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Old 05-03-2012, 09:11 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
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Depends how long you want to stay, is often cheaper to rent a condo. Did it many times.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,847,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Depends how long you want to stay, is often cheaper to rent a condo. Did it many times.
That's one of the reasons why I love airbnb.com.
I usually select entire apartment and have privacy and a great deal. I stayed in a nice studio apartment in Berlin for 3 nights, 100 meters from the metro for 124. It was the same price as a hostel.

When I'm not camping in my VW van, that's how I travel.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:05 PM
 
Location: American Expat
2,189 posts, read 4,720,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unseengundam View Post
Here is the thing, last time went Europe was over 18 years ago when I was 9 years old, so I don't remember a thing. That main reason I want to check out Europe!

You got any details about Hostels or links? Like how is privacy? How safe are you belonging, etc? Those questions always sort of turned me away from them.
Hostels Worldwide - Online Hostel Bookings, Ratings and Reviews
Hostels, Youth Hostels & Cheap Hotels at HostelBookers

I've used both. Paid 30 bucks per night in Paris, 25 in Madrid and Berlin etc. Forgot how much I paid in London. I want to say it was even 20 bucks. I did, however, do the shared room option. I had a great time. Met many people and even went out to the clubs with some of them. Great if you travel alone. I suppose there's no real privacy then, but I wasn't there most of the day anyway. You can also book your own room. But then you are probably looking at 50-60 per night. Some do have lockers you can use. Read the description and the reviews. Not sure how old you are. I guess it's a better option for younger folks, but you just can't beat the price and the experience. Never had an issue with safety.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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New York City is one of the few American cities comparable to major European cities.

You won't find affordable, spacious lodging with as many amenities. Why? Simply because there isn't as much space in European cities as American ones. If you are willing to stay out in the suburbs, then you might get more bang for your buck, but it probably won't rival U.S. prices for what you get, simply because space is more at a premium in the suburbs as well.

As for hostels, if the OP complaining about European rooms being "old" and "small", then I certainly think steering him in the direction of hostels is not the wisest thing. Staying in a hostel is basically like renting a single bunk bed and locker (which is often too small for some suitcases) in a temporary dorm room with strangers, who will generally, but not always, be under the age of 25-30. You will share a bathroom, which is usually a ways down the hall, with many other people. Snoring is a particular concern; bring earplugs. Party hostels - which seem to particularly common in Amsterdam - live up to their name with on-premises bars and a raucous atmosphere which extends to the rooms, in which people often do things better kept for private. (Not all hostels, even in Amsterdam, are party hostels, though). Staying in hostels can be a good experience for some, who enjoy the camraderie they provide with other travelers from around the world, but for people like the OP, who seems to have expected hotels in Amsterdam to be like the Garland, TX Holiday Inn, it can be a traumatic one.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:31 PM
 
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> there isn't as much space in European cities as American ones European hotels DO have smaller rooms. Often better designed than American hotels. (And in some countries often including a truly excellent breakfast, that's a money saver right there). Some European hotels even have single rooms, smaller than the doubles. It doesn't bother me. Different, but then if you don't want different then travel may be a bad idea. Now if you want SMALL- try hotels in Japan.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:11 AM
 
8,266 posts, read 10,719,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Staying in a hostel is basically like renting a single bunk bed and locker (which is often too small for some suitcases) in a temporary dorm room with strangers, who will generally, but not always, be under the age of 25-30.
Depends. Many hostels offer not only dormitory rooms but also private rooms, some including private bathroom. Prices for private rooms will usually be somewhere between dorm style and full service hotel.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slackjaw View Post
Depends. Many hostels offer not only dormitory rooms but also private rooms, some including private bathroom. Prices for private rooms will usually be somewhere between dorm style and full service hotel.
True, but the "private rooms" will cost around what he pays for a full service hotel room in the U.S. In addition, I stayed in a few private rooms in Mexican "hostales". In Spain, there's a clear distinction between hostales and "hostels" - hostales are all private room, usually just a cheaper version of a hotel - while in Mexico, they are essentially now youth hostels, with a private "hostal" room being a private youth hostel room.

Whatever the case, hotels in many (probably not all) European countries are a raw deal compared with the comfortable, cheap hotels in U.S. suburbs with pools and other amenities.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:30 PM
 
Location: American Expat
2,189 posts, read 4,720,098 times
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Default Didn't see this one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Staying in a hostel is basically like renting a single bunk bed and locker (which is often too small for some suitcases) in a temporary dorm room with strangers, who will generally, but not always, be under the age of 25-30. You will share a bathroom, which is usually a ways down the hall, with many other people. Snoring is a particular concern; bring earplugs. Party hostels - which seem to particularly common in Amsterdam - live up to their name with on-premises bars and a raucous atmosphere which extends to the rooms, in which people often do things better kept for private. (Not all hostels, even in Amsterdam, are party hostels, though). Staying in hostels can be a good experience for some, who enjoy the camraderie they provide with other travelers from around the world, but for people like the OP, who seems to have expected hotels in Amsterdam to be like the Garland, TX Holiday Inn, it can be a traumatic one.
No. That's not true. You can share the room, or you can have your own.

Sounds like you haven't stayed at many hostels. I've stayed at a bunch of hostels over the years and always had a great time.

St Christopher's Inn - Berlin, Berlin, Germany: Book Now!

High Tech Arturo Soria, Madrid, Spain: Book Now!

Just to show a few. You can get whatever you want. Those are, for instance, pretty nice ( been there). And you can get nice ones that are even cheaper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
True, but the "private rooms" will cost around what he pays for a full service hotel room in the U.S. In addition, I stayed in a few private rooms in Mexican "hostales". In Spain, there's a clear distinction between hostales and "hostels" - hostales are all private room, usually just a cheaper version of a hotel - while in Mexico, they are essentially now youth hostels, with a private "hostal" room being a private youth hostel room.

Whatever the case, hotels in many (probably not all) European countries are a raw deal compared with the comfortable, cheap hotels in U.S. suburbs with pools and other amenities.
What? They cost 45-55 Dollars. I don't think you know what you're talking about... I don't go to Europe to swim in a Hotel's pool. So, no, nobody needs a pool.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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Just returned today from another European group tour in Italy - Tuscany, the Alps & the Italian Riviera. In addition to a quickie stay in Rome, we overnighted multiple nights in Florence, Santa Magherita Ligure (SML), Bolzano & Venice.

Part of my personal itinerary was to scope out hotel pricing for a future "do it yourself" trip. In general, yes, European lodging prices are typically higher than one might be familiar with in the US. One can find less expensive accommodations, whether via hostels, condo rentals, and whatnot; but in general the more desirable locations are going to be relatively pricey. That is just the way the market is.

Not surprisingly, if you want to stay in the "Old (or more correctly - ancient) quarter" of a given area or city (say Venice proper on the Grand Canal or Florence within the old city area) its not cheap.

Our hotel in Florence ran around $400 per night rack rate. Venice - slightly higher. SML - $300/$400, Bolzano was a "cheapie" at around $250-ish just a 2 minute walk to the old quarter. All of those hotels are literally in or immediately adjacent to the old sections of their respective cities or towns. Incidentally, as is typical of Europe - those prices include breakfast for two and a double room setup.

Can you find much less expensive options - absolutely. It simply depends on what you are looking for, but I would add that there is a difference in one's experience between staying in a modern Sheraton type facility versus an old (sometimes centuries old) property. Tradeoffs in room size, etc. - definitely, but then its all simply a matter of one's tastes and expectations. If you are looking for simply a place to sleep and happy to travel to most desirable areas where the attractions are located - you certainly can do it much less expensively.

The long venerable adage of real estate is reliably accurate - location/location/location.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,353,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glucorious View Post
No. That's not true. You can share the room, or you can have your own.

Sounds like you haven't stayed at many hostels. I've stayed at a bunch of hostels over the years and always had a great time.

St Christopher's Inn - Berlin, Berlin, Germany: Book Now!

High Tech Arturo Soria, Madrid, Spain: Book Now!

Just to show a few. You can get whatever you want. Those are, for instance, pretty nice ( been there). And you can get nice ones that are even cheaper.
I've stayed in four hostels before - five if you want to count the time I stayed in a "private room". The usual "hostel" experience is in the dorms, not in a private room. And even if he/she stays in a private room, they will probably still share a bathroom, although some hostels have en-suites as well.

(I admit to getting the per-room figure wrong; it's near what they'd pay for a cheap hotel IF they were not alone, as hostels tend to charge per person and not per room AFAIK).

I will not deny that I've been content with most of my hostel stays. It's not that my experiences with hostels have been negative. But it's not what you can expect the average traveler or casual vacationer to find pleasant. For a somewhat adventuresome 21-year-old who doesn't mind going without some of the conveniences most others find essential in accommodation, it can be a wonderful experience, especially meeting other travelers, as hostels - even those without bars - facilitate that. But for your average American traveler, especially those beyond their youth (even though you do find older people at most hostels), the lack of privacy, shared bathrooms, etc. can be a nightmare.

From the OP's post, it is evident that hostels, even private rooms, would probably not be a good recommendation, except if he's on a very tight budget and has money for no more.
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