There is absolutely no shame in getting a cheap hotel, regardless of what sort of trip or getaway you may be planned.
Some people look down on the idea of using a cheap hotel and others thrive on it, but regardless of which category you fall into, we're going to try and look at both sides of the coin.
It doesn't matter what kind of personal relationship you have with the subject matter, because let's face it, we can't all stay on the top floor of the Marina Bay Sands. Some of us can't afford the airfare to get to Singapore (most of us, actually).
10 BENEFIT - Decent Location
For the most part, there are cheap hotels littered around plenty of towns, cities, and even villages around the world. Because of this, there are so many that are centrally located – and they aren’t even hostels (which we aren’t discriminating against, by any stretch of the imagination).
Being able to get a quick bus or walk into town is always a great positive, and while you may have to make a few sacrifices along the way, at least you know that you’ll be on time for whatever it is you have planned on your trip.
9 NEGATIVE - Noisy Neighbours
The walls are naturally a little bit thinner in a cheaper hotel because there is a need to cram as many rooms as possible. This is one of those cases that really depends on the season, as hotels are obviously not full throughout the entire year.
With that in mind, it’s understandable that you could be disrupted by particularly loud guests who don’t consider it necessary to ‘play by the rules,’ so to speak. It can be frustrating, especially if complaining to the hotel leads to no improvements.
8 BENEFIT - Longer Stay
If a hotel is cheaper then it allows you to stay for more nights, meaning that you could have a longer trip than initially planned.
That’s a nice commodity and position to be in. The difference between that day or two could be big, and it might allow you to discover something that you hadn’t before.
That’s quite exciting, and that kind of ‘spontaneous’ feeling is something that people just don’t get when they’ve saved up six months just for a perceived five-star experience.
7 NEGATIVE - Safety
The security measures in place at cheaper hotels aren’t typically up to scratch when compared to more expensive hotels. The doors might not lock quite as securely, security cameras aren’t always visible (or may not even work), and people tend to come in and out as they please.
This isn’t always the case and we’re sure that you can get some pretty good security at the odd cheaper option, but you’re going to have to keep a bit of a closer eye on things.
6 BENEFIT - Affordable Food
An affordable hotel means affordable food and drinks options and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The assumption is that ‘affordable’ translates to the food not being particularly tasty, but we don’t actually think that is the case.
If you’ve had a long, hard day, then the last thing you want to do is worry about what you can and cannot spend on your meal. While you are unlikely to be treated to a gourmet experience, that does not mean the food is not filling or tasty.
5 NEGATIVE - Comfort
Whether it be the size of the room itself or the bed specifically, there is a chance the accommodation isn’t going to be as comfortable as one may hope.
This entry's importance will vary depending on how much this sort of thing matters to a specific person, along with their priorities for the trip.
If getting your head down on a pillow and ensuring a maximum of seven or eight hours of sleep is what matters, then that’s fine. If you want to be especially comfy, then, of course, you should have realistic expectations before visiting.
4 BENEFIT - Last Minute Booking
Whether it be a week or 12 hours before you leave, cheap hotels are always on hand to provide a last-minute option. Hell, sometimes people just show up to the place and are given the chance to enjoy an affordable hotel.
There are great apps (Booking.com & Hotels.com) that help out with this kind of thing, and if they’re all out of options (which seems unlikely), then Google is always your friend. We aren’t suggesting that you settle for something you aren’t happy with, but there are options out there.
3 NEGATIVE - Questionable Staff
The staff varies from place to place, so this one is hardly a fixed rule for all cheap hotels. In fact, many budget hotels are staffed by accommodating workers. That said, the quality of service tends to fluctuate more as the price range lowers.
Even with that being the case, though, the fact that you’ve been subjected to a less than stellar experience isn’t fun. There can be situations where the employees are not as helpful as they could be, or the hotel may close its reception after a particular hour, leaving guests stranded until the following morning.
2 BENEFIT - Low Expectations = Pleasant Surprise
As is the case with anything in life, heading into any given situation with low expectations can lead to a nice surprise.
Booking a budget hotel means expectations are unlikely to be sky-high. More often than not, a clean room and decent wi-fi are all that is expected. In some cases, you might be anticipating a truly horrendous experience.
Then, upon arriving, you realize that nothing could’ve possibly lived up to the horror show that was in your mind. It may not be the best way of looking at it, but it can certainly help.
1 NEGATIVE - Cleanliness
If you’ve got a black light and you really want to explore the ins and outs of cheap hotels and what kind of state they often get left in, then go ahead and use it when you reach your final destination.
Otherwise, we suggest the ‘err on the side of caution’ approach, aka just stick your fingers in your ears and block out the noise.
The jobs that are done in order to keep cheap hotels clean aren’t quite as thorough, and the guests themselves might not be quite as eager to clear up after themselves. That does not mean budget hotels cannot be incredibly clean, but make sure to do some research before booking a stay.