Where we stayed in the Balkans + How we choose accommodation

BY ONEIKA RAYMOND

Our accommodation in Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia.

People always ask me about I decide on which country or city to travel to next, but the truth is that my selections are often based on what I estimate the total trip cost will be. I usually have an idea of how much I can/want to spend, so it’s simple arithmetic:

Cost of getting there + Cost of lodging and food + Cost of activities and/or entrance fees to monuments/museums/other touristic sites

To cut costs on the “getting there” part of the equation, I typically try to travel in the region I’m living in at that moment — tickets are naturally cheaper when you travel closer to home. This then means that when I lived in London, I travelled extensively in mainland Europe — it was just logical since the abundance of low-cost European air carriers (think Ryan Air, Norwegian Air, Easy Jet, etc) enabled me to fly to most places on the continent on the cheap. With a few notable exceptions (our trip to Peru being one, my trip to India being another), I didn’t stray too far from my home base, all in the name of saving money on expensive plane tickets.

IMG_8055

At any rate, I tell you all this because one of the main reasons we chose to vacation in the Balkans this past summer is that we knew it would be cost effective, especially when it came to lodging.  This area of Europe is still regenerating itself after a long period of political and economic strife, so prices are still low (though expect them to rise astronomically as the countries in the region accede to the European Union).  We stayed in really nice, affordable places during our jaunt in Montenegro, Bosnia, and Croatia, and in the interest of sharing my finds with my fellow travellers, I figured I would detail them here.

 

Kotor, Montenegro

Name: D & Sons Apartments

How much we paid: $101 USD/night

We spent three nights in this large two bedroom apartment located in Kotor’s Old Town. Though we ate all of our meals at local eateries, it was comforting to know that we had the option of making our own food in the fully equipped kitchen. It was just Liebling and I, but apartment sleeps up to four people.

IMG_8011

IMG_8010

IMG_8012

Mostar, Bosnia

Name: Shangri La

How much we paid: $68 USD/night

This was by far the best deal on accommodation we got the whole trip! Our room was newly renovated and so nice! My only complaint was that the wifi was absolutely terrible.

IMG_8036

IMG_8037

IMG_8039

 

Dubrovnik, Croatia

(Note: we stayed in two different hotels in Dubrovnik)

Name of Hotel #1:  Apartments Dalmatino

How much we paid: $122 USD/night

This place was modern, beautiful, and secluded.  However, beware: Dalmatino located in Lapad beach area of Dubrovnik, making it a 15 minute or so bus ride from the old town (and thus, most of Dubrovnik’s touristic sites).

IMG_8022

IMG_8025

 

Name of Hotel #2: Villa Sigurata

How much we paid: $163 USD/night

We spent the last night of our vacation in this hotel, situated right in the thick of Dubrovnik’s old town.  While the location was stellar, I didn’t love the place: after revelling in fantastically cheap and spacious accommodation the other nights of the trip, this place felt small and too expensive by comparison. Still, the owners were very nice and our room was clean and newly renovated.

IMG_8118

IMG_8119

 

Notes on how we source and choose accommodation

+ We scour TripAdvisor and spend hours poring over reviews, particularly focusing on the pictures that guests at the hotel have taken.

+ When we finally find a hotel we like check rates on booking sites like TripAdvisor, Expedia, Agoda, and Booking.com.  Usually the prices are pretty much the same but every once in a while one of the sites will have a better deal.

+ Before booking through one of the sites above, we always check the hotel’s website (if they have one) to see if they have lower rates. While it’s highly unlikely that they do, it’s always good to check, just in case.

+ Location, location, location.  As a rule, especially on a shorter trip, we try to stay in areas that are close to all the tourist attractions.

+When Liebling and I travel together, we tend to stay at nicer places — hotels and B&Bs in the 4-star range.  However, staying in a newer hotel or B&B ALWAYS trumps staying in an older construction, even if the older hotel has a higher star rating.  I am obsessed with cleanliness and hygiene in hotel rooms and somehow it is more comforting to me to know that, if a place is newer, less people have slept in my room, used the toilet, touched the doorknob, etc.  Sadly, hotels are a hotbed for germs.

 

How important are price, location, and amenities when you are selecting a place to stay on your travels? 

SHARING IS CARING

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

64 Comments

  • Eeep! After 14 months in Asia, these prices got my pulse racing! We’ve definitely been staying in budget accommodation but I was hoping that when we transitioned over to Europe that we might be able to lessen the sticker shock a bit by sticking to parts of Eastern Europe & the Balkans at first. Apparently our wallet is going to take a hit no matter what!

    One question for you: we’ve often found that we can get better deals than even online booking if we show up and then try to negotiate a discount in person, especially if we are planning to stay for 3+ nights. Obviously this is standard practice in Asia, but do you think we’d have much luck with it in Europe, particularly if we are not traveling during the high season?

    Reply
    • Hi Steph!! You can definitely spend less that what we spent — there is a full range of accommodation at all price levels! As I said in the post, Liebling and I like to stay in nicer places so we are willing to pay a premium. 🙂

      As for online booking, we booked in advance merely because we are picky and didn’t want to leave where we would be staying to chance. However, if you’re flexible (and not travelling in high season), I would actually recommend waiting until you get there to find a place to stay, as many guesthouse owners are willing to bargain! That said, out of curiosity I *did* go around to a few guesthouses to ask about rates — and prices were only about $10 to $15 USD cheaper a night.

      Reply
  • We stayed in local rented apartments during our trip to Dubrovnik and Montenegro, basing ourselves in the historic city of Dubrov, then in Herceg-Novi along the bay of Kotor. Since we went in late March, we paid just 15 euros a night each! We looked on booking.com, as another blogger recommended it, and stayed with a really lovely woman who made us breakfast daily and offered to pay for our parking ticket!

    Reply
  • Hi Oneika,
    Thank you for sharing those useful tips with us, the accommodation looks amazing.
    I’ll follow your tips to chose my next holiday destination.

    Merci beaucoup madame…I hope there’s no mistake 🙂

    Reply
      • Hi Oneika,

        J’ ai appris le Francais during my A Level but I still had to Google your sentence to understand what you said lol
        I have a friend who comes from Madagascar you remind me of her because she is an adventurer just like you 🙂
        and she’s been trying to teach me French but no results bless her 🙂

        Bonne journee

        Reply
  • Wow, I had no idea it was so expensive in the Balkans! I’m the same though, when I’m travelling with my guy we always opt for 4*accommodation. I’m far too old for budget hostels and would rather pay more for something really nice.

    Reply
  • It is significant to determine where to go, far or near.
    You can also purchase one at amazon (which is much cheaper than the sprint store).
    Plus, you can add an exciting rim-to-rim helicopter flight
    to your tour.

    Reply
  • It’s really a great and useful piece of info.

    I am happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  • I quite like reading through a post that can make men and
    women think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!

    Reply
  • This is a really good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

    Reply
  • For most recent information you have to go to see world wide web and on web
    I found this website as a most excellent web page for most
    up-to-date updates.

    Reply
  • Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed
    reading it, you may be a great author. I will make sure to
    bookmark your blog and will come back later on. I want to
    encourage you to definitely continue your great job, have a nice holiday
    weekend!

    Reply
  • Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a blog website?

    The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny
    bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

    Reply
  • Attractive portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital
    to say that I get actually loved account your weblog
    posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing for your feeds and even I fulfillment you get entry to
    consistently quickly.

    Reply
  • obviously like your web-site but you need to check the spelling on several of
    your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality nevertheless I’ll definitely come back again.

    Reply
  • whoah this weblog is magnificent i love reading your posts.
    Stay up the great work! You know, lots of individuals are hunting round for this info, you could
    help them greatly.

    Reply
  • It’s very straightforward to find out any topic on net as compared to
    books, as I found this post at this web site.

    Reply
  • Thankfulness to my father who told me on the topic of this website, this weblog is
    genuinely amazing.

    Reply
  • Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the
    same subjects? Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  • Link exchange is nothing else however it is only placing the other person’s website link on your
    page at suitable place and other person will also do similar in favor of you.

    Reply
  • Its like you learn my mind! You seem to know so much approximately this,
    like you wrote the ebook in it or something.
    I think that you just can do with some % to power the message home a bit, however other
    than that, that is magnificent blog. A fantastic read.
    I’ll certainly be back.

    Reply
  • Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just
    your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all.
    Nevertheless just imagine if you added some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more,
    “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images
    and video clips, this site could certainly be one of the greatest
    in its niche. Great blog!

    Reply
  • You are so awesome! I do not suppose I’ve truly read through something like that before.
    So good to find someone with some genuine thoughts on this subject.

    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!

    Reply
  • Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.

    In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write once more very soon!

    Reply
  • This piece of writing will assist the internet viewers
    for building up new weblog or even a weblog
    from start to end.

    Reply
  • Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to
    “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    Reply
  • I visited several web pages except the audio feature for audio songs current at this web site is
    actually fabulous.

    Reply
  • I don’t even know how I ended up right here, but I believed this
    publish used to be great. I don’t understand who you are however certainly you’re going to a famous blogger should you
    are not already. Cheers!

    Reply
  • Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying
    to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its
    ok to use some of your ideas!!

    Reply
  • Hey there would you mind letting me know which web host you’re using?

    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this blog
    loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a honest
    price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

    Reply
  • I used to be suggested this web site by means of my cousin. I am not sure whether or not
    this put up is written by means of him as no one else recognise
    such particular approximately my trouble. You are amazing! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Hi everybody, here every one is sharing these kinds of knowledge, thus it’s good to read this webpage, and
    I used to go to see this website every day.

    Reply
  • I’m really impressed with your writing skills
    as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid
    theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up
    the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one today.

    Reply
  • Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this website daily, this web page is really nice and the users are really sharing
    nice thoughts.

    Reply
  • It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or tips.
    Perhaps you can write next articles referring to
    this article. I desire to read more things
    about it!

    Reply
  • My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was totally right.
    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time
    I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    Reply
  • You ought to take part in a contest for one of the finest sites
    on the internet. I am going to recommend this blog!

    Reply
  • Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at
    work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the knowledge you present here and can’t wait
    to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your
    blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyhow, wonderful blog!

    Reply
  • This list could go on and on, nevertheless the gist is straightforward: 18-karat platinum cases be more expensive compared to stainless-steel.

    Reply
  • I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but goodtopic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this info for my mission.

    Reply
  • Tamamen Otomatik Sistem ile Siparişleriniz 7 Gün 24 Saat Hızlı ve Sorunsuz Bir Şekilde Tamamlanmaktadır. Instagram takipçi satın al ve daha fazlası.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.