Accommodation level genres:
Child / family friendly
Budget / value
Designer (Fashion) Luxury hotels
Wikipedia – Hotel types – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Hotel_types
Wikivoyage – Sleep – (Portal of Accommodation types and Information) http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Category:Sleep
– Apartments (serviced)
– Alpine huts
– Bed and breakfast
– Boat / Boatel / Barge- Sleep
– Bus –
– Bus accommodation – Sleeping beds on a bus
– Campervan / Caravan / Air stream
– Caravan parksw
– Campsites / Campgrounds
– Capsule hotel
– Combi (VW vans)
– Cottage (Country)
– Cruise ship (Sea/ Ocean) / Hotelship (River cruising)
– Eco hotel
– Farm stay
– Guest House
– Health and wellness retreat
– Hotel (Boutique, Apartment, Transit, Eco, Casino, Hospital )
– Hotel ship (large floating river cruise boat)
– Italian farmstay
– Lodge (Eco, Jungle)
– Local Traditional living / Local lodging (Eg Japanese Ryokan, Italian Pensionne
– Monastery stay
– Mountain hut
– Pop up accomodation
– Quirky accommodation – Misc (eg. Ice)
– Resort (May include conference faclities)
– Shops (Bookstores and novelty stores)
– Short stay accomodation (by the hour or use of apps to book daylight stay)
– Ski Chalet / Resort
– Spa Centre
Suites – Garden / Beachfront
– Tent: Canvas tent, standard outdoors tent, glamping luxury tent
– Tiny house
– Tourist village
– Train coach sleeping
– Transit hotel
– Tree house
– Villa rentals (Multiple people / group with bulk price)
– Volunteering in exchange for accommodation
– Yacht / Sailing boat
– Zoo grounds / Wildlife sanctuary accommodation
– Desert oasis
– Destination spas
– Hill and mountain
– Safari lodge
– Ski areas
– Sporting camp
Wikipedia – Hotel types – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Hotel_types
Wikipedia – Resorts by country – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Resorts_by_country
Wikipedia – Resorts by type – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Resorts_by_type
Wikpedia – Timeshare – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeshare
Wikipedia – Vacation Rental – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacation_rental
Accommodation– Search Engines / Databases
Note: The below websites are portal sites which offer accommodation options. Sometimes booking direct with the accommodation provider (on the actual providers website or call/ email) may end up cheaper than booking via a 3rd party portal site.
This is why it’s ideal to view both sources of pricing to find the best deal – sometimes when you contact the hotel, they may also offer additional benefits or cheaper pricing which is not disclosed already.
Note – City and country hotel and accommodation authorities also have an extensive portal of accomodation options.
Tip – Look on hotel booking sites and then call hotel direct – save on hotel site commissions
* Agoda – http://www.agoda.com.au
Aunty Betty (By flight centre) – http://www.auntbetty.com.au/
Best Rate – http://www.bestrate.com.au
Booking.com – http://www.booking.com
Cheap Tickets (USA Hotels) – http://www.cheaptickets.com/hotels/
CNN Partners – Hotels portal – https://www.cnnpartners.com/
BYO Jet – Hotels – http://www.byojet.com/Hotels
Dayuse – Hourly use of Accommodation – http://www.dayuse.com
Ebookers – Hotels – http://www.ebookers.com/hotels/
Esky – Hotels – http://hotels.esky.com/
Euro Bookings – http://www.eurobookings.com/
Hopper – Hotels – http://www.hopper.com/hotels
Hotel.com.au – http://www.hotel.com.au/
Hotels.com – http://www.hotels.com
Hotel Club – http://www.hotelclub.com
Hotels Combined – http://www.hotelscombined.com/
Hotwire (US Based) – https://www.hotwire.com/hotel/
Jetsetter (Premium hotels booking – Tripadvisor group)- http://www.jetsetter.com/
Kayak – includes heatmap features – (Sightseeing, eating, nightlife, shopping)http://www.kayak.com.au/hotels
Last minute – http://www.lastminute.com/
Luxico – Luxury hotel rental portal – http://www.luxico.com.au
Mr and Mrs Smith (Luxury and boutique hotels booking) – https://www.mrandmrssmith.com/
Needitnow – https://www.needitnow.com.au/
Orbitz (U.S. Oriented) – http://www.orbitz.com/
Oyster (Focuses on reviews and services) – http://www.oyster.com/
Priceline (U.S. Based) – http://www.priceline.com/hotels/
Quickbeds – http://www.quickbeds.com
Riparide – Accommodation and adventure suppliers – https://www.riparide.com/
Roam free (Australian accomodation) – https://www.roamfree.com.au/
Skoosh (Hotel booking) – http://www.skoosh.com/
Skyscanner hotels – http://www.skyscanner.com.au
Snap Travel – https://booking.getsnaptravel.com/
Stayz – http://www.stayz.com.au
Tablet Hotels (Portal) – https://www.tablethotels.com
Tingo (By Tripadvisor) – http://www.tingo.com/
Traveloka – Asian Hotels – http://www.traveloka.com/en/hotel
Trip advisor – http://www.tripadvisor.com.au
Tripadvisor – Holiday rentals – https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Rentals
Tripadvisor – Hotels – https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotels
Tripadvisor – Green Leaders (Sustainable Accomodation) – https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/GreenLeaders
Tripadvisor Australia – Travelers choice awards –
– Holiday rentals – https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-VacationRentals
– High end, mid range, affordable
– Hotels – https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Hotels
– World overall / Regions
– Top hotels, Small hotels, luxury, value for money, best service, b&bs and inns, Romance, family, bargain, all inclusive.
Trivago – http://www.trivago.com.au/
Venere – http://www.venere.com/
Accommodation – Reviews focused only
Traveller – News Limited Australia – Accomodation reviews – http://www.traveller.com.au/reviews/accommodation-reviews
** Upfront Reviews (Verified Accomodation reviews) – http://www.upfrontreviews.com/reviews/
Accommodation – Airline linked hotel portals
Note: Many flight and rail provuders also offer accomodation packages and stand alone accomodation options, through their carriers website.
Jetstar (Australia) – http://www.jetstar.com/au/en/hotels/
Qantas (Australia) – https://www.qantas.com/travel/airlines/hotels/global/en and http://www.qantas.com/stay
Virgin Australia (Australia) – http://www.virginaustralia.com/au/en/specials-offers/offers-from-our-partners/hotels/
Accommodation – Travel agencies
*Refer to travel agencies page*
Escape Travel –
Flight centre –
Student Flights – http://www.studentflights.com.au/accommodation/
Accommodation – National or world Accommodation industry associations / peak bodies
Accommodation – Hotel Operators/Chains
Includes: – Magazine hotel awards and rankings / worlds best awards
* Hot tip – Contact hotels direct to obtain better competitive deals (more so than online booking sites)
Boutique Hotel awards (November) – http://www.boutiquehotelawards.com/
Global Brands and Chains – Listing (by Wego Travel) – http://www.wego.com.au/hotels/chains
Gourmet traveller – Australian hotel awards – http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/travel/
Wikipedia – Hotel (Portal) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel
Wikipedia – Chain Hotels – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Hotel_chains and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_chain
Wikipedia – Hotels by country – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Hotels_by_country
Wikipedia – Hotels in the United states – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Hotels_in_the_United_States
Wikipedia – Hotel rating – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_rating
Wikipedia – List of chain branded hotels worldwide – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_chained-brand_hotels
Accor (Group) –
– includes – M gallery series
Ace hotels – https://www.acehotel.com/
Address (The) – By Emaar –
Adina (Serviced Apartments)
Aman hotels – https://www.aman.com/
Aqueen Hotels (Singapore) – http://www.aqueenhotels.com/
Armani Hotels –
Art Series Hotels (Australia) – http://www.artserieshotels.com.au/
Belmond Luxury Hotels – http://www.belmond.com/
Best western (Australia) – http://www.bestwestern.com.au/
Big 4 Holiday parks – http://www.big4.com.au/
Buglari Hotels – http://www.bulgarihotels.com/
Centara (Thailand) –
Club med –
Como hotels – http://www.comohotels.com/
Conrad hotels and Casinos
Design Hotels – https://www.designhotels.com/
Even (wellness) hotel – by Intercontinental –
Event hotels – https://www.evt.com/our-brands/hotels-resorts/
Firmdale luxury hotels – http://www.firmdalehotels.com
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
FRHI Hotels & Resorts (Group) –
– Raffles –
Global hotels alliance (Independent hotels alliance) – https://www.gha.com/Hotel-Brands
Rewards scheme: https://www.priorityguestrewards.com.au/
Art series hotel group
Meritage Collection – http://meritagecollection.com/
Hilton Hotel (Group) – http://www.hilton.com/
Hip Hotels – http://www.hiphotels.com/
– Holiday Inn express
Hotel Alliance Group (Premium portal and alliance of luxury small independent hotels) – http://www.hotelalliancegroup.com/
Leading Hotels of the World (Luxury Hotels) – http://www.lhw.com/
Luxury lodges of Australia – http://www.luxurylodgesofaustralia.com.au/
Lux Resorts – http://www.luxresorts.com/
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group –
Mantra (Self contained apartments) – http://www.mantra.com.au/
Marriott (Group) –
AC Hotels Aloft Hotels Autograph Collection Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Courtyard Delta Hotels Design Hotels EDITION Hotels Element by Westin ExecuStay Fairfield Inn Four Points Gaylord Hotels Grand Residences JW Marriott Le Méridien The Luxury Collection Marriott Conference Centers Marriott Executive Apartments Marriott Golf Marriott Hotels & Resorts Marriott Vacation Club Moxy Hotels Protea Hotels Renaissance Hotels Residence Inn Ritz-Carlton Ritz-Carlton Destination Club St. Regis Sheraton SpringHill Suites TownePlace Suites Tribute Portfolio W Hotels Westin
National geographic – Unique lodges of the world – http://www.nationalgeographiclodges.com/
NH collection hotels –
Nikki Beach clubs –
NRMA Holiday parks – https://www.nrmaholidayparks.com.au/
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts –
One and only resorts –
Ovolo Hotels – http://www.ovolohotels.com/en/
Pan Pacific (Group) –
Peninsula hotel (Group) –
Preferred hotesl (Collection of independent hotels) – https://preferredhotels.com/
Premier Inn (UK) –
Punt Hill Serviced Apartments (Australia) –
Quest (Serviced Apartments) –
RAC (WA) parks and resorts – https://parksandresorts.rac.com.au/
RACV (Victoria) club Hotels (Australia) – http://www.racv.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/racv/resorts/racv+resorts/resort-locations
– Locations – Victoria: Cape Schank, Cobram, Goldfields, Inverloch, Torquay. Clubs: Melbourne CBD and Healesville country club.
Queensland – Noosa, Goldcoast
Tasmania – Hobart
Small Luxury hotels of the world – http://www.slh.com/
Spicers retreats -https://spicersretreats.com/
Swire hotels – http://www.swirehotels.com/en/default.aspx
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces –
Vida Hotels –
– Virgin Limited edition collection – http://www.virginlimitededition.com/en/
Wyndham (Group) –
Zen rooms (Budget options – focused on Singapore and Asia) – https://www.zenrooms.com/
Airline owned hotels
– Virgin Hotel – Virgin Atlantic – http://www.virginhotels.com/
– Easy Hotels – Easy Jet – http://www.easyhotel.com/
– Hotel Vueling by Vueling – http://www.hotelvuelingbyhc.com/
– Tune Hotels – Airasia – http://www.tunehotels.com/
Bus Accommodation – Moving hotel
Ride cabin – Accommodation on a bus – Los Angeles to San Francisco – https://www.ridecabin.com/
Accommodation – Local living – Types culturally specific to each nation – Selected
Americas (North, Central and South):
Costa Rica –
United States –
Asia (Subcontinent, South east and North):
Japan – Ryokan, Capsule hotel, Onsen (with accommodation)
Czech Republic –
France – Chateau
Germany – Castle
Italy – Pensionne
Portugal – Pousadas
Spain – Paradores
United Kingdom –
Middle East and Central Asia:
United Arab Emirates
Pacific / Oceania:
New Zealand –
Accommodation – Local living / Bed and Breakfast / Holiday rentals – booking
– Includes local focused city room / apartment rental websites / organisations / real estate agents.
– Bed and breakfast associations
9 Flats – https://www.9flats.com/
– Destinations – https://www.airbnb.com.au/sitemaps
– Neighbourhoods – https://www.airbnb.com.au/locations
– Social media – https://www.airbnb.com.au/sitemaps/social-media
– Local airbnb sites – https://www.airbnb.com.au/sitemaps/localized
Family – https://www.airbnb.com.au/s?place_id=&query=&refinement_paths%5B%5D=%2Fhomes&collection_ids%5B%5D=1
Work – https://www.airbnb.com.au/s?place_id=&query=&refinement_paths%5B%5D=%2Fhomes&collection_ids%5B%5D=2
– Homes + Experiences
plus – https://www.airbnb.com.au/plus
– Cohosting – https://www.airbnb.com.au/co-hosting
– Disaster response – https://www.airbnb.com.au/disaster-response and https://www.airbnbcitizen.com/disaster-response/
– Latest Airbnb travel alerts and ‘Open’ portal – https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/topic/354/airbnb-open
– How to Travel – https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/getting-started/how-to-travel
– How it works – https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/getting-started/how-it-works
– Help – https://www.airbnb.com.au/help
Home sharing clubs – https://www.airbnbcitizen.com/clubs/
Facebook – Rentals – Facebook pages, organisations and groups
– Search destination city / area or country
Flipkey (By Tripadvisor) – http://www.flipkey.com/
Go with Oh – Europe based local living – http://www.gowithoh.com/en/
Holiday view – Holiday rentals – https://www.holidayview.com.au/
Homeaway – http://www.homeaway.com.au/
* Homestay (Hosted Accomodation) – https://www.homestay.com/
Love Home swap (International home swap) – http://www.lovehomeswap.com/
Night Swapping – http://www.nightswapping.com/
Onefine stay – http://www.onefinestay.com/
Panda Bed (Local living in Asia) – https://www.pandabed.com/
Servas (International Peace and cultural understand Homestay hosting) – http://www.servas.org and http://servas.org.au/
Tripping (Holiday rental search engine) – http://www.tripping.com/
Unusual Hotels of the World (Quirky world accommodation) – http://www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com/
Vacation rentals – http://www.vacationrentals.com
Vrbo – http://www.vrbo.com/
Your home my home – http://www.yourhomemyhome.com.au/
Way to Stay (Holiday Apartments) – http://www.waytostay.com/
Wimdu – (Apartment and Holiday Rentals – Focus on Europe) – http://www.wimdu.com/
Accommodation – Short term / Airport Accommodation options / Hourly charged
Snooze Cube – airport sleeping pods – http://snoozecube.com
Accommodation– Emergency / Refuges
Emergency BNB (Emergency accommodation – Domestic violence or refuge) – http://www.emergencybnb.com/
Accommodation – Hostels /Backpacking / Camping / Glamping / Houseboats / National park stay / Tiny home vacations
For a website summary of youth hostel associations / organisation in various countries, refer to the ‘Worldwide Hostels Summary’ page.
Alan Rogers – Portal of European Camping and caravanning sites (and publications) – https://alanrogers.com/
Big tiny – Tiny homes travel locations in Australia – https://www.bigtiny.com.sg/
Campermate – New Zealand and Australia – Camping – https://www.campermate.co.nz/
Camping card UK – https://www.campingcard.co.uk/
Camping card International – http://campingcardinternational.com/
Camping direct – https://www.campingdirect.com/en/
Camp in my garden – http://campinmygarden.com/
Couchsurfing – https://www.couchsurfing.org/
Hostelling International – http://www.hihostels.com/
Hostel Geeks (Sustainable and comfortable Hostel booking portal) – http://hostelgeeks.com/
Hostelworld – http://www.hostelworld.com
* Hostelz (Worldwide hostel portal) – http://www.hostelz.com/
Hostel zoo – http://hostelzoo.com/
Hovelstay (Rustic and simple no frills worldwide accommodation portal) – http://www.hovelstay.com/
Kindled – Tiny house accomodation – https://www.kindled.com.au/
Oops Hostel (Paris) – http://www.oops-paris.com/
Pitchup – https://www.pitchup.com/
Poshpacker – http://www.theposhpacker.com/
Turu (Camping Australia) – http://turu.com.au/
Wikicamping – Australian camp site locations and portal – https://www.wikicamps.com.au/
You camp – Camping on private Australian land – https://youcamp.com/
Country or region Camping / Caravan authorities or organisations
– Refer to city, region or country’s national park service
– NSW caravan park association – caravan-camping.com.au
– Queensland Caravan and camping authority – http://www.caravanqld.com.au
– Victoria – Parkstay Victoria (National park campsites and accommodation – by – Parks Victoria, Australia) – http://www.parkstay.vic.gov.au/
United states of America
– Camping America – http://www.gocampingamerica.com/
– Koa USA Camping sites – https://koa.com/
– National US park service – Camping – https://www.nps.gov/subjects/camping/index.htm
– US campgrounds – http://www.uscampgrounds.info/
Notable companies – Hostels/Backpacking / Camping:
Plus Hostels (Around Europe – Includes Florence) – http://plushostels.com/plusflorence
Safestay hostel (London) – http://www.safestay.co.uk/
St Christophers Hostel Chain – *(UK – Bath, Edinburgh, London, Newquay; Rest of Europe – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bruges, Paris, Prague) – http://www.st-christophers.co.uk/
U Hostel (Madrid) – http://en.uhostels.com/
Student accommodation providers / buildings
American national concierge association – http://www.ncakey.org/
International concierge and lifestyle directory – http://iclmdirectory.com/
Housesitting / Pet Sitting Services
Mindahome – http://mindahome.com.au/
Mind My House (Worldwide house sitting) – http://www.mindmyhouse.com/
Pet sitting Australia – http://www.petsittingaustralia.com.au/
Suitcase Stories – Housesitting Guides – http://suitcasestories.com/house-sitting/
Trusted House Sitters – http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/au/
Your home my home – http://www.yourhomemyhome.com.au/
Housesitting – Training:
Housesitting academy – https://www.housesittingacademy.com/welcome
Wikipedia – Hotel Amenities – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_amenity
Accepts credit cards
Activities (Leisure / Recreational offered by hotel – such as Golf, Tennis)
Bar (Inside or poolside)
Check out policies
Clothesline / Clothes drying
Computer / Printer facilities
Dining / Restaurant – Includes Breakfast, Lunch, dinner service
Entertainment – Local artists, performers
Gym / Fitness centre
Iron (In room)
Ironing / Laundry service
Kitchen (Micro, Oven, Food cooling, sink, stove)
Linen (Bedding sheets, Towels)
Parking / secure car parking
Personal items (Showercap, Sanitation disposal, Sewing kit, Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap)
Relaxation – Massage etc
Room access (Smart pass or key)
Secure baggage storage
Security (24hr) / Security guards
Sleeping type (Couch, Sleeping bag, Futon, Hammock, Single, Queen, King beds)
Swimming pool / spa / Sauna (Indoor or outdoor)
Television (Local tv or cable / pay television)
Transit hotel shuttle / transport
Wifi / Internet services (free or additional)
Booking and Planning Hotels / Accomodation
When booking hotels and accommodation, I always use both ‘Tripadvisor’ and ‘Agoda’ (at the same time) to pick my ideal accommodation.
1) Hotel reviews
Firstly using Trip advisor (http://www.tripadvisor.com) or Trip Expert (http://www.tripexpert.com), and filter searches based on location, price and availability of the room type I’m after. Then when the results show up look for the hotels with good ratings (I sort by the hierarchy of ratings – so then you get the best hotel for the value and best service). Once hotels are found, you can then go back and forth with Agoda to check prices.
2) Hotel booking
Secondly using ‘Agoda’ (http://www.agoda.com), I filter my search within each city based on location, price and availability of the room type I’m after.
If you are after something on the cheap and more homely (my favourite), another recommended resource is ‘Airbnb’ (http://www.airbnb.com). It’s good for finding private accommodation and housing in places, where general prices of accommodation in Agoda for the city you are in are not ideal. With Airbnb, go for accommodation with many reviews and ones you feel comfortable with. Also advisory to email the accommodation host with any questions you may have. If you don’t ask, you won’t know!
Coming to a decision
Using both 1 & 2 I put the data in the spreadsheet where I can have all the information at hand, to make an informed decision and have the best located hotel for the best value for money. It doesn’t take very long and it will save your serious dollars and save you any surprises when you arrive.
Hotel room upgrades
If you’re savvy with hotel hotels work and operate you can score your self upgrades and other additional benefits.
Useful tips can be found via the links here:
- Flight Centre – How to score a hotel room upgrade – http://www.flightcentre.com.au/travel-news/travel-tips/how-to-score-a-hotel-room-upgrade/
- Huffington Post – How to get hotel upgrade – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-tomsky/staying-at-a-hotel-heres-_b_3707621.html
Security in a hotel is an important matter to be taken seriously. Being not only in a different location, but also a hotel where housekeepers (who may have wandering hands) or in general the safety climate of the city, you would want to ensure your belongings are safe and secure.
When looking for hotels, I always check that there is a safe at the reception area (which is only accessible by authorised hotel staff). This is important to keep your money, passport documentation and valuables secure (anytime you are leaving your room). Important not to have your items in the hotel safe, as they can easily be opened by a savvy hotel worker or cleaner (If you don’t believe me, an assortment of Youtube videos will demonstrate the perils of hotel ‘safes’). If a hotel has no safe facility, I would not stay there.
With luggage when leaving your room (even for a simple dinner downstairs), have your luggage locked and secure. You may have things left out (eg Clothes, alarm clock etc) but at least the majority of your belongings are locked away.
More information on ‘Security inside the hotel’ can be found here: Modern survival blog – 10 personal security tips for hotel stays – http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/10-personal-security-tips-for-hotel-stays/
Checking out hours before transport
Say you have a morning checkout at a hotel/accommodation and your checkout is in the morning and your flight is in the afternoon. Where do I keep my luggage you ask?
Most hotels and accommodation premises have a ‘luggage hold room’ where customers who still want to explore the city after checking out can leave their belongings in a secure location.
When booking accommodation, you can ask the hotel if they have a hold room for luggage and where it is located. If so, ask is it is secure and locked by hotel staff. If it just left in a general non secure area, I would be wary and not leave the luggage. Only exception is if it’s behind the check in counter and clearly tagged with your details. What should occur is when you leave your luggage in the hold, they will tag the bags (individually) and give you a receipt – like a cloakroom. This is important to make sure ALL belongs are there for your collection upon your return.
Related to this – at the same time you put your luggage in hold, arrange your transportation to the airport or other arranged transportation. From experience, this will prevent taxis from being unavailable (happened in Thailand) and also give you peace of mind for when you return. Most hotels will do this for you and will call them up. It’s important upon your return to the hotel, that you follow this up with the hotel staff if they called (in our case they had forgotten) – very important or you could be waiting a very long time.
Also if its a hot day or you feel the need to feel refreshed, you can ask the hotel staff to use a vacant shower. Some hotels have an issue when this is asked, as you have already been checked out, but in all our cases if you ask persuasively and leverage the fact that you will leave a glowing review on Tripadvisor, then they will definitely oblige. Most often they have a spare room (have to leave it pristine as it was) or at least be able to use the hotel staff shower (it’s usually where the hotel staff get changed). Especially before a long haul flight, this can be a blessing to be clean and fresh. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Breakfast and Lunch
In the morning when having breakfast (this is in the case that there is buffet or breakfast available part of your stay at the hotel), you can put aside some goodies to become your lunch. Usually at the breakfast fare there is a selection of hams, breads and also fruits – just to name a few. As you have packed wisely, you will have had a reusable container or plastic zip lock bag – which will come in use. You may be reading this and think ‘hey that’s shifty’, but if you think about it your paying for breakfast so why not. You can save money and also keep yourself fuelled up on the go. More info on saving money on food when travelling can be found on Wikihow – Save money on food when traveling – http://www.wikihow.com/Save-Money-on-Food-when-Traveling
**Word of warning ** – Use this piece of advise at your peril, as this generally doesn’t resonate well with the hotel. Use your common sense and if it’s going to get you in ‘hot water’ then best to forget it.
Bed bugs and bed slips
So you may try to avoid thinking about it, but your accommodation bed has probably been inhabited by hundreds of people in the past and even with the best of cleaning, it doesn’t cover all areas- scary ha? This is why when booking accommodation it’s important to look at reviews. The more reviews with positive feedback reflect consistency in service and cleanliness.
A major offender in hotels if not addressed is bed bugs. These are small critters which live in the cracks and crevasses of the mattress and when asleep, come and bite your body. More info on what they look like are indicators can be found here: Bedbugs (Wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bed_bug and on Bedbugs 101 – Detection – http://bedbugs101.weebly.com/detection.html
Simple tips and methods can be carried out to tell if your accommodation is compromised by bed bugs. More information on protecting yourself here: Wikihow – Protect yourself from bedbugs while traveling – http://www.wikihow.com/Protect-Yourself-from-Bed-Bugs-While-Traveling
If you detect bed bugs, contact hotel staff immediately and request a change in room. In addition, one simple and cheap way to create a buffer zone in your sleeping area is having a ‘bed slip’. This is simply a thin version of a sleeping bag and provides a hygienic and safe buffering within your bedding. This is especially good if you’re staying in hostels or where there is communal sleeping. Or it can be useful if you are not 100% with cleanliness. You can find these on ebay relatively inexpensive (search ‘bed slip’) and they come in various materials and colours. Personally I have a white silk style bed slip, which allows me to see if there is any dirt or areas of concern.
General Hotel safety tips
Information obtained from http://www.news.com.au (Published 30 Nov 2012).
Before you go
• Make a list of your valuables, including models and serial numbers, and take photos of them. Leave a copy of this at home – you don’t want your list to get stolen.
• Consider insuring your valuables.
• In case you are robbed, it’s a good idea to have copies of all your important documents (air tickets, passport, visas etc); keep one set in a separate spot to the originals, and give another copy to someone at home.
Upon arrival at the hotel
• When choosing your room, make sure the entrance is well lit. You may want to check if the hotel has security cameras. Remember, travellers make great targets for thieves, you don’t yet know your way around, or even who should be around.
Whenever you leave your room
• Leave the lights on. You could leave the TV or the radio on too.
• Close the blinds so no one can see what’s inside or if anyone is there.
• Don’t forget to lock the doors and close the windows – and the balcony door if you’re lucky enough to have a balcony.
• If there’s a telephone in the room, turn down the ringer so that no one can hear it ring out.
• Pack your belongings back into your suitcase before you leave your room; lock it if you have a lock. If someone enters your room and there’s nothing on display they may not bother to look for anything. It’s an obstacle, at least.
• Don’t return your key to the front desk on leaving your hotel if the key and room number will be hanging behind the desk, visible to everyone, and announcing that you’re not in there.
Protect your valuables.
• Don’t leave any cash, jewellery or your passport in your room. If you must, then make it hard for them to be found – don’t leave them out in the open. Thieves will want to get in and out quickly.
• If the hotel has a safe, consider putting your valuables in it.
• If you need to leave your valuables, consider hiding them by using tape to fasten them to the underside of a wardrobe or another piece of furniture.
• If you see anyone suspicious, let reception know.
When you are inside your room
• Keep the door locked at all times when you’re inside.
• If someone knocks on your door and you don’t know who it is, don’t open it.
• Place a wedge under the door or a chair under the handle or something against the door, so that if someone tries to open it while you’re asleep you will know.
• You could even make your own alarm system; stack several glasses (or other objects that will make a noise) next to the door. If the door opens the objects will fall over and make enough noise to wake you. Don’t forget to test your system.
• When you’re sleeping, separate your cash and credit cards/ATM cards and put them in a few different locations.
If you’re burgled
• Get out of your room; the thief might still be in there!
• Call hotel security and the police.
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