The bottom line is, I’m fussy as to what creature shares my bed when I’m travelling!
Early on in my travels, I learnt a valuable lesson pre internet from a seasoned traveller. He always requested to view the room before handing over his money and used to give the bed a dam good bang to test for dust and any potential undesirable creatures!. He often used to ask to view another room too, so he could compare and naturally barter, this totally meets my West Walian tendancies!
That’s one of the reasons I tend not to book ahead when I’m travelling. I will have obviously done my research as to whats available in the area I want to stay in. I often email the hotel/guest house/hostal in advance, but don’t always get a reply in time for a variety of reasons, time difference, access to wifi etc I have developed a standard list of criteria that has held me in good stead over the years.
1. One criteria that has crept further towards the top over recent years is about whether the money I pay stays local and has the potential to make a greater impact on the local community. I feel I need to know whether my monies however large or small goes to some multinational bank account overseas or within the community where I have been travelling. I know sometimes, this is is not always possible.
These are the other criteria which matter to me when booking my accommodation:-
2. Security. I often rely on my gut instinct for this by watching what goes on in reception when I first come in. In reality, this means asking a couple of questions at reception about how things work in terms of security as well as credibility of bedroom door/window security; Another reason why it’s good to request a look at the room in advance. And, I test for hot water at the same time (if it’s available).
I’ve also learnt to travel with an Egyptian sleeping bag liner for the rare occasions where there isn’t too many choices of accommodation and I’m not certain on the bed bug front. In reality, this has only ever happened once, never the less, the liner packs small and is very light. I have also used it on other occasions when the temperature dropped and there was no extra blankets available.
3. Certain Creature Comforts. Once I’m happy the security element of the hotel is fine, I also like to establish certain creature comforts. There’s not pointing being pious about it. Knowing what I will and won’t accept is important, as enjoyment is a major part of the reason why I go travelling. My most important one for me is on-suite. Not my bag walking down corridors in my dressing gown to use the facilities thank you!
Having just three criteria for making a judgement on my accommodation needs when travelling makes my life simpler and frees me to do when I like most, making memories!