Choosing the right accommodation on the Continent
No matter where in the world you travel to, choosing the right accommodation is essential if you want to be sure that you will be able to relax and have a great time.
Throughout Europe, a huge variety of accommodation is available to suit every possible taste and budget. At the very bottom end of the price range are tens of thousands of campsites. These are mostly found in more rural locations and are often in close proximity to areas of outstanding natural beauty or major sightseeing spots.
Although camping is often associated with a no-frills holiday, this need not be the case. Many modern campsites have superb facilities available, including gourmet restaurants, swimming pools and plenty of on-site entertainment. There are also a growing number of companies offering luxury camping – known as glamping – where the levels of service are similar to those you would expect in a fine hotel.
If spending your nights under canvas doesn’t appeal, single travellers or those in small groups can often find good deals by staying in hostels. As well as keeping the costs down, making use of this basic, shared accommodation is a great way to meet like-minded travellers.
Guest houses and pensions
The next step up the price scale is to stay in guest house accommodation, often known on the continent as pensions. At a pension you are essentially sharing the house of a local family and this can be a great way to learn about native culture. Unlike bed and breakfast establishments in the UK, pensions will usually offer a full meal service, allowing you to choose between full and half board.
Hotels are by far the most common form of accommodation for travellers making their way across Europe. If you are visiting a city and want to explore its highlights, staying at a hotel is often the best way to ensure that you are as close to all the action as possible. Hotels also make it easy to know what level of service you can expect thanks to the star rating system.
Hotels work well for couples or groups of friends but if you are travelling with a family, a hotel may not be that convenient or cost-effective, especially if your children are that little bit older and eager for an element of independence. Although you can have separate, connecting rooms, it can be hard to keep track of everyone. Also, making sure that you are all up in time for breakfast or out of your rooms when the cleaners need access can often interfere with your plans.
Instead, a great option for families is to hire a private home or villa for the duration of your stay. This can often work out cheaper and makes it easy for the whole family to get together for fun – as well as having your own lounge, you’ll often have your own private swimming pool too.
Do your research
Whatever your preference, the Internet makes it easy to find a wide range of places to stay all across Europe. There are hundreds of general sites featuring reviews and ratings of hotels, while more specialist sites such as privatevilla.co.uk carry a selection of hand-picked, high-quality properties for you to choose from.
So, take advantage of all the information that’s out there, and you’ll be sure to find some European accommodation that ticks all your boxes.
Photo credit: Graham Soult