HOW WE CHOOSE OUR ACCOMODATION FOR OUR TRAVELS
Every holiday we take, we always ensure we can have the most local experience possible. For us, a stay at a local AirBnB or home, renting cars and scooters and being amongst the real hustle and bustle is what it's all about. Sure, 5 star all inclusive resorts might be fun, and for the right kind of holiday. But ours usually include a whole list of touristy and local sites that in turn needs some more suited accomodation, ie: not cost an arm and a leg. We usually aren't too fussed with where we stay, as long as it's safe and has the basics we need.
First step, is to put a list together of all the places you want to go to. Your must dos. Every place you want to see, eat at, drink at, take a photo at, shop at, anything and everything. Put it down. This may be time consuming, but I believe it's the best possible way to determine the best spot to stay in, based on all the things you want to see and do. Get out Google Maps and mark all of these places. You might find everything is bundled quite close together, and a few places are on the outskirts.
From this you can now see the most central spot to stay in, that is closest to all of the places you want to visit! This is particularly helpful if you are tight on money and are wanting to walk everywhere. Also on Google Maps you can see any parks, beaches, rivers, etc near by. If being close to nature is important to you (like it is to us) you can visually see where and be able to match your accommodation accordingly.
Homestays over Hotels
AirBnB, is a gem for us. Side note, this is not sponsored at all (kinda wish it was lol) but we 95% of the time book all our stays through AirBnB. Reason being, we just like a more local feel then a hotel. And often having access to a kitchen, laundry. car space, etc is more available then at a hotel.
When we are choosing an AirBnB we use the information from our Google Map hunt, and search for homes in the spots we want. AirBnB also provides a map for you on their website, but looking at it through Google Maps as well, gives you a broader idea of what's around. You'll see all the nearby public transport, cafes, shops, etc. So you can get an even better understanding of where exactly your accommodation will be!
Often, we will also opt for the "private room" option if the cost of an "entire place" is too expensive. We will choose this for locations, that we know we'll be out all day exploring anyway, so a nice bed and comfy room to come back to is all we need!
Also reviews are SO important, do note the date of the reviews. It's awesome when you see multiple reviews of a place in the last month, you then know that the place has had regular visitors and the information others have given is the most up to date.
Instagram is gold
Stalk the absolute crap out of Instagram. This can be a tedious task, but entering a dark hole of Instagram stalking will help you so much with getting a first hand look, at all the places on your hit list. To do this, first start by searching the location/geo tag of a city, town, venue, lookout, anything you want to travel to. Instagram has SO MUCH CONTENT, that you will be able to find other users posts and Instagram stories, and use that info to help you! This gives you an insight to restaurants, beaches, art galleries, shops, everything. By doing this, you will also come across places that might not currently be on your list!
Get around like a local
As much as jumping in a taxi and driving straight to your destination is really easy, it also adds up and by the end of your trip, you would of racked up a lot of money spent on Ubers and Taxis. When that could of been spent on a really fancy meal somewhere or some goodies at the local market.
Where possible, we always choose to walk or ride a bike. Not only does it save you money but it's a great way to squeeze exercise into your holiday, where you're less likely to head to the gym and smash out a workout. You also get to see a lot more of the city this way.
We also will opt for public transport because it's so cheap and easy to get around. Particularly in Europe, it's a no brainer. A lot of cities have great options with weekly train passes, that lets you have unlimited travel for that week, and only for a few dollars.
Lastly, we also prefer to hire a car and drive around ourselves (Aaron drives). In America we always hire a car, the cost works out way cheaper then all the trips you would take in an Uber, for the week. Having a car also gives you the freedom to literally go wherever you want! We book our cars through Rental Cars, a great comparison website.
Again, this post is not sponsored at all and merely just a bunch of info, that I often get asked about, when choosing where we stay and how we travel. Unfortunately, we aren't made of millions and don't have access to lavish, luxury travel. So we always choose the cheapest and best option for our needs, and rather, spend that money on experiences instead! Although, I think we much rather the no frills type of travel anyway. It's authentic and we find our experience in the country so much more enjoyable, when it's paired back and true to the local style. If there's a place you've seen me post about and would love to know the AirBnB or location, feel free to message me! More then happy to share any additional information!
Locations pictured: Santa Monica, Santorini, Hawaii, Amalfi, Paris, Tulum and Barcelona.
5th of February, 2019.