Planning stays in a totally new country is actually very important. If you are going to book them yourselves(not through any travel agent).
Why plan your stay?
- That might be a real local area, not tourist friendly. Very few or no people speaking even English.(Difficult to ask for help, directions, shopping grocery)
- Sometimes trains and buses don’t run late nights on the outskirts of the city, so you need to be back before time say 10 pm, even on the days you planned for a night out.
- Sometimes the exterior areas, which are not that lively in odd hours are not safe.
- You spend your precious time travelling to the city centre every time you go out.
- Sometimes you won’t find a conveyance or cab in that area or they refuse to pick you up from that area.Note: All this I am saying above is based on one my experiences where I went to Madrid, booked a stay in Leganes. Look at Airbnb for rooms. Found a nice room for even a nicer price. I booked it straight away and realised on reaching there. When I stepped out of train station I just saw that people are not very friendly with a non-Spanish or they don’t know much about English or that area is not very touristy. So keep in mind the above point while planning your stay.
So, below are the few points based on my experiences to keep in mind while planning stays:
- While booking Airbnb: So, while booking a hotel, you need not worry about the location of hotel and such factors. As Hotels are the commercial unit, located strategically near to markets, metro, city centre, etc. Or maybe if they are far away, they must be having some mode of conveyance. But that is not the case if you look out for Airbnb’s. ALWAYS, search for city areas and city centres before booking Airbnb’s. Sometimes people just plan their stays on the basis of reviews, prices, pictures. But a bad location or one on the outskirts of the city can hamper your travel plans for the city in the following ways:
- When you are doing Couchsurfing: Especially in Asian countries. You actually need to do the following in order to ensure a hassle-free stay in that city:
- Do need to ask about the location here as well, whether it is in the city centre? or if not, Is it easily reachable by public conveyance.
- Talk to your host, and believe your instinct. If you think he/she isn’t sounding good or comfortable, believe it and skip that host. As security is one of the important concern being on foreign land where you don’t even know the local language properly.
- Don’t couchsurf, if you don’t have time to spend with your host or if your real motive is to save money. As you are making things difficult for that host to believe that people actually couchsurf for its real essence and in turn polluting the community
- Do ask about the sleeping conditions beforehand, because maybe something obvious for you is not so obvious for your host. For eg: He might not have the air conditioner, and you are expecting at least that.