Articles to be found on this page have diverse interests including: Accomodation, Reviews and, tips and hints on all of the above.

Readers can refer to the table of contents at right for fast navigation - GC.

Hotel Room Tips & Tricks

- by Gary Cameron

The following is a collection of Tips & Tricks that I've collected over the years from others - and some that Jackie and I have come up with ourselves - that can make your stay in your hotel more comfortable and secure.

1. Check the alarm upon arrival

Often occupants (including me) have set the alarm for an early check-out to catch their flight which can lead to a rude awakening at some ungodly hour… so check the alarm settings when you first arrive in your room or you might be abruptly awakened to a blaring alarm or loud music booming at your head from the nightstand.

A good idea is to check if the thing works as well!

2. Over-the-door shoe organizer

One of the most useful items you can pack is an over-the-door shoe organizer… once you check-in, hang it on the bathroom door and fill it with toiletries and other items – ok, even shoes.

To make it even easier to see your items, make it of the clear plastic variety… It works great for toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair brushes/combs, hairspray, aspirin, rain ponchos, etc. Everything is at your fingertips!

3. Good hotel coffee starts with ice

Making a refreshing morning cup of coffee from tap water provided at many hotels is often a distasteful disappointment… hotel’s ice machines use filtered water, so simply fill the coffee maker with ice the night before and let it melt – you’ll enjoy the difference the free filtered water makes to your morning cup.


4. Watch free movies in your hotel room

When you travel with a laptop, remember to pack an A/V cable and you can watch the content on the hotel rooms decent-sized HDTV – You can also view those cheap DVDs you purchased at the night market as well as any online content you can access via the hotel’s wireless broadband.

You could also preview your travel videos on-the-fly before uploading them to YouTube.

5. Door stop wedge

Occasionally you might find yourself in a hotel that doesn’t have a deadbolt or a chain lock on the door to your room… just make sure you pack a small rubber wedge door stop and use it to give you peace of mind and keep out any unwelcome visitors during the night.

- More to come - GC


4 Tips For Staying in Budget Accommodation

- by Josh Harrison on insure4less

- accessed by GC on 20/02/2011

Staying in budget accommodation while travelling allows the pennies to go that little bit further, and hopefully extend a trip out, so that one can enjoy more of the world’s wonders. Modest accommodation may be cheap, but it certainly doesn’t need to be nasty. Here are a few different budget options, and a few points to keep in mind, when thinking about where to stay on a budget oriented break. In a similar vein to travel insurance, compare what you get for your money, as the cheaper options may actually be good value.


Dormitories may have the image of loads of travellers being crammed into loads of bunks in overcrowded dank rooms. While there may be a few of these types of establishments, there are actually a range of dormitory style accommodation options, with a few being surprisingly upmarket.

One sacrifices the privacy of a room for the cost savings that a dormitory can offer. While it’s hard to find a little quiet time in a 20 bed dormitory, some four bedroom dorm rooms can actually be quite pleasant. Sharing with just a few people may actually be a nice way of meeting a few fellow travellers without the room turning into a party. It’s also small enough, and the people limited enough for people to work out how to get along and be considerate of their fellow guests.

In low season or in more isolated locations, one may actually get a dorm room with just one or two other travellers, or even on one’s own, so it’s worth getting a feel for how busy the dormitory is.

Some of the better dormitories these days have all sorts of added features like swimming pools, wifi internet access and barbecue areas to cook up a storm and also meet fellow travellers. Dormitories can be a great place to get a real feel for what other travellers are doing and seeing in the area, and well run dormitories will also often be a good source of information about seeing attractions in the area on a budget.

Rooms At Backpackers

If you are travelling as a couple, then staying in a dormitory might not give you the sort of privacy you may need. It’s worth checking backpacker hostel room prices though, as these are sometimes not that much different from the price of two dorm beds. Even a group a friends happy to bunk down in dorms might find it more economical on occasion to book a room together instead.

Budget Hotels

It’s worth keeping a lookout for specials offered by budget hotels. Those that are on the backpacker trail may overlook these, but at times they can be quite economical, and offer quite a few more creature comforts as compared to backpacker hostels.

Capsule Hotels

If you are travelling alone, capsule hotels can be a great budget option in certain countries. Originating in Japan, capsule hotels are now opening up in China. While your sleeping “capsule” is quite small, it’s roomy enough to sleep in, and usually has a TV, radio and alarm inside. Communal areas in the hotel are usually quite comfortable, for the times when you don’t wish to sleep.

It’s not necessary to spend huge amounts of money on accommodation while on holiday. There are also several benefits of staying in budget accommodation, such as enjoying mixing with fellow travellers. Budget accommodation can also be an interesting, unique experience, in the case of capsule hotels. There are some good value places around, so compare the options, just like with your cheap travel insurance.


Cheap Accommodation and Travel Tips

- by Owner via

        - accessed by GC on 19/02/2011

Cheap travel and accommodation is a factor for most of us looking to get the most out of our holidays and time away. With the ever-increasing costs of travelling, it can seem hard to get away at all when it comes time to take a holiday, but with the right attitude and advice, you can realise your next dream holiday for less.

However, finding the best deals on travel and planning a cheap holiday does not always mean you have to compromise on quality, and sometimes, opening up your options for cheap accommodation can provide you with new and wonderful experiences that you may have otherwise missed. To find really cheap travel, though, you have to be flexible and ready to make changes. But if it gets you on your holiday sooner and for longer, it has to be worth it.

Cheap Travel Deals – How To Find Them

From cheap airfares to cheap accommodation, a critical part of getting a great deal is planning ahead. This takes time and research, so be prepared to spend time browsing the internet and newspapers, but when you land a cheap travel deal, you will never pay full price again.

Prices not only fluctuate with seasons, you will also discover that airfares and hotels also often have spot deals. It’s a case where you really have to familiarise yourself with the standard prices and then watch carefully for when the deals come along. It’s typically not advisable to wait until the last minute, but if you watch for long enough, you will know when a good deal has come up.

Go Online For Great Travel Deals

As you probably know, there are many websites that offer cheap deals on hotels, accommodation, airfares and in some cases all of the above. There’s no doubt that many of these websites offer great cheap travel deals, and it’s a good idea to subscribe to any email lists they may offer – that way, specials will be delivered direct to your inbox.

Don’t get stuck on one site either because there are plenty of websites out there, and they are rarely even at all times of the year. Going online doesn’t end there, either. Most hotels, airlines and accommodation providers have their own websites these days too, and sometimes you can find further deals direct with the business itself. If nothing else, it may help you save on booking fees that are often applied on travel websites.

Cheap Accommodation Requires Flexibility

While each season will come with accompanying travel deals, if you want really cheap travel you have to be flexible. The more flexible you can be, the better chance you will have of finding really cheap travel. Midweek travel is usually cheaper than weekend travel, and certain times of year in different destinations will always feature higher prices, such as around Christmas.

Try to think outside the square when you look for accommodation. A week in a hotel may seem like a logical choice, but when you can rent an apartment or holiday unit instead, it may save you in more ways than one. For instance, with your own kitchen, you can prepare more of your own meals and save money there too.

You could consider renting a motorhome or van and save money by camping in some areas, and even some hostels now provide private rooms and facilities that resemble hotels more so than the typically dormitory images this type of accommodation conjures. If you’re planning on stepping out all day, your own room with a comfortable bed may be all you need anyway.

Challenge Your Expectations

This may be the hardest part of finding cheap travel, but if you can challenge your personal expectations for a holiday you open yourself up to numerous new benefits. The reasons why we travel to a certain destination may be tied up with certain activities, and normally it’s these types of tourist attractions that are the most expensive and aimed at ripping off unwary consumers.

While some tourist traps are worth the money, it’s worth rationalising costs and rewards. If not doing a certain activity buys you a few more days or gets you on your trip sooner, it may be worth putting off some activities. It’s a good idea to research online travel forum and places where people can share their good and bad experiences. Often, it’s the natural authentic experiences that are the most pleasurable anyway, so look at ways you can experience real culture in any destination you visit.

Or Simply Do What We Do and Ask

When we find the bargain accommodation property that we would like to stay at, we compose an email asking what their best price would be for the required dates: we also include in our request an 'add on' such as a day excursion - sometimes their offer is less than their 'on-line special price' - GC