Traveling every month has forced me to expand what I look for in a room. I’ve learned so much from A Year of Travel, which I will sum up at the end of the year, but my knowledge of where to sleep has vastly improved. So, maybe you are where I was this time last year and could benefit from learning. It’s also good to have options because you never you know when you’ll be in a pinch.

20171019_230745

Laugabjarg Guesthouse kitchen, Reykjavik, Iceland

Guesthouse
Fun fact, I’m actually in Iceland right now writing this from a guesthouse.

  • Pros
    • cheaper stay
    • locals to help
    • full kitchen to use
    • safe neighborhood
    • conversing with locals
    • having your own room
    • walking distance to ALL THE THINGS
  • Cons
    • sharing a bathroom
    • sharing a kitchen
    • sharing thin walls

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Hostel International Boston, common room and dining area

Hostel
I had a terrible mental image of these before I stayed in one.

  • Pros
    • priced for individual stay
    • community of travelers
    • locals ready to assist
    • safe space to store items
    • free breakfast
    • extra spaces to hang out/use computer
    • convenient location
  • Cons
    • sharing room
    • sharing bathroom
    • group kitchen
    • bunk beds
    • feeling awkward about sounds
    • expensive if traveling with others
    • long check in process

Airbnb
This is kind of a mix between the two.

  • Pros
    • list of options
    • extreme money saver
    • communication with a local before the stay
    • getting to walk in the shoes of a local
    • handpicked location
  • Cons
    • staying in someone else’s home
    • possibly sharing bathroom
    • likely sharing kitchen
    • unforeseen people

I liked the guesthouse because I was in a country that I didn’t speak the native language so talking to the owner was helpful. The independence was great as well because they don’t live here, unlike sometimes with Airbnb. Speaking of Airbnb, that’s really a toss up because it’s such a wide mixture of possibilities, from having someone’s home while they’re out of town to sharing an apartment and all living spaces. I have a hard time being in someone else’s space, kind of like the hostel. I enjoyed the open spaces to hang out in but sharing a room with 4 strangers was a challenge. The overhead light ended up staying on most of the night because I don’t know why. On a positive note, just our room used the bathroom, which had a shower in it for ultimate convenience.

My favorite will always be a hotel that you have to check in at the lobby and take an elevator to your room but it’s also nice to get off the chains and mingle with the locals.  I’m not outgoing and avoid people when possible so that’s why I like being isolated. For someone who is an extrovert and hoping to meet people, a hostel would be a great choice. For someone looking to have personal space but a common area to chat with locals, a guesthouse would be nice. For someone who is looking more for convenience of price and location, Airbnb would be a best bet. It doesn’t matter where you stay – just get going!

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