This weeks theme is accommodations and all the tips, advice, and unique accommodations to stay when planning your next trip.
Weekend Wanderlust, is one of the largest Twitter chats for the travel loving community. Each week a group of hosts answer a range of travel related questions. The chat runs weekly on Thursdays at 9pm ET/6pm PT utilizing the hashtag #WeekendWanderlust to follow along the conversation. After each session we collect the best and most helpful answers in this #WeekendWanderlust Twitter Chat recap to prevent them from getting lost in the twittersphere.
Q1: What’s your favorite type of accommodation (hotels, hostels, airbnbs, etc.)? Why is it your favorite?
We love a good hotel! Doesn’t have to be fancy; we like comfy and casual just as much! Give us a room with a view, and a comfy lobby, and we’re good! – @TravelLatte
I prefer hotels with a complimentary breakfast, but I enjoy all types of accommodations. I did a mix of hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs this summer in
#CentralEurope and they were all great. – @StevenOnTheMove
Hostels are my absolute favorite type of overnight lodging! I like the social atmosphere, meeting new people, and certainly the price. Makes travel more affordable and excitable! – @BarnetteJason
I love hotels, the more luxurious the better! I love the views and the fact taht I don’t have to clean up all the time. (Plus I love the pools). – @epicureanexpats
My favourite type is Couchsurfing. I know it involves sleeping on couches and odd places, but it feels like home and you save on accommodation costs! – @thewandererblog
I’m fine with a hotel. But honestly, I don’t need anything fancy; I only use the room to shower and sleep. I’m usually out all day. – @Polymathically
hotels. if there is an issue, there are other rooms to change to and more options. Airbnbs can be hit or miss for me – @jetsettingjoggr
Q2: Have you ever used house sitting as a method of accommodation? Any tips on getting sits?
I have never done house sitting in exchange for a place to crash, but if I ever did it would need to be a farmhouse with goats – @BarnetteJason
Once or twice, usually just for relatives. – @Polymathically
Never been house sitting before… I guess the closest thing I’ve done is stay at my parents house when they go out or something where they aren’t home for the night. Does that count? – @EatWorkTravel
I haven’t, but I did consider using it when I was looking for a place to live temporarily while finding a place to rent – @thewandererblog
Q3: What’s your top priority when shopping for accommodations – Location? Price? Amenities? Or something completely different?
For me it’s really the price. I’m literally only going to use it as a place to sleep. And maybe shower once a week. I don’t need anything else, so why pay for what I won’t use? – @BarnetteJason
We almost always look for location first, especially in cities where we want to walk a lot. Not gonna lie: Price is a big factor, too. And in cities like Paris…we want a view! – @TravelLatte
We want the whole package! Nice hotel that is safe and clean in a good location with good amenities. It can be challenging at times, but it is possible to find! – @byland_and_sea
location, location, location. Start with where I want to be then narrow down by reviews and price. Free breakfast and wifi are bonuses. – @jetsettingjoggr
I think I usually prioritize price, then amenities, then location in that order. As long as I can take public transit into my main destination from my accommodation, I’m good. – @savvydispatches
Location & Amenities are a top priority for us. Love being able to walk out the hotel front doors & be in the middle or a short walk from everything. Amenities are great as well to help us relax any time we are in the accommodations. – @EatWorkTravel
I’m always on a strict budget, so price first then location. As long as it’s within walking distance to the city centre or on a bus/subway line – @thewandererblog
Location and if we can book the place on points! We get some of our best point to dollar value out of our
#hotel points. – @ParksandPoints
Q4: Do you book hotels directly through the hotel or using a third party such as Expedia, Booking.com or Hotwire?
Directly through the hotel. If the price is better somewhere else, we just call the hotel & they will match it. Never had an issue. – @EatWorkTravel
I look at third party first to check on location, then go to the hotel site to see if I get extras. Like with Marriott, they will give bonus points if you book through their site. – @epicureanexpats
Normally a mix of Hotels.com and Booking.com – gotta get dem free rooms & affiliate income! – @IBBtravel
I use a variety of booking methods. Sometimes it’s directly through the hotel and sometimes through a third-party like Hotwire. Ultimately it depends on the price. If it’s same price I’d rather get the rewards points and book directly with the hotel. – @StevenOnTheMove
We book with Expedia quite often so we can double – or triple – dip on Rewards! – @TravelLatte
I usually use @bookingcom as I get points for every time I book, which can be turned into cash rewards. If the place isn’t on that site, then directly from the hotel – @thewandererblog
Q5: What are your secrets for scoring an amazing room at a great rate?
Hotels.com ‘s secret prices (I think you need to be at least silver status for it) and Bookin’s Genius. Both allow you to get discounts as well as additional perks like early check-in or late check-out! – @IBBtravel
Flexibility is the key to scoring a great room at a great rate. Sometimes it means booking with lesser-known properties or sites or changing your dates (if possible). – @StevenOnTheMove
When I get to the hotel, I ask them if there any upgrades available. At the Ritz Carlton one time, a huge conference was loading in, so they upgrades us to a suite – Bedroom, Living rooom, 1.5 bathrooms. – @epicureanexpats
Traveling in the off season is the best way to score an amazing room at a great rate! I’ve stayed in some lovely places for as much as half price during off season trips. – @savvydispatches
Nothing fancy. I just focus on going during a shoulder season if possible. – @Polymathically
Q6: What’s your preferred frequent stay/points program for obtaining free or upgraded accommodations?
I’m a huge fan of @ihgrewardsclub , I visited New York City at Christmas and used my points to stay at the @NYBarclayHotel which goes for $500 per night during the busy holiday season. – @Casualtravelist
Our favorite was SPG with Marriott a good #2. Since they’re one company now, still #1, but Hilton is coming on strong! – @TravelLatte
I’ve become pretty dedicated to @HiltonHonors. The program is flexible, and it is relatively easy to earn lower-tier status. – @StevenOnTheMove
Don’t really have one for upgrades. I’m rarely in the room at all to really care! – @Polymathically
Q7: What are your deal breakers or must haves when booking accommodations?
Proximity to transportation, groceries, etc. I stayed a fancy resort at Phuket, but loathed it because it was so far away from everything. The place I stayed at in London was rather drab, but it was right next to the DLR and near museums. – @Polymathically
Sanitation. I don’t need fancy hotels nor much facilities/perks. I want a clean room. I’ve had disappointments with this aspect when it comes to Airbnb… – @takemomalong
Our deal breaker is that it must have updated bedding! Generally, if it has an old bedspread and dated carpet, we will not stay there because I know the whole place hasn’t been updated or maintained! Gross! – @byland_and_sea
Must have: free wifi. Deal breaker: shared bathroom. – @IBBtravel
DESTINATION or RESORT FEES!!! The worst. Simply the worst. – @ParksandPoints
Shared bathroom, double bed option only, not near anything, pet friendly, above or close to a night club(unless it’s Vegas), bad reviews, outrageous pricing for no reason. – @EatWorkTravel
Biggest deal breaker for me when booking a room is cleanliness. If I see reviews that consistently complain about dirty room/hotel, I will avoid that place no matter what. – @StevenOnTheMove
Deal breaker: Being in a mixed-dorm room in a hostel and a room that is shared with a lot of people (4 or less is ok) – @thewandererblog
Q8: Have you ever tried Couchsurfing? Would you do it again? Any tips?
Yes! I’m a massive @Couchsurfing user. I’ve hosted, surfed, and met with locals and other travellers. Have made some amazing friends that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t use it. I’ve got lots of tips, which I wrote a post about: http://ow.ly/Xcf230mDns4 – @thewandererblog
Never been couch surfing before. Closest thing that we’ve done like that is visit friends or family and stay with them over night. – @EatWorkTravel
I tried to arrange one once but it didn’t work out… that’s as far as I got! – @IBBtravel
Tried it once. Once. Woke up in the middle of the night with the homeowner standing over me in the dark. “Need anything? You okay? You can sleep nude if you want, I don’t mind.” Nope nope nope nope. – @BarnetteJason
I have not tried couchsurfing. I feel I’m too old for that, plus I love people’s pets but I don’t want to smell their ass on the cushions. – @epicureanexpats
Q9: What’s the most unique accommodation you’ve ever stayed at?
A yurt in @BrucePNP , which was so cozy and perfect. It’d have been even better if there was snow ❄︎
In a school gym. It was my first big trip to Europe and I was there for @wyd_en. We stayed in the gymnasium of a German Gymnasium (high school). I slept in a sleeping bag on a yoga mat + cardboard in the middle of a basketball court. – @takemomalong
This adorable hostel at a converted military barracks in Landsort, Sweden. It was right below a lighthouse and had views of the Baltic Sea. So cool! – @savvydispatches
Hands down that’d be the Propeller Island hotel in
#Berlin. Each room is an artistic immersive experience. Stayed in the ‘four beams’ room where the bed was suspended but got to check out a bunch of the other rooms the next day! – @IBBtravel
We stayed at a convent on a trip to
#Italy! – @byland_and_sea
We stayed in a castle while in Italy. It was an awesome & unique experience with @CastelloDSerre in the upper tower suite! – @EatWorkTravel
I’ve stayed at a lot of memorable properties but one of my favorites was mashpi lodge in Ecuador’s Cloud Forest. – @Casualtravelist
Q10: What’s your horror story/worst accommodation experience? Share a picture if you have one?
Only really bad experience was a hotel in Louisville years ago where a youth baseball team was running up and down halls screaming at 11 p.m. Front desk did nothing to quiet down the kids, so had to resort to calling police. – @StevenOnTheMove
I don’t remember the hotel name but it was near Myrtle Beach during college. Room smelled like a rancid diaper, cockroaches were seen & I slept with goggles on because I thought bugs would crawl in my nose while sleeping. We left the next day! – @EatWorkTravel
Stranded after a storm and had to stay at the “Hatchet Motel”. Filthy dirty, futon for a bed, scary location, and no lock on the door. Pretty sure I was going to wake up without a head… – @byland_and_sea
While the place I stayed in Malaysia was technically the worst, the nastiest was the motel near Niagara Falls. Smelly room, questionable spots on the floor and walls, suspicious sheets, insects, chipped paint, few outlets… The staff was nice, though. – @Polymathically
Mine had plenty of toilet paper but the bed sheets had bodily fluids and I do not want to guess how these massive stains got there. They looked freshly caked. Everything else about the Airbnb was decent though…very strange indeed. – @takemomalong
BONUS: Is there a hotel that’s on your bucket list to stay at? Tell us all about it!
Perhaps not in a specific place but I’m really looking forward to staying in a castle, in a yurt, and in a treehouse someday – @obligatraveler
We absolutely want to try out the Aurora Dome and see the Northern Lights in Finland! There are domes, cabins, 360 degree glass hotel rooms, so many options!! – @takemomalong
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Underwater Hotel. I could watch the fish swim by for hours especially from my bed! – @epicureanexpats
We’d be truly interested in a stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park in Colorado. But maybe not in winter, and definitely not with only us there! – @ParksandPoints
In Indiana there is a place called the Old Jail Inn where, yep, you stay behind bars in the old jailhouse. I hope I can book the drunkard tank. – @BarnetteJason
The @TheBrandoResort in Tahiti. Marlon Brando bought that island from my great grandparents; before that, it was given to my family by the king in the early 20th century. I want to go there and help with conservation and historical work. – @Polymathically
So many! Top 3: Aulani and The Biltmore in the US, and Ashford Castle in
#Ireland. Saving that one for last because we won’t want to leave! – @TravelLatte