Staying in hotels makes up for a significant part of the traveler experience–but it also makes up for a large part of your travel expenses. So the big question is: should you splurge or should you skimp on the hotel on your next vacation?
It’s impractical to splurge on every hotel you stay in, but it’s also not fun to stay in a budget hotel for every vacation you take. The answer to the question of whether you should splurge or save depends on the situation, the location, and your itinerary, among many other factors. Lucky for you, we can pinpoint some of the most important ones:
When you should save
Here are several situations wherein you might be better off staying in one of the beautiful yet affordable hotels in your destination.
When you’re on a short trip
If you’re only passing through a city for a night or two, or if you’re on a quick business trip that will only take one day at most, it is definitely much more practical to stay in an affordable hotel. Since you won’t be staying long anyway, what is the use of paying all that money for luxury accommodations?
If you don’t mind not being near the center
Hotels that are near the center of city life are almost always expensive. If you don’t mind taking public transportation or renting a car to get around, then saving on your hotel is a good idea. This will not only give you an opportunity to explore the areas far from the city center, but the money you save can go to other parts of your trip, such as food and activities.
When you’re going to be out all day
If your itinerary is packed with activities, then it makes no sense to splurge on a hotel that you won’t be spending much time in anyway. A mid-range hotel or an Airbnb should already be good enough as long as it’s clean, quiet, and conducive to restful sleep.
If you are on a tight budget
Needless to say, skimping on a hotel is somewhat necessary if you are on a tight travel budget. Even if you can put the expenses on your credit, it’s recommended to stay in a more affordable hotel rather than go into debt after your vacation. Moreover, skimping on your hotel will give you more breathing room to work with your limited budget, helping you stay on track when it comes to expenses (since it can get out of hand real quick when traveling).
When you should splurge
It’s not a crime to splurge on some parts of your trip once in a while, including your accommodations. Here are good reasons to splurge on a hotel:
If you can afford it
Have the extra money to splurge on a fancy hotel? Go on and do it–it’s okay to treat yourself to a nice stay once in a while. Just make sure you have enough cash for all the other essential parts of your trip.
When the journey is going to be long
When it will take fourteen hours to get to your destination, it feels much nicer when you get to stay in a nice hotel room. You’re likely going to spend a lot of time resting up for the next part of your trip anyway, so might as well book a hotel with a super comfy bed and a nice bath.
When you want to be close to the center
Hotels that are close to the center are often the most expensive–and for a good reason. When you’re paying for an expensive hotel near the center, you’re also paying for the convenience of its location since all the necessary amenities will be within reach.
If you’re not good at navigating new places or simply just want to enjoy traveling without worrying about which bus to take or which train to catch, booking a hotel near the center will be well worth it.
When you’re saving money on other parts of your trip
Did you buy your flights on sale half-off? Are you going to be traveling with a friend who will split food and transportation costs with you? Does your itinerary consist of mostly free or low-cost activities? If you’re saving money on other major parts of your trip, you can use the extra cash to upgrade your hotel.
To splurge or to skimp? That’s the big question on every traveler’s mind when considering every part of their trip, especially hotels. The answer ultimately depends on your circumstances, your needs, and your preferences. But one thing is certain–the type of hotel you choose will greatly influence the quality of your vacation, so make sure you consider everything carefully before choosing whether to splurge or to skimp.