Last night after dinner, Alex, I and two other friends were chit chatting over a coffee table. Our highlight was about our encounters with cockroaches, rats, lizards, bugs, snakes, spiders, frog etc. while putting up with hotels and guess houses overseas.

Over the years with countless experiences in dealing with such situations, in addition to the stress of theft, we naturally developed a rule of thumb when choosing a budget accommodation. We usually make sure we see the room before we take it. Good hotels don’t necessary have all their rooms in good condition. Sometimes we surprisingly find outstanding rooms in the most unexpected condition. I would say, some budget accommodation could have the standard of an expansive hotel, in terms of its basic facilities. 

In an ideal situation, these are what we look for when checking a guesthouse or budget hotel:

  1. Reception is friendly and helpful – First impression is essential, though it may not be always accurate. We usually choose a place where its owner or attendee is friendly and helpful.
  2. New guess house or budget hotel – New guess house or hotel is usually more clean.
  3. Avoid first floor or lower floor – The chances of animal invasion (especially cockroaches and rats, + possible human being) for rooms on the first floor is very high.
  4. Good natural light  – We usually prefer the room with good naturally light and air circulation, a plus if it has at least one big window with reasonably good view. 
  5. Air circulation – We feel unhealthy sleeping in a room with smell of dampness, though we may be deceived by its interior setting. We usually prefer a room with good odor (means good air circulation).
  6. Door lock – It feels safer to have a room with internal door lock. When traveling, we usually carry some locks for locking our room while we are out.
  7. Hygiene standard – check bed linen, pillow cases, and the toilet. Carrying one batik sarong is a good idea, for use of bed linen, blanket and bath towel.  When checking the toilet, I pay particular attention at the toilet seat and the floor water trap.