When booking a place to sleep on your trip you are provided with a multitude of websites offering all forms of accommodation. So the question is where and how do you book your ultimate place to sleep?
As with everything, depending on your own wishes and requirements there are different places to look for accommodation. In general you have four options: go budget and book a hostel, book a hotel, an apartment, or try to find a free place to stay (couch surfing). I only have experience with the first two options, so here some tips to find your ideal hotel or hostel.
If I start looking for accommodation abroad my first step is usually to check booking.com. This website is a massive database with a variety of mainly hotels and some hostels. The website is very easy to use and provides a variety of filters and sorting mechanisms to find the ideal hotel for you. I try to filter either on review score or price, and usually end up with a balance between the two. The website has a big advantage that it usually provides the option to cancel your booking up to an x amount of days in advance. The downside of the website is that you have to really check the location of the hotel, since many hotels define the city limits rather freely.
If your budget is limited and you couldn’t find a suitable hotel, or you are traveling with a larger number of people, hostels are the way to go. Hostels provide either single, double, or dorm room style accommodation, and frequently located in the city centre. My favorite website to book a hostel is Hostelbookers. This website allows you to search per location, your date, and the number of people you travel with. Additionally, you are able to filter your search results to for example double rooms only, or minimum rating. When looking at reviews of hostel I usually take the review score as leading. People review the hostels on various values, and in my opinion location, cleanness and safety are most important. They also judge hotels on “fun”, but unless you are traveling by yourself and planning to stay in a hostel for a week or two, this should not be leading.
Websites such as Hostelworld and Booking.com also provide hostels. The downside of Hostelworld is that you have to pay a booking fee (Hostelbookers is free), but it offers a slightly larger selection of hostels. So if you want to go to a more remote area this website might have an option for you if Hostelbookers fails.
So, unfortunately not a clear cut answer, but depending on your own wishes and budgetfinding a place to stay shouldn’t be too difficult. If you want a romantic hotel skip Hostelboookers, and if you want a party break with a group of friends, avoid booking.com Most important is to check what other people say about it and decide if it is valid for you (no baby cribs might not apply to you, but lead to a bad review). Once you find your ideal place get out your credit card and just book!