How to pick your ideal holiday accommodation - Alvinology

How to pick your ideal holiday accommodation

Hi all, I am currently booking my accommodation for my trip to Paris and whilst it is a pretty long process, it is always worth one’s while to make sure you get the right compromise between price and what you get. So, allow me to share with you a few important points for you to consider the next time you have to pick a hotel.

1. Location

I always feel that location is the most important factor when it comes to picking your ideal accommodation – you don’t want to spend ages commuting into town each day. Ideally, you want to be very centrally located, within walking distance from the main attractions in town – failing which, you want to be near a train/metro station so you would at least be able to get into town fairly painlessly each morning.

How to pick your ideal holiday accommodation - Alvinology
What kind of hotel room would you like?

2. Price

Now you get what you pay for but this will vary from city to city. New York, Stockholm and London will be significantly more expensive than Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Manila. For Paris, yes there are some bargains to be found but these are barely decent for what they are charging. Do your research for the city you are visiting and then come up with a reasonable price per night for that city – for Paris, I have come up with the figure of 70 euros per night, though I can get bargains for as little as 40 euros.

3. Peer reviews

Now you should always check out peer reviews before you book anything: I like to use Trip Advisor for this purpose but also, also has a very good review system. You can read the range of reviews left my other travelers and decide if this place is right for you. On Trip Advisor, sometimes the management of the hotel will respond to the complaints left by the reviewer and it can be quite interesting to see how they deal with such a situation. Of course, you do need to read quite a number of reviews to get a good feel for the venue – but generally, they are pretty reliable.

How to pick your ideal holiday accommodation - Alvinology
What kind of service are you expecting?

4. Checking for extras

Always check for extras that are not included in the price – such as ‘a tourist tax’, ‘service fee’ or a ‘booking fee’ that could easily turn what is a bargain into a less attractive option. Check and double check before making your booking. Also, always check if there is a supplement for breakfast and if it is not included, then always just head on out to the nearest cafe for your breakfast. Hotel breakfasts are rarely that good and are never cheap. Find out if it is possible to make the booking without the breakfast and how much that would cost.

5. AirBNB

Lastly, if you are after a different kind of experience, check out – you will have the opportunity to rent a spare room (or a whole apartment/house) from someone. So you will have the experience of living like a local, often with a local family. Mind you, this is not always the cheapest option (it certainly is not for Paris) but these are usually very nice rooms in very respectable houses/flats. I did this for my last trip to Sweden and my host couldn’t have been nicer – she made me feel extremely welcome in her house and you knew that everything had to work in her house because she lived there. Like if the shower didn’t work, then she couldn’t take a shower – that’s quite different from a hotel where the staff don’t actually live there. It takes a certain kind of character to welcome ‘tourists’ into your house (I don’t think I can do it) but some AirBNB hosts certainly are brilliant at this.

How to pick your ideal holiday accommodation - Alvinology
I had a great AirBNB experience in Sweden.


So there you go, that’s five factors for you to consider the next time you are selecting your accommodation for your next trip. I hope you have found this useful! Thanks for reading.


1 comment
  1. Hi Alex / LIFT, comment allez vous?

    Hope the trip in France / Germany has gone well. Luv Paris for all its headiness and that slight mess beneath the pretty cobbled romantic facade. Anyway, I always aim for apartments in Europe as far as possible. I like preparing my own fruhstuck and eat out only at lunch where the plat du jour / tageskarte allows better stretch of your euros. Of course I confess I actually like the idea of buying the produce and making my own dinner.

    Yup and my best deal / experience was in Eger in hungary where the apartment I was in worked out perfectly cos the hostess herself lived there. It was swell, although we probably drank too much and indulged in too much sweets and tortes in addition to the Magyar / Chinese fusion stuff we whipped up together.

    I rely on tripadvisor, lonely planet, housetrip (for UK, France, Spain) and of course good old google most times. Will check out airbnb next. Au revoir.


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