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Off the Beaten Path Tips from the road...for independent and adventurous budget travellers

10 Things to Check before Checking into a Budget Hotel

WORLDWIDE | Monday, 25 October 2010 | Views [5030]

You're travelling for a long time and you're on a budget. That means staying at cheap hotels. In places with no standards of quality. Though a room might look nice, it could have problems that might become unbearable later on.

So, before saying "I'll take it," check for these potential pests: 

1.) Are there renovations going on?

You're on holiday. You don't want to be woken up at 7 by jackhammers and power saws. Also ask if there are constructions nearby.

2.) Do all the lights work?

At night this will be an issue. Especially in the toilet.

3.) How's the water pressure?

Unless you like showering under a trickle, check if the spouts spurt with power.

4.) Do they have mosquito nets?

Indispensable in areas with malaria and dengue fever. Also a plus if you don't like that high-pitched buzzing in your ears.

5.) Are there bedbugs?

These are tough to spot, but pull back the sheets and check under the mattress. If you see crawlies, forget about it.

6.) Do they offer blankets and towels?

Always nice to have, even if you bring your own.

7.) Are there curtains on the windows?

And do they block sunlight sufficiently? A must for late sleepers.

8.) Are there any peepholes?

This one is for the girls. Look around for perv-o-scopes, especially inside the bathroom.

9.) Is there a late checkout?

If so, how much does it cost? A few hours more could be a heavenly refuge from waiting at a stifling bus station.

10.) Does the credit card machine work?

If you want to pay with plastic, make sure their terminal is functional. I've been in hotels with VISA stickers and assumed I could charge it, only to find out it was broken. Result: another damned ATM service fee and lost time.

Behind the Backpack

Roberto Rocha traded a job in technology journalism to a one-year world trip, surrounding himself with fruits and nuts instead of Apples. He's originally from Brazil but has settled in Montreal, Canada , where, miraculously, he still prefers soccer over hockey. He lives and travels with his girlfriend Bianca. Read more about their travels on their blog, Mojotrotters.

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Tags: accommodation, bed bugs, budget, budget travel, hostels, hotels, hygiene, off the beaten path, safety, travel

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