Is it Okay to Stay in a Hostel When Traveling in a Premium Cabin?

Last year I wrote an article about Why the Hotel Room Matters When Traveling on Vacation. I still strongly believe that a hotel room can make or break a vacation. I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about booking budget accommodations when traveling in Business or First Class. The question I always get is “Why are you staying at a cheap hotel?” Whenever I get that question, it seems like I’m getting scolded.

I can recount on numerous occasions where I’ve stayed at a crappy budget hotel/hostel when I arrived in style in Business/First Class. Some of the reasons why I booked these budget hotels are because:

1) 12 hour layovers – When I head into town on a 12 hour layover, I want a place to recharge my laptop/phone, take a hot shower, use the Wi-Fi, and maybe even take a quick nap. I usually don’t do the latter because I want to maximize my time in the city during the quick layover. Last year, I stayed at the Templo Mayor Hotel in Mexico City and the Residencial Londres Hotel in Santiago during my less than 12 hour layover.

2) Really late arrival times – I really dislike those 12:30am arrival times and I can recall on three separate occasions that has happened to me. I’ve had midnight arrivals in Lima, Bogota, and most recently Singapore. The only thing I’m thinking about at 12:30am is wanting a place to sleep after I arrive. I usually book a budget hotel in this case and only take a short nap. I’ll wake up at 6am and explore the city while hoping for an early check-in at a nicer full service hotel. A few years ago, I stayed at a $10 budget airport hotel in Bangkok due to a very short overnight layover. Last year, I stayed at a budget hotel in the La Candeleria neighborhood of Bogota and most recently, the Fragrance Hotel – Sunflower in Singapore.

What I look for in a budget hotel:

Location – somewhere in the city, preferably ease of access to my next hotel the morning after.

Free WiFi – Paying for WiFi can dramatically increase the price of your budget accommodation, so I always look for free WiFi.

You really can’t be picky while looking for a budget hotel/hostel because price is what ultimately matters. It’s almost always in a bad neighborhood with high crime and most likely in a red light district. Once in a while you might find a gem. Breakfast is usually included in budget hotels, but that’s not a factor when I’m booking because local food is easily found for cheap.

Is it okay to stay in budget accommodations when flying in a premium cabin?


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  5 comments for “Is it Okay to Stay in a Hostel When Traveling in a Premium Cabin?

  1. March 6, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    why not?

  2. March 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    I think it’s totally fine. Especially if you’re not going to be there that long like you said. I don’t see why there’s a stigma to a “budget” hotel. Maybe it’s just me, Besides wi-fi and maybe breakfast, all the extras in a hotel really don’t do much for me.

  3. themrpickles
    March 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Hostels are great especially in New Zealand, great way to meet other travelers too.

  4. Beavis
    March 8, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    No respectable points collector would stay in a Hostel!

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