Author: Ipsita Barua, Travel Editor
It’s that time of the year again! Feels like ages that any of us actually booked a ticket to a destination or dared to go beyond the borders. Thankfully things are opening up, at least in this part of the world and your choice of stay would be the first you prefer to book. Because with current times, everyone is looking at alternative accommodation. Booking.com and Airbnb everyone knows. But it’s about time we look at lesser-known, more sustainable places to stay in. Away from gargantuan resorts, overbooked hotels and overpriced homestays.
If you do a little bit of research and go beyond the hotel rooms, you could have a holiday in a youth hostel, farm or a camping site, with all rustic or modern facilities and activities for a family.
The following are dependent on choice and location preferences. Please check with the current regulations of the places you are visiting.
For bachelors or couples. These are accessible to everyone who’s willing to share a room and a bathroom. They are as comfortable, clean and well-maintained as expected from a double-priced hotel room. In whichever city you are in, make sure to check your the hostel options. Use the saved up money for other indulgences. It’s a great way to meet people and keep your itinerary open for impromptu plans with new friends. And they also have private rooms.
Cons: If you don’t get a private room, you’ll share a dormitory bed with others. Shared bathroom is what you have to deal with.
Pros: You will live at one fourth the price and meet new people and get to do impromptu things.
For friend groups. If you’re looking for the perfect group accommodation, chalet or sports centre, enquire about ski lodges and mountain huts, seminar houses mostly off-season at discounted rates on either Airbnb or booking.com . You can also choose between catered or self-catering accommodation options where you can have a kitchen to cook your own meals if you are a large group and avoid shuttling between different hotel rooms.
Cons: These generally do not have room service and other facilities you want from a hotel accommodation. And you don’t even get round the clock service.
Pros: You have a kitchenette for all your cooking needs, just like home and the freedom to share group access to interconnected rooms.
For families with young children. If feeding cows, petting sheep, driving a tractor or sampling homemade delicacies sounds like a holiday well-spent, a farm stay is what the whole family would appreciate. This is nothing fancy. This is all about sleeping in straw, helping the farmer in their day-to-day-work, eating home-cooked locally grown food, but being in complete harmony with nature.
Cons: Sleeping on hay, in a barn is not always comfortable
Pros: It’s the closest the children get to petting animals and living the rustics, farm life
For everyone. Campsites in Europe are where you don’t quite it rough out. There’s a designated space for your camper vehicles, pre-set tents or little cabins you could choose from. Most near the lake or with open spaces where the children and pets can go amok. Just remember to check the on-site store for basic essentials and stock up on food. Most campsites have excellent BBQ facilities and picnic areas.
Cons: Can get very crowded during the holiday season. Book in advance depending on where you want to be in.
Pros: Everyone, children and adults have ample activities to be engaged in
For flexible people. Home exchange, allows like-minded travellers to list their houses and contact one another through a messaging system to arrange to stay wherever they are going in the world for free, allowing them to experience life like a local. So you basically arrange your home for someone else’s. Remember the movie The Holiday Just like that. For that, you have to be open-minded to opening your home to strangers and all it entails. But safety and filters let you choose that to your heart’s content.
Make sure you have the resident ID’s for your records.
Cons: Trusting strangers with your home and (if any) damages
Pros: Watering your plants and keeping the pets alive
This season when you are planning your holiday, what has been at the top of your mind for an alternative stay? We are not experts and could do with some of your experiences and opinions. Let us know.
Have you downloaded our free ebook – 21 Hidden Gems of Switzerland ? If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to download while planning your Swiss Summer Getaway.
To read posts from June, click here