are my favorite type of lodging and in my next post, I'll tell you why.

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