When planning a trip to a new city or country, finding the right place to stay is sometimes a daunting task. There are plenty of websites, apps, reviews and blog posts out there giving recommendations on where to stay. You could spend countless hours reading each review wondering if you will make the right decision. I want to share my thoughts on where you could stay depending on how you are traveling.
Personally, I have stayed in every type of accommodation you can imagine. From Hostel dorms to Couchsurfing to houseboats to overnight trains to friends neighbors houses whose children were in the IRA (still pretty convinced). All of them have their benefits and setbacks, but ultimately I think its what you make of it.
When I travel and Guy Around solo, which is pretty often, I usually opt to stay in Hostels or Couchsurf for a local experience. Hostels are a great place to meet other like-minded individuals that usually have the same travel goals as yourself. I suggest using Hostelworld to get an accurate review of the different hostels you can stay in. Through my many different hostel stays, I have met hundreds of people from every walk of life in every part of the world. I think its always interesting to learn about other people and for them to learn about you. Hostels do tend to have a lot of backpackers from North America, the UK, Australia, and South America.
Couchsurfing is a platform where people in cities all over the world offer their spare couch, bedroom or floor space to travelers coming through for a night or so. The hosts offer this accommodation from the goodness of their hearts. Couchsurfing always reminds me that there are genuinely good people all over the world. People I know tend to worry about using this app, but like every other travel app, people get reviews. I always read different reviews before staying at someone’s place. I only have had positive experiences couch surfing, those will be shared in a later post.
When I travel with a partner or a small group of people I opt for the Air BnB route which gives you a more local experience. Since you are with people, the need to meet others in your travelers isn’t as high as it is if you are going solo. Similar to Hostelworld and Couchsurfing, Air BnB does a great job of posting reviews on each property. The hosts are people that are generally very kind people that want you to enjoy their home city.
All of these are great options, but the best place to stay in a new place is with a friend that lives there. First of all, seeing that friend is probably one of the main reasons for visiting, but also experiencing the local culture is high on your list as well. I always get more out of visiting somewhere new with a friend that lives there or grew up there.
That is the beauty of traveling in today’s world. Communication makes it very easy to stay in touch with people you meet in your travels. Having friends and connections all over the world is a beautiful thing!