When booking a holiday, the first decision is always what sort of accommodation you want to stay in. Do you want 5 star luxury, or are you looking for a cheaper holiday and the best budget accommodation. When you choose the cheap holiday route, whilst you might get lucky and find the perfect cheap accommodation, here are some things to prepare yourself for when booking cheap accommodation:
- You may not have a private bathroom.
In some venues accommodation is cheaper because each guest room does not have a private bathroom. There might be one bathroom in between two rooms, or you may be sharing with a whole floor. Beware, this could get messy. Not everyone respects the fact that shared bathrooms should be kept tidy and clean for the use of other guests.
- Sharing rooms with strangers.
It takes a certain type of carefree person to be able to backpack and stay in a hostel room shared with a group of strangers. If you’re one of these people, accommodation can end up as cheap as $20 a night and in some hostels might even include a free beer!
Obviously keep valuables on you or check if there’s a locker or safe you can use for things like your wallet and passport.
- No heating or cooling.
Sometimes accommodation is cheap for the simplest of reasons. One of those being that the owners don’t have to pay expensive heating or cooling bills. You might be used to not having a climate controlled room, and if you are then go for it. For some it can make all the difference and can mean sleepless nights or no reprieve from extreme hot or cold weather.
- Unclean rooms.
Maid service can be expensive, and those costs are transferred straight to you. So when you’re staying in cheap accommodation, don’t always expect the room to be able to pass a white glove test. And don’t even think about checking the bed with a UV light. Unfortunately not all accommodation is up to speck with cleaning, and it may be because they just don’t want to spend the money
- Staff who don’t care.
Saving money might mean that staff aren’t paid well. And the truth is, if staff are paid badly they provide bad service. You could be waiting an hour to check-in, your phone calls to reception may go unanswered, or you could just be met with an I-don’t-care attitude from staff. Good customer service goes a long way, and is one of the biggest differences between a 5 star and a 1 star establishment. Again, if this doesn’t faze you then go for it
- Bad food, if any.
Providing meals is quite a cost, so don’t be surprised if the accommodation doesn’t have a kitchen (and certainly don’t expect room service!). If they do, be very wary. Again this goes back to staff not being paid well. As cheap accommodation they may not have much request for food, so the owners may cook for you themselves, or they may pay low wages to have a chef on standby to throw something together on the odd occasion it’s requested. If you’re happy with toast and powdered eggs for breakfast then this one probably won’t faze you too much.
There are lots of things to be wary of when booking cheap Canberra accommodation, but not every holiday needs to be a luxury one. Sometimes the best adventures are met and friends are made when you’re sharing a room (and a bathroom) with strangers, walking the streets to find breakfast, not seeing one staff member whilst you walk through the hotel, and huddling up with your best friend at night because you’re freezing from lack of heating.
In the end, the experience is what you make it.