With the growing consensus that Airbnb is not worth its price these days, you’re probably back to booking hotels as your first choice for your next trip this summer. And if you can afford it, you might automatically assume that it’s best to go for the more luxurious accommodations within your budget. But does a higher price really lead to a higher quality experience? (And with room service gets fired in many hotels across the country, which even counts as luxury more?)
When you are budgeting in your pre-trip spreadsheet, your accommodation situation should not be based solely on how many you can technically afford. Instead, it’s important to consider where you’re going, who you’re with, and your travel priorities at your particular destination. The sacrifices in luxury amenities might well be worth the money allocated to other parts of your trip. Here’s what you should consider before booking your next stay.
Is a luxury hotel worth the cost?
When luxury accommodations cost several hundred dollars more than budget options, it’s worth taking a second and breaking down exactly what you’re paying for. The difference in cost may not accurately reflect the difference in experience.
Personally, an aspect of “luxury” which is usually worth the price is the cleanliness. However, higher room cost is not necessarily leads to a higher level of cleanliness. A small 2016 study of TravelMath goes one step further and found that budget hotels are just as clean or cleaner than five star accommodations.
Then again, if you can afford the extra few hundred dollars, the reasons for splurging on luxury accommodation are pretty obvious. You will be pay for a greater sense of security, convenience of location, and all the tangible amenities and intangible atmosphere that makes something ‘luxury’. Your decision then boils down to what priority “luxury” really has for your travels. Read on to reconsider the benefits of budget hotels in other areas of your stay.
How long will you actually spend in the room?
In addition to room charges, budget hotels provide more savings in other areas of your trip. Think about it: How much time do you really spend in your hotel? What if the money you spent on your sleeping situation could be reallocated to a fancy meal, an extra day trip, or a nice keepsake?
Our advice is to look in your daily itineraries for your trip before you book your hotel. Consider whether your hotel is an integral part of your experience or just a place to shower and sleep. For trips where you’re out all day every day, it may make more sense to save money on accommodation.
Which offers more flexibility?
Whether due to an emergency, a delayed flight or a desire to extend the vacation, your travel dates may change. It will usually be easier to extend your stay at budget hotels, in terms of room availability, as well as your wallet.
Could you really be happier in a cheap hotel?
If you are one of those people for whom the hotel is essentially the destination – totally valid! – so let yourself go. But like The dot guy argues that cheaper hotels have one of the greatest intangible benefits of all: managed expectations. Where a luxury stay can overwhelm you with the need to get your money’s worth out of every little deal, a budget hotel has the potential to pleasantly surprise you again and again during your stay.
Moreover, if you are travel alone and want to meet peoplebudget spaces are a much better bet than the privacy and quiet people pay for in luxury hotels.