When traveling around Europe and London in particular, there are a number of quirky accommodation alternatives to help spice up your trip. These can help you see real London and possibly save you some money along the way. Perhaps something interesting to try if you are visiting for the Olympics…
Couchsurfing.org is a cult phenomenon, with a strong following in London, throughout Europe and the USA, with over 3 million members worldwide. This cost effective accommodation alternative allows travellers to the city to do as the name suggests and stay on couches for free, with no charges expected from the hosts.
As a good will gesture however, it is common for guests to cook a meal, clean the house or help continue the community spirit in some way to give back to the hosts. It is also common for local hosts to show visitors around the area to allow them to understand the local attractions of the area. This not-for-profit business requires some community engagement to use successfully, so is worth looking into early if it is a longer term accommodation plan.
For a more boutique alternative, luxury vacation apartments from London based onefinestay allow guests to ‘live like a local’ in central London with a unique twist. The service allows guests to stay in real homes around the capital, with the added services and perks of a five star hotel.
Fresh bed linen, fluffy white towels and luxury toiletries will be waiting for you on arrival at the home along with a free iPhone to use during your stay which is filled with tips about the area and the home you are staying in. Locations include areas like Kensington, Mayfair, Notting Hill and more lively locations like the West End’s Soho and East London’s fashionable Shoreditch.
For something a little less luxury, why not consider the local hostel association for a cheap bed for the night. The YHA has a number of available rooms throughout the city that can be booked in advance. Often the dorms may be shared, so bear this in mind when staying over.
With these three alternatives in mind, hotels can be a distant memory on your next trip to the UK.