mini break 2010 - lodging

Whether you want to stay in a classy and fancy hotel or slum it up in a hostel, I recommend the same thing: visit trip advisorvirtual tourist, or other similar sites for reviews. It's just as important to look at reviews for the 4-star places because if you're paying top dollar, you want to know you're getting what you pay for. On trip advisor, you can look up a city and it will list all of the hotels, hostels, b&b places, etc. (depending on your search filters) and will even show the rank of the hotel and list the "Top Deals" and popular places where people felt they definitely got more than what they paid for. They even show what the average room prices are (if the information is available) so you can remain conscious of your budget as you browse.

For this trip, we wanted to remain budget conscious but we also weren't willing or mentally prepared to sacrifice our comfort to sleep in hostels, so we decided to look for reasonably priced rooms in decent places.

Here's what we ended up booking:
Dublin - Anchor Guest House - €75 per night (or about $97 USD)
Paris - Hotel de L'Avre - €87 per night (or about $112 USD)
London - Hotel Meridiana - £54 per night (or about $85 USD)
Amsterdam - Hotel Washington - €75 per night (or about $97 USD)

Our biggest requirements of all of our lodging stemmed from location and accessibility. We didn't want to be too far from the public transportation networks and if possible, we wanted to be in good, touristy neighborhoods where the sites would be easy to find. For our London lodging, we tried to choose a place that was as close to our airport bus stop as possible (more on airport bus transportation later). Our Paris hotel is within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower and within 1 block of two different metro stops. And, though we found out that one or two of these places had shared bathrooms, the reviews reassured us that they were clean and usable, so we wasn't going to be too picky, especially considering the prices (which we view to be v. reasonable).

In total, we'll be spending 3 nights in Dublin (1 at the beginning of our trip and 2 at the end) and 2 nights in every other destination. That brought our total to $862.78 for lodging for two people for nine nights abroad, or $431.39 per person.

So far, that puts our total for flights and lodging at $2,288.94 for the both of us, or $1,144,47 per person. I don't know how you might feel about that, but I thought that was really good.

Next up: ground transportation