When travelling you may find yourself staying in some, hmm how can we say this “Interesting" places. You may have the time of your life and meet some fantastic people alternatively; you may experience rude and rowdy dorm mates. Every night spent in one of these places is an experience in itself.
There are so many different types of accommodation to stay in when travelling from hostels to flat sharing and even farm stays, all ranging in price and style.
Hostels can vary in standard and size and can be either very basic or you can get heaps for your money. Some offer free internet whereas down the road you may get a free breakfast. Where ever you go in Australia and New Zealand there are plenty of different hostels to choose from and therefore, it's a wise move to suss out what they have to offer and what you are looking for.
Finding hostels is easy once you start looking. There are plenty of ways to find ones. Simply by looking on websites, checking out guide books, looking in free travel magazines or asking fellow travellers. The Majority of the time other travellers will be happy to help you out and suggest good places to stay so listen to them. Remember though, some may require you to book and pay in advance so check out terms and conditions just in case your plans change and you have to cancel . You don't want to lose out.
As well as this you should book well in advance if there is an event taking place in the town or city you are visiting. For example New Years Eve in Sydney is a big event, so to avoid having to sleep on the streets or missing the chance to experience it, make sure you book into some accommodation in advance. Not only are there visitors from all over the world looking for places to stay but many locals book hostels in the city so they don't have to worry about finding their way home in the early hours of the morning.
Hostels are a great way to meet new people. Many different types of rooms are on offer with the cheapest generally being the biggest dorm. Remember when sharing with others be considerate. Don't make to much noise at night as others are trying to sleep and if you must stay up chatting then go to the common room or outside.No one wants to hear your discussion as they are trying to sleep. Being considerate to others means that hopefully they will be the same to you, this may not always be the case but remember how much you dislike it when someone rowdy comes into your room - don't become that person!
Flats and House sharing
This is a great idea for those planning on spending a while in one place. Not only can you meet people but you generally have your own space. Prices vary on most flat and house sharing accommodation but most of the time good deals can be found. It's just a question of keeping you eyes peeled and checking on websites, in hostels, at real estates and on noticeboards around. Some flats require you to sign a lease or pay a bond, yet again this depends on who you will be sharing with or renting from. Generally about 2 weeks rent is the cost of the bond and in some cases you do get this back, but still it's worth checking it out.
If you do find accommodation make sure you check it out first before you pay any money or sign anything. Not only can you check out whether the location it's in is suitable, but you can physically see where you will be staying and who you are likely to be living with. Find out what's included in the cost of rent and it's always good to sign some form of written agreement that both parties have access too if you do decide to stay.
Hotels and B&BS
Both hotels and B&BS can vary in price dramatically. You can get a top of the range 5* hotel or a small and friendly family run B&B. As a traveller or backpacker staying in a 5* hotel can generally be out of your price range and something you could only dream about. However, there are plenty of hotels and B&BS around that are of good quality and within your budget. This just requires a bit of research and decision making as you still can get places that are too expensive or very run down.
Farm stays and Lodge Accommodation
For a more rural approach to travelling or a break from the hustle and bustle of the city then farm stay and lodge accommodation is an option. In some cases, you can get job opportunities working on a farm and either in return for your labour or in addition to it you can receive free accommodation on the farm. This can also apply if you are fruit picking. Some places offer workers free accommodation nearby in exchange for their hard-work or ask for a small fee. This is well worth checking out if you plan on working on a farm or undertaking some work along the harvest trail.
Here are a few useful questions to ask when looking around potential accommodation:
What’s included in rent? (I.e. bills and Internet)
Do you have access to washing facilities, kitchen and any additional facilities such as a pool or gym?
Is there a bond and do you get this back?
How is rent paid - weekly, fortnightly or monthly?
If you leave, how far in advance do you have to give notice?
These are the sort of things you should enquire about when inspecting the property and when visiting it suss out the kind of people staying there and whether this suits you. After all, you may want somewhere that is young and lively, but end up getting completely the opposite.