|Accommodation is the item on any travellers list that tends to eat into their budget the most, although this is not always the case. Camping is seen as the cheapest no-frills option as it involves doing without many of the luxuries that come as standard in hotels. Normally campsites are large affairs with at least one, sometimes more shower blocks which also double as lavatories and often have waste disposal units adjacent to them. Campsites give those on a tight budget the opportunity to save money as they coast a fraction of the price of a hotel room. Campsites, however, tend to be outside of town and so owning your own transport, be it a bicycle or a car is usually a necessity for gaining access. They often get busy in the summer seasons throughout Europe and the United States as this is the time of year when the weather is warm and at its best. It is often just too cold to camp during wintertime, although pitching a teepee, Red Indian style, is always an option in the colder regions of the world. |
Hostels are the next step up from camping and offer a roof over the head for just a bit more money. They are usually located in the centres of towns or cities and are geared toward the younger traveller. Noise therefore is something that needs to be tolerated at times including during the night. Still, hostels are a great place to meet fellow travellers. People often congregate in the kitchen or lounge areas of hostels and exchange stories about the day just gone. Most accommodation in a hostel is centred around dormitory style beds arranged in bunks of up to six or seven pairs. Single and double rooms are often available for a little bit more money. Showers and toilets are almost always shared in youth hostels. Hostels are popular with travellers on a budget and often have internet sites where people can log on and place a reservation in advance to secure a bed, especially during high season. The Youth Hostel International Association offers discounts to members at its establishments.
Guest houses are an alternative to hostels and tend to be cleaner and are often kitted out with en-suite bathrooms and toilets. They still fall within the budget end of accommodation price wise although they are usually more pricey than hostels. Many guest houses are family run and tend to have a warm, friendly atmosphere.
Mid range accommodation falls within the international three star rating. This type of accommodation is more expensive although again it is cleaner with more facilities. TVs and hairdryers start appearing in middle of the range accommodation as well as other mod cons like bed-side lamps and telephones. Top end accommodation is what it suggests really.
Five star hotels offer the lot. Rooms are generally spotless and cleaned once a day, when fresh towels are also added if required. Five star establishments may also have mini bars placed within the rooms. It is not just the bedrooms within these hotels that make them five star. Hotels often have good selling points like gym and swimming pool facilities as well as a least once restaurant, bar and also business conference and communication facilities.