Accommodations

Swaziland huts

- When traveling abroad, don’t be afraid to arrive in a town with either no hotel reservation or one for the first night only (especially helpful for your first night in a new country). Generally, hotels you can book from a distance – either through the Internet or by phone – will have higher rates than establishments that don’t advertise. We’ve found many gems by just walking around and asking for their nightly rates.

- A cheap, lightweight and small security aid you might consider traveling with is a plastic/rubber or wooden door stop. You know, those little things you put at the bottom of doors to keep them open. You can pick them up in most hardware or department stores and put them at the bottom of your hotel room door so that anyone attempting to open it when you are inside -- especially important when you are sleeping -- will be stopped.

- Ask to see a hotel room before you pay to get better accommodations than you might otherwise.

- Cheap hotels don't always come up on net searches: You need to book these on site once you arrive.

- Private rooms with ensuite baths in hostels provide all the comforts of hotels for a lot cheaper. Mo

- When asking if a hotel/hostel if it has showers, make sure they also have HOT water and that they work 24 hours a day.

- Don't believe taxi drivers who say your hotel is full so that they can take you to another (where they get a commission).

- Consider home/farm stays where you learn a lot about the locals while living with them: language, food, music, culture, etc.

- Choosing a hotel near a landmark or well-known destination will make it easier to find your way home and to have a cab take you near.

- Unlike in America, it's normal to ask to see hotel rooms in foreign countries as they aren't as all the same.

- Have the hotel bellboy check the heating/cooling unit and television before he leaves to ensure they work & to fix them if needed.

- Save on the cost of a hotel night by traveling overnight by bus, train or plane: many have comfortable, fully reclining seats.

- Check on the cleanliness of bed linens and towels when you arrive not as you are about to go to bed when it's harder to get them changed.

- Ensure that any connecting doors between two rooms are locked: staff don't always remember to do this and someone could enter while you sleep.

- Ask for a room away from busy front street to avoid being kept awake by traffic, sirens, people, etc.

Consider home exchanges, couch surfing and Servitas orgs. to save money on accommodations.

- Renting a fully-furnished apartment for a week or more is often cheaper than hotels as you can cook your own food and feel more at home.

- If there are enough of you traveling together, you can book a small (4 to 6 beds) dorm in a hostel for cheaper than several hotel rooms.

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