Traveling is a process- and this process looks incredibly different for millennials today, then it did for baby boomers twenty years ago. In Lisbon I used the app HostelWorld, in London I used Airbnb, in Taipei I used hotels.com, and finally here in Tokyo I chose booking.com. This array of options has allowed me to price match, compare ratings, and meet locals. Travel has become smart, through the numerous resources that allow us to make connections.
When travelling alone, I enjoy meeting other people along the way. My typical practice is hostel first, Airbnb second. This way I get to meet some fellow travellers and get some good insight on places and things to see and do in the city. After the first two nights I decide if it makes more sense to venture out to an Airbnb or if I will stay at that primary location for the remainder of the time (going to each location for around seven days).
The most important factor when I book a spot is location. When I travel, finding locations near the city core and business centres is key. Typically, I will look where the 5-star hotels are located. It is a safe bet that booking around those areas will make for a pleasant stay. That being said; being able to walk to a central plaza is incredible, but generally comes with a price tag. If you are travelling to a more expensive area, for example Hong Kong, it might make more sense to stay outside of the city. On Wednesday when I go, I chose to stay fifteen minutes outside of downtown in a location known as the ‘New Territories’. When making decisions like this one, you have to weigh your opportunity costs. In my case that is time and money. I have to make sure it is worth the extra money saved once you factor in the price to travel back into downtown for meetings and attractions; and make sure travel is not going to take up half my day. What I did was use Google Maps to see how long the ride on the metro would be from my Airbnb to downtown. Anything under twenty minutes I thought would make sense and to go through with it (it is approximately 17 minutes). Next week I will update you guys on if this was a good decision in the end.
Travelling through Western Europe, all of North America, and much of Asia I have learned a lot about my process for Smart Travel. Technology has aided me every step of the way.