How to Survive Your Budget Hotel

I’ve spent many years traveling on the cheap. Some of the best traveling I have ever done has been on a shoestring budget. That being said, some of the worst traveling I have ever done has also been on a tight budget. The one thing I have learned, which many disagree, is spend a little more on your lodging, you will be glad you did.

So that brings me to the tips that have helped me survive budget lodging:

Spend as much as your budget will allow for lodging

Yes you can get amazing deals on rooms that cost next to nothing, but ask yourself, do you really want to sleep there? Granted you will probably spend very little time in your room, but you are going to need somewhere to leave your stuff, shower and sleep. A good deal on a room will mean nothing if you have to go stay somewhere else because the cheapest room you got was to gross to stay in.

Check for bedbugs!

I cannot stress this enough. Bedbugs aren’t necessarily a budget hotel issue, even the fancy ones have had this nasty issue. Nothing will ruin your trip faster than being bitten up in your sleep by these disgusting little creatures. Before you unpack, leave your suitcase by the door and check for bedbugs. You can check by pulling the mattress away from the wall, and checking in the creases around the seam of the mattress. You will be looking for little red dots or bed bugs themselves. If you see them, or signs of them, get the hell out of there. Even the keenest eye can miss them, but you are most likely safe.

Check review websites

Tripadvisor should be your first stop when looking for a budget hotel. This is an absolute must for me before I go to any hotel. There are usually a few persnickety people who leave petty complaints, but if  most of the complaints have the same subject, like the room is dirty, then you know that is probably true. It also gives you a good idea of what to expect from your room.

Make sure you are centrally located

Again you may get a great price on a room, but if you are too far out you can be spending more in the long run on transportation. Something that is centrally located is good too because food and attractions that are close to your lodging, make life a lot easier.

Think of it like an adventure

Keep in mind that your lodging is your home base. If you are traveling, you shouldn’t be spending all of your time in your hotel, you should be out seeing the city you came to see. You just need a safe place to sleep and wash. Remember, it’s not home, it’s somewhere new. So, get out of your room and see the sights that you came to see.

Remember you are paying to stay there

In America the customer is always right, in the UK the customer is always wrong, is a common joke that we hear often. While it is true that customer service is much different than it is in America, you still have rights as a customer. You have paid for a room and you should get one that is clean and safe. Do  not be afraid to stand up for your rights.

I know this post may make budget lodging sound horrible and terrifying, and sometimes it is, but as a whole it really isn’t. I have traveled on the cheap for years. I have never had an experience so bad that I had to find other accommodations. Think of it as an adventure and remember you only really need a room to leave your luggage, sleep and wash up. If you can remember that you are there to see the sites and not the inside of your hotel room you will be okay. As long as your room is clean and safe, it is good. It may be a bit shabby but that can be overlooked for scoring a great deal.

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  1. I say AMEN to checking for bedbugs! My first trip to England involved a trip to the chemist and being doped up on anti-histamines! A coworker in Milton Keynes stayed in a shady hostel, brought the bugs HOME, and she suffered welts for months before her room was fumigated.

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