Reward points just aren’t going to be available this time since you’re going to a destination with bed & breakfast inns or accommodations with amenities that don’t suit you. What next? Now that you’ve determined the type of traveler you are, you need to consider the next option, AirBnB.com.
First, it’s okay that you prefer not to stay at a B&B. It’s also not a bad thing if you are not interested in staying at a no-frills or even a boutique property. Better to know yourself and then stay where you’ll be happy. And, yes, you may not be the type of traveler who stays in a certain type of lodging, end up staying there, and you surprise yourself.
However, the bottom line is that our time is precious. How we spend it and making ourselves happy (and comfortable) are critical factors, no matter the length of stay. While some are averse to AirBnB.com, you have to figure there are some pretty swanky properties if Beyonce and Kim Kardashian are calling it their temporary home (yes, endorsements help).
What is your purpose for traveling? Business? Are you with a group (willing or unwilling to stay together but need to be in reasonably close proximity?)? Are you working on a project or attending a conference together or carpooling or conducting confidential business?
- Look for a place with creature comforts. What are the amenities? Is the owner nearby or absent and which is important to you
- Are there good eats on-site or are you going to be foraging for your meals?
- Do you enjoy cooking? What is the kitchen like and are there nearby grocery, gourmet, and/or farmers’ markets?
- Scope out the neighborhood on Google Earth. Safe? Quiet? Again, depending on your needs, quiet may work or busy may be preferred.
- Help the sharing economy. Do you have to use Uber or Lyft for all your transport (and if you don’t want to drive there and plan on cocktails with every meal, it might be best).
- Is there public transportation nearby and is that what you need?
- Are you traveling for a destination wedding? Are you looking for a place for everyone to hang out, in style? You’ll need accommodations that extend beyond just a place to sleep so look for a place with a kickin’ common room to mix drinks, hang by the pool (yep, this is another amenity), etc.
- You may not be religious but some services are non-denominational and don’t necessarily happen in a traditional place of worship, such as a temple or church. Hong Kong and so many other cities offer tai chi or yoga in a park, vineyard, farm, or other setting. Ask around—the Chamber of Commerce or other local organizations might post this information online.
When you aren’t staying in a luxury hotel, you may find yourself in a location in which the only options for accommodations are a bed & breakfast inn or AirBnB home. Non-traditional lodging is often in a neighborhood, so find that neighbor who loves to chat or talk to those walking their dogs.
Ask yourself the questions above, know your deal breakers, and go with the flow. Make it your space. Maybe you never have to do the AirBnB thing again or maybe you’ll venture to another cool destination and opt for one. Read the fine print as you would any policies for your mainstream stays. You might just be surprised at how much more you get for your money.