South America Living

A Night in an Apartment or Hotel? Which is Better When Traveling?

You’ve decided on an itinerary, bought your plane ticket and are ready for your adventure abroad minus one teeny, tiny detail… where are you going to stay?

Quinta da Boa Vista in Rio de Janeiro – Park Where Rio’s Zoo and The National Museum are Located.

In the past it was a fairly simple choice based on what the budget would allow – either a low-cost hostal or variously priced hotel. Now there’s a new add to the mix, apartment and private home rentals that can easily be reserved online.

How to choose? Much will depend on the location in addition to the basic issue of how much you can and want to spend. Cities such as Buenos Aires in Argentina and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and large urban areas, will have an abundance of choices. Out of the way destinations such as remote areas in Peru may only have a hostal or two and one decent hotel if you are lucky.

For basic information on booking a hotel or hostal, including links to online booking services, read: How to Book a Hostal or Hotel Online.

If you don’t need a concierge at your beck and call 24/7 or an onsite restaurant, renting a privately-owned apartment for a night or week can be an excellent choice of accomodation instead of staying at a similarly priced hotel. Why? Cost and the luxury of privacy.

A hostal or hotel by nature is a very public place. You are a guest of the establishment and your comings and goings are monitored by staff. An apartment, however, is your own personal domain for the duration of your stay, to come and go as you please without needing to answer to or interact with anyone other than the owner when getting your key.

Renting an apartment during your trip abroad can give you the feel of living like a local as you are not in a tourist-oriented establishment but a private residence. For more than one person or an extended stay it can offer a large reduction in costs in addition to the comfort factor; you have your own kitchen.




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