I flew into Budapest, Hungary a few days ago without a plan for a place to stay. I have stayed in this city for over a month this past summer, and was ready to just pass right through. But Chaya needed to make a visit to a doctor, so I figured that I would need to stay in Budapest for a few days.
I thought over my shelter options as I walked out of the airport. Three days, I thought, were too few to arrange a webpage for free accommodation trade. It is a task to put together a Traveling Webmasters site in only a few days. I also did not set up a Couchsurfing host previously, as my time in the USA prior to departure was slightly on the hectic side, and I figure that a couple days of advance notice is needed to use Couchsurfing. My offer to trade some work at the Loft Hostel for a free place to stay also did not come to fruition. My options were thus limited; my options were thus wide open.
Apartment in Budapest, Hungary
I walked over to the bus that leads from the airport into Budapest with an open heart. I was no longer in the USA. My steps were to the future, and were free. I could go anywhere and do anything. Well . . . after I meet up with Chaya later that night.
So I went into Budapest and found us a place to stay for the night, an apartment in the center of the city. I have found that – if you are paying for accommodation – it is often cheaper to rent a temporary stay apartment, rather than a couple of dorm beds or a hotel room.
I knew that it would cost Chaya and I at least 10 to 20 Euro each for a dorm bed in a hectic hostel in Budapest, and way more than this for a junky hotel room. These were not options, as they cost far too much money for what we would receive. But a temporary stay apartment in Budapest goes for an acceptable price.
Apartment in Budapest
I found us an apartment at Locust tree Apartments for around 20 Euro a night. This is a little more than a vagabond’s fare, but 10 Euro a piece for a nice, spacious, souped-up apartment with cable TV and internet access in Budapest is not bad.
Renting an apartment is usually vastly cheaper than a hotel room or dorm bed in most places in the world. In China, I paid $50 a month for an apartment; in Honduras, $50 a month; in Japan, $300 a month. These prices are vastly less than other accommodation options.
If you are traveling slowly, want to really check out a place, or are doing some spokes of the wheel traveling, renting apartments for a couple weeks to a couple months is a cheap option (well, if you are paying for a place to stay). Renting apartments rather than hotel rooms often works better if you are traveling with at least one other person, but gets cheaper and cheaper the bigger group you have. If I was traveling with 4 people here in Hungary, I would be paying 5 Euro a night for this two bedroom apartment.
When paying for accommodation, look for temporary stay apartments instead of hotels or hostels.