Can Villa Rentals Work for Backpackers?

Backpacking is a great way to see the world. One of the many benefits is the sense of freedom, independence and being in command of your own destiny. There is something very liberating about waking up in the morning and the only decision you have to make is whether to turn left or right, but whatever the decision, it actually doesn’t matter that much. Backpacking often takes you off the beaten track and down some of those little side streets and back alleys that you might never get to see on many of the package tours. This can be a revelation, as can the number of people that are willing to help out with many of the day to day dilemmas that this form of travel can throw up.

However, independent travellers do face a daily pressure of where they are going to lay their head that night, where the next proper bed and the next shower or hot bath is going to be, and how to find it. All part of the fun of backpacking you might think and in general most backpackers would agree with you. But would it not be nice to ease the pressure a bit and build a little respite into the trip schedule?  There may well be some essential destinations that you want to schedule into a rough journey plan. Perhaps a stay in a city or an area that has so much to offer that it simply can’t be rushed, and deserves a whole week set aside to fully appreciate everything that it has to offer.

The idea here involves finding somewhere to base yourself for a few nights, or perhaps even a week. Most people would be thinking hostels, small hotels or perhaps bed and breakfast. It is amazing how putting your head on the same set of pillows for a few nights running, or being able to actually unpack your backpack and catch up with personal chores like showering and clothes washing, can be really invigorating; leaving you refreshed and ready for the next leg of the journey into the unknown.

There is one fairly obvious constraint, and that of course, is money. In addition to the benefits already mentioned, backpacking is a form of budget travel. You may well be able to get two months backpacking on the same budget as you might spend on a two week all inclusive stay in a hotel in a nice resort. So how does the idea of taking a week out  somewhere reconcile with the fact that most backpackers are on a tight budget, and where can your average backpacker find somewhere to set up a base camp for a few days and not have to pay through the nose for the privilege?

The answer – and it is an answer that many people may not have considered as being even a remote possibility, is to take a holiday rental. Not only can this be eminently suitable for backpackers, it can also be extremely economical. You can actually pick up a rental deal for around £50.00 per person for a week. Can you think of a better or more economical way of taking some time out and operating from a luxury base camp for a week? Being the doubter that you are, you probably want an example!

At one of the major villa rental sites homeaway.co.uk, we found an apartment in Bangkok, Thailand that costs £13.00 per night to rent. It can sleep four but let’s assume there are only two people. This works out at £45.50 each for 7 nights. The cheapest hostel we could find in Bangkok costs £14.80 per night for 2 people sharing which comes out at £51.80 each for 7 nights. Taking out a rental gives you a secure booking, the ability to maintain privacy and independence, and if you look hard enough for out of season or short-term deals, comes in cheaper than the cheapest hostel. The moral of the story is that yes, villa rentals can indeed work for backpackers.