Next to the cost of the travel itself finding a place to stay is the most expensive part of taking a trip with that cost rising dramatically at certain times of year. Enjoying walking in some remoter areas does mean accommodation can be limited which can also drive prices up due to the supply and demand factor.
A possible way of combating high accommodation prices if traveling on a budget is to make use of the many room for rent websites that are springing up on the internet. Home owners are using these sites to advertise spare rooms in their homes to travelers and tourists.
This is a completely different arrangement than staying in a hotel or with other types of accommodation providers with some good and bad points to consider.
If you like meeting new people this could be right up your street, staying in hotels can be a solitary experience even though there are plenty of other people around. Hopefully along with a more relaxed personal touch your hosts will be an enthusiastic fountain of local knowledge with a depth that businesses wont be able to supply.
The whole idea behind this way of finding accommodation is to save money and if you dig deep enough its staggering how little you can end up paying for a place to lay your head for a night or two.
Each listing has a calendar attached showing when the room is available and unlike a hotel or bed and breakfast these can be influenced by the owners personal life or any number of other things that a business would be set up to deal with.
Not being able to just turn up and check availability or rent straight away does take away spontaneity a little.
Hotels have a clear cut set of rules as to what they expect of the people who stay and are pretty standard from one to another unlike a private residence where those rules will depend on the owner.
The Safety Factor
Even after talking online or by phone your still walking into a total strangers house after all. Let someone know the address where your staying and if it makes you feel more comfortable make a phone call while the host is there letting that person now you’ve arrived quoting the address.
Feedback for any service provided this way is a good indication of how things have gone for previous users. Choosing only those adverts that have a good report will certainly cut down on potential problems along with giving more information about facilities and location.
The safety side of this arrangement has to be a concern for the host as well, letting someone you know next to nothing about into a home does need careful consideration so don’t be surprised if they have someone there for backup when you arrive.
Always trust your instincts when dealing with people you don’t know, if something doesn’t feel right stay calm and get yourself out of there. Many bad situations can easily be avoided by taking yourself away from them.
Location of Rooms
To judge the practicality of booking accommodation this way we spent a few hours looking at adverts across a couple of these sites checking listings by price and their proximity to popular climbing areas in the UK. As expected most rooms for rent are clustered around the larger cities but we did find a few in some more remote areas where traditional accommodation might be hard to come by.
There does seem to be more than a few businesses using these sites as an extra place to advertise along with the much higher prices they charge. In some respects this could be a good thing as it highlights how cheap some of the private rooms available are compared to what the businesses charge.
Securing a bed for the night this way takes time and effort but the possible cost savings could well make it worth while.