Updated: Jan 3
There are many different options when booking accommodation. I am now ole Miss Fancy Pants (when I decide to put on pants) so I prefer to stay in a hotel. Don’t hate. Apart from Couch Surfing, I have pretty much stayed in every possible type of lodging. That’s a lie, I have also never stayed in a Bed and Breakfast. But I have slept in multiple airports, overnight trains, cars, on the ground, and at acquaintance's houses.
Airbnb Take 1
Massimo’s Apartment, Paris
If you have ever seen the Wedding Planner movie one of the characters is Massimo and that is what I pictured before my boyfriend and I were greeted by the actual Massimo in front of his apartment complex 1 hour later than he said he would meet us. There are some people who have their decor straight out of Home and Garden magazine, Massimo was not one of them. I suppose he tried by leaving one yellowed bathrobe, a used bar of soap, and 1/4 bottle of shampoo in the bathroom along with half a hard baguette on the kitchen counter. Now, I know it is not a hotel. I am well aware that my standards should be lower but for it to be unclean is a bit of an insult. I am outraged on Troy’s behalf since he did in fact pay a cleaning fee to Airbnb along with an INSANE price for the three nights we were there. We may not have had sanitary conditions but at least we have a semi-hilarious story.
Airbnb Take 2
Private Bedroom, Madrid
I don’t like them but I was aware of the 10-year-old accompanying the owner of the flat. I waited outside for an hour or so since she checks you in between 4-7 pm or something loco like that. As they walked closer, I looked up at the exact moment to see the 10-year-old sneeze projecting snot on the ground. I’ve heard people say first impressions count. Well at this point I was thinking count me out. Fair enough, again, this is not a hotel I don’t expect little mini bottles of shampoo. I know I have to bring my own toothpaste but when I received an email prior to my arrival stating I needed to bring my own toilet paper I thought it was a language barrier induced joke. Turns out the joke was on me when I was sitting on the toilet mid pee only to realize there was no toilet paper. Yes, I searched all the cupboards while my pants were halfway down. Apparently, at this location, you needed to bring everything and leave nothing including taking out your own garbage. Apart from the price, I opted for this location because it guaranteed quiet. It had a curfew, it was in the middle of a dodgy area not near any highways or busy roads. I thought I made a good choice. It turns out every room including the living room was rented out to people. In this case, it was to a heavy metal punk band couple who enjoyed cooking at midnight. I was livid. I canceled my 4 days booking the day I arrived and of course still had to pay a cleaning fee and some sort of other fees. Then I left. The lady wasn’t too happy so that made my experience even worse. That was the one and only time I booked on Airbnb myself.
Because I am poor and wise I like the option to cancel bookings with no fee and to pay on arrival. Booking.com offers both of these options most of the time. I have always had a good experience with this site apart from them sending way too many emails that I always opt-out of but always seem to get again.
This is my jam. It’s usually cheap and some campsites offer all the amenities including pools. Camping is the best because it saves dolla dolla bills y’all. If you hate having to wear sandals in the shower like me, then just don’t shower. Problem solved. The one tiny problem with camping is that you often need a car since they are located outside cities/ away from public transport.
It is good to see other backpacker's ratings and comments so this was where I used to always book. Before (like 7 years ago), they charged a fee to sign up but now the cost falls on the accommodation itself, I assume. To potentially save a bit of money and to ensure all the money goes to the hostel, it was suggested to me to book directly with the hostel.