Accommodation choices for a US visit

Here is a coverage for some of the options you will have to stay when you visit the US or when you travel within the US.

Staying at a hotel

In the US, you can find range of hotels to suit your taste. Categories range from basic to luxury. While older hotel rooms have smaller rooms and just a single or double bed, modern hotels offer two double beds in each room and larger rooms. In any case, you pay only for the room, not number of guests. This works out well if you are traveling with a small family or friends. In a hotel room, as a standard you will find:

  • bathroom
  • telephone
  • air-conditioning / heating controls
  • cable/satellite television
  • a small office space
  • dresser (and iron)
  • internet connection (for additional fee)

Hotel rates vary according to season and standards of service offered. Hotels have variety of discounts so make sure to take advantage of those to the fullest. If you are hunting on the web for best hotel rates, check more than one website.

A quick tip

If you are traveling with babies, you can find hotels offering baby sitting services. The services are provided by registered baby sitters. They can provide baby care services in your hotel or in their own baby sitting facility. Hotels have special events specifically for entertaining children (from infants to teens). Ask for the availability of these options when making a booking.

If you are visiting the US during the peak season (between Christmas and May), it is best to reserve your accommodation to guarantee yourself a place to stay. In other times, you may want to waive the advance booking option to find a better rate when you arrive. This probably will work best if you know the area where you are going and know where you can find the best rates without much hassle.

What can you expect to receive for free at the hotel? Many large chain hotels offer these for free:

  • Coffee/tea
  • Breakfast (includes variety of foods and beverages: doughnuts, fruits, juices, etc)
  • Bathroom towels
  • Internet access (wired or wireless)
  • Pool
  • Exercise machines (a small gym room)

A quick tip

If you have stayed at a hotel room in Europe and one in the US, you will notice the rooms in the US are much larger. As such, you will find more space in the bedroom and bathroom. Larger rooms can accommodate more than one traveler at a time. This means you can save more on your accommodation if you are traveling with family or friends. Ask for an extra bed, if you prefer. It may cost you less than an extra room!

Staying on a resort

If you are going to a beach, there you can find resorts. These are large places offering not only just accommodation but also food, entertainment and variety of facilities for fun. Resorts offer land and water-based sports, boat cruises, dive centers, and more.

Staying at an apartment or condominium

If you do not want to pay the hotel room prices or if a hotel is not available, your other choice would be to rent an apartment or condominium for the duration of the stay. This is usually available if you intend to stay for a week or longer. You have to do some research as such offerings may not be advertised as hotel chains advertised their rooms. You can search the local classifieds of the town or city you want to visit in the US to find short-term places to stay. Apartments offer more space and privacy than a hotel room. Plus apartments can work out to be much cheaper than a hotel room if you are traveling as larger group or family.

Staying at a family home (also called guest houses)

This choice is similar to staying in an apartment except you will be staying at a house. This choice works out best if you are traveling as a group and don’t mind sharing the place. You can find such places online or call a local tourist office of the town or city you want to visit.

Staying at private homes

One of the other choices you have for accommodations is to stay at a rental home. Because you are renting this space from a private party, make sure the place is suitable for your stay. Generally, you will find homes in the US are built with high standards but quality of each property can vary over time. Private homes can be cheaper for a large group of travelers than with each traveler with his or her own hotel room.

There are number of websites that have surfaced recently that help you trade your living space with someone else’s. This eliminates the need for paying for accommodation.

Posted on 11/30/2006
by Raj Singh