Endless Story #4 It's just a place for sleeping

Sep 12, 2021

Your cheap flight ticket is on your hands now. I said cheap because we usually book the flight months before the trip. The next thing to do is planning your trip. Sometimes, creating itinerary is so much fun that you'll be more excited even before going to your destination trip. Thus booking your lodging is one of the trip plan. 

It's really not necessary to book the hotel if you like to enjoy your impulsive trip. But as Indonesian citizen, when applying for tourist visa, we need to book all of the lodgings during the trip. We must assure the embassy that we only visits the country for a temporary time. Therefore we book the hotel with free cancellation policy in case we have a change of itinerary. 

Traveler episode 2 - Using limited internet network, Jun Yeol tried to open AirBnb site.

While watching Traveler series, I decided to write about lodging when Jun Yeol searching for a place to stay. When he pointed out about the fancy looking blankets, I laugh at myself. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to choosing lodgings. I prefer the rooms with white blankets, they don't hurt my eyes and means the rooms are cleaner and simpler. There are several types of lodging, and the major difference between them is the cost per night. In the old days, I choose a bunk bed in a dormitory —mixed or female dorms to tighten the budget. Nowadays I prefer to book a private (doubled) room. It's more comfortable. I don't need to wear hijab all day. I could talk casually with my travel mate without bothering other travelers. 

For you who wonders what is the difference between hotel, resort, motel, hostel, guesthouse and B&B

Although there are differences between them, for me it will stuck in two terms —hotel and hostel. Hotel is more expensive but with more convenience facilities. Hostel on the other hand is cheaper with shared facilities. 

Search and choose a right lodge are sometime challenging. It is just not about the rate or the location but also the conveniences and amenities of the place. At times I will go through all the lodge's reviews from other travelers to convince myself. You can't judge from the pictures only, you need to know other guests' impressions. Also if we stay for more than two nights, I don't have any problem if the lodge is far from the downtown or the tourist spots.  

Gasthof Innbrucke, the most expensive hotel I stayed.
The rate is €70 or around IDR1,2 million per night per room. We stayed for 3 nights here.

I usually book a hotel or hostel using online travel agent (OTA). The most common OTA I use to book is via Booking.com, then AirBnB, Agoda, and HostelBookers. I rarely use local OTA such as Traveloka or Tiket.com because I had a bad experience using them. Each OTA had pros and cons. You can also compare prices for each OTAs and choose the cheaper one. I recommend using AirBnB if you want to get closer with local people. AirBnB provides private houses where you can converse with the host before book a room. If you get lucky, you will stay with a kind owner. In my 50-days trip to Europe, I booked lodges mostly using AirBnB. It is much cheaper to get a private room. 

Hanok Hwangnam Stay

My most favorite lodge is when traveled to Gyeongju, a coastal city in the far southeastern corner of North Gyeongsang Province in South Korea. Hana and I stayed for three nights in hanok —a traditional Korean house. I even wrote about this hanok exclusively in my blog. It's not the best lodge but the warmness of the place and the host made us not want to leave it. I still remember the taste of their homemade kimchi, the moment when the host's mother gave me a whole pack of ramen noodles, the ground water in spring made our hands chilled when we cleaned up the cutleries beside a well, a big refrigerator on the corner of the hallway, the black slippers below the porch, a big green scallions in the garden in front of our room, a cute puppy named Kami that always welcomes us in the entrance. And of course I still remember how my smartphone fell right into the rock in front of the porch when I sat daydreaming. When stayed at this place, I didn't feel like I'm on a vacation. It's just feels like home. 

AirBnb in the corner of Kyoto

I remember when stayed for 3 nights in Kyoto, Japan. I booked a place that really look alike in a Japanese drama setting place. A two-story apartment complex and a vending machine. With a rate of $30 per night per room for 2 person, I got a chance to stay at a tatami-matted room. I really want to stay at Ryokan —a traditional Japanese inn, but couldn't afford the price.

Sanva Hotel Macau

A memorable place is not always the good one. The worst lodge of all of my trips is when traveling to Macau. You can find my review here.

Traveler episode 5 - They have walked for 2 kilometers and desperately looking for a guest house

Finding a lodge on d-day in an unfamiliar place also challenging. I broke down tears after one-hour searching for the lodge and could not contact our host in Berlin. It's just I was too tired and desperate after 15 hours long trip with 2 trains and 2 buses. Carrying 10 kilograms of backpack and 3 kilograms of daypack in the morning without a breakfast. I stopped for a moment, put my backpack on the roadside and sat on it. Suddenly my tears fall down. 

Honestly I never stay at a 4-star hotel let alone 5-star. Maybe because I always thought that it's just a place for sleeping. Why bother to spend more money that could be used for one-day trip to a small town. That's what I thought in my younger days. But the older we get, the more comfort we need. I prefer to pay an extra 10 or 20 bucks just to get a private bathroom or to get closer to the city center. Now, it's not just a place for sleeping, it's a place for recharging our energy before starting a new journey in the next day. I don't want to start a day with uncomfortable feeling just because I don't have a good sleep. Wake up feeling refresh is a key!

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