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Most industry insiders predict that this year more people will jet off on city breaks, inter-railing around Europe and heading off traveling in greater numbers than ever. And they’re spoilt for choice for the sheer range of excellent accommodation options out there.
The number of backpackers hostels and free youth hostels has risen in response to an increased desire for cheap service. Because of a radical overhaul of the travel industry in the last five years.
The package holiday for so long a staple of summer holidays has become unfashionable as people looked to move away from the uniformity they promoted. And the conventional high street travel agent is feeling the pinch as people found they could cut out the middleman and make their own arrangements online.
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People had to find affordable accommodation during their holidays. And the answer came from the ranks of the independent youth hostels and backpackers hostels.
Youth hostels around for years now, the tweaks created back in the late 90s. In retrospect, it’s difficult to determine which occurred first, the great service or the record sites that operate them.
But with the internet, and a series of sites who allowed their customers to ‘rate’ hostels came a greater awareness of what travelers wanted and needed. Now well-stocked pantries or cool communal areas boasting institutions crowded with travel guidebooks and DVDs, prove the rule than the exception.
And just as the hostels have gained in popularity (and quality). So too has the rest of the budget accommodation division taken notice of the numbers of people. They offer an ever-improving service for less than you’d think.
The cheap hotel market, so long, a complacent force reluctant to compete on price and relying on their hotel status, has squared up to its competitors. Owners of small hotels are setting aside a quota of rooms online for the budget traveler, safe knowing they will snap.
What’re more many tiny hotels have concluded that they can change their size into a significant influence? Global travelers are looking for a sense of uniqueness, of individuality. It’s this wish that has inspired the rise of the boutique hotel. A notion which the cheaper end of the hotel market has embraced. And sometimes even the most ardent backpacker or roving student traveler wants pressed sheets. A hot shower to themselves and a good night’s sleep. Oh, and maybe a mini bar…
Bed & Breakfasts and guesthouses experienced a real resurgence in popularity in recent years. Both define themselves as ‘homey’ and comfortable with an emphasis on personal service than a luxury. And their renewed popularity has come because of these values being in demand by footsore travelers.
The cheap hotel market, they responded well to shift in the market and the recent rise of boutique hotels by improving their service.
Hovering somewhere between the service rendered by a backpackers hostel (with a pantry and lounge area as a general rule). A hotel (you don’t have to share your accommodation with anyone else) renting an apartment has become a viable option for the current cheap hotel/B&B/hostel choice. The hotel’s sector has even responded to the demand for apartment-style accommodation with the growth of apart hotels.
The apartment concept can be an acceptable one, especially for those exploring in groups. Those seeking to stay in a township or city for further than a few days. Families can really choose our rooms. Make it somewhere that they’ll genuinely look forward to coming back to at the end of a long day’s sightseeing. Whilst long-stayers can dwell in and set out better than they could in a standard hotel or hostel.
All in all, things have rarely looked as rosy for travelers with a budget.