78

Here are some of the main signs I would look out for to decide if a review is fake. (note: updated with some points taken from a study on the matter) Overly hyped. While it is certainly possible that someone had an amazing time, the more hyped the review looks the more likely it is fake. "Fake reviewers tend to overdo “self-referencing”, that is, they ...


71

Contact AirBnB support directly, do not wait. Ask them to help you move to another apartment. Also ask for compensation. Anecdotal: There was a major water problem at an apartment my parents rented near Paris, with AirBnb. They contacted support and were lucky to be moved to another apartment nearby, and they got some compensation.


68

Calling the police might be the way to go in jurisdictions within developed countries, but wouldn't necessarily work in regions where governance is weak. In this case it would be better to pay the fraudulent bill using a credit card and then dispute the transaction once you're safe and sound at home. It's likely that the credit card company will take your ...


64

I was originally going to make this a comment, but I think my personal experience will showcase some of the tactics and how to recognize them and avoid them. But first off, be skeptical and say no. I once attended a timeshare presentation in Ft Lauderdale. Due to a previous hurricane I actually had a free plane ticket to burn, so it didn't cost me ...


63

Taking Complimentaries Home I would say that it all boils down to how cheap you want to look, in the eyes of the hotel management. If you don't care, and probably you shouldn't, then there are some things you can take with you upon check-out. Taking Consumables As a general rule I would say: you can take anything that is single-serving. For the purpose ...


62

Self-catering is a widely used term. It implies 1) that meals are not provided, but also 2) enough equipment is provided for guests to cook their own meals. Exactly what equipment is provided can vary. There will be at least a fridge and some way of heating up meals, eating utensils, a table and chairs and somewhere to eat. Most will have a stove, an oven ...


59

It's very easy, just smile and say no. Yes, the sales pressure is high, very high, but...so what? You are not obligated in any way to buy anything. As for hidden fees, well...sure, there might be a resort fee and of course taxes, but you should settle all of this ahead of time, before the presentation. How to handle it? Well, it's just two hours with ...


58

There is certainly no guide to cover it all. First, if the airline is at fault, they normally provide accommodation and meal. This has happened to me several times over the years. You must insist to get your vouchers as soon as possible though. The last time something like that happened the airline told me I would get my vouchers on arrival from the ...


57

It's very considerate of you to want to do the right thing, but it is certainly not rude to leave your bed unmade when checking out. Any accommodation beyond the most dubious and disreputable will be stripping the bed and changing the sheets before renting the room to another guest. As you note, if you make the bed, the housekeepers will simply have to ...


52

I look at reviews that are “middle of the road” e.g. 2 or 3 star. I then choose a hotel when the reviews complain about things I don’t care about. E.g. a review saying that “the hotel bar closes at 10 pm and does not have any music” is a positive review for me, even if the reviewer gave the hotel 2 stars because of it. A fake review posted by the hotel ...


40

My approach is to not feed them anything to work with. When I have been to one of those deals, my only commitment was to attend the presentation, not to supply any information or discuss anything. Questions about myself and my situation get response "Please continue with your presentation.". Actual sales questions get "No". If asked why not, back to "Please ...


38

Some do some don't. Most larger hotel chains (Marriott, IHG, Hilton, etc.) will offer this. Typically you either get a room with two double/queen beds or a single large bed with added "rollaway" bed(s) for the kids. Rollaway is often charged extra. Pretty much every Internet hotel search engine allows you to search for 1 room/4 persons. Easy enough !


37

The UK isn't a very wild place, at least compared with New Zealand, so there isn't a lot of call for 'public huts', by which I'm assuming you mean shelters which are free for anyone to use in remote areas. The only such things I know of are 'bothies' for hikers. You can find out more at the Mountain Bothies Association. They are basic shelters, almost all ...


36

In my opinion Airbnb is nothing but a short-let provider. Yes people do rent out their spare rooms, and thus welcome you in their house. But they do so in exchange for money, very much like a hotel, or a bed-and-breakfast, would do. In that sense I don't think tipping is necessary. If you want to show appreciation to an excellent host, the best way to do ...


36

No you don't all need an account. Only one (the one who makes the booking) is enough. Source: I have often stayed at Airbnbs together with other people (either as the one who made the booking or accompanying) and no multiple accounts were necessary. You only need to specify the number of guests, you wouldn't even need to give their emails. Since you get ...


36

If you want to be courteous to the housecleaning staff, strip the bed for them. If you want to be neat, fold the sheets and other bedclothes and leave them in a neat pile at the foot of the mattress. The top of this pile would be a good place to leave your tip.


35

A self catering apartment, hotel room, hostel, vacation place, etc, is one where guests have facilities for making their own meals and cooking, and are allowed to do so. Normally a hotel might give guests a kettle and some coffee/tea, maybe some biscuits, and usually a dining room with menu, sometimes also room service. By contrast, a self catering ...


33

What's called a refuge in French is a Hütte in German. In both cases, it can be staffed (gardé, bewirtschaftet) and possibly offer some basic catering or be unstaffed (refuge non gardé, Selbstversorgerhütte) or a mere shelter (cabane or abri de secours, Notlager or Biwakschachtel). The German and Austrian alpine clubs run many of them and also maintain ...


32

These are known as bothies. A bothy is a basic shelter, usually in a remote location. They are unlocked, and available for anyone to use, free of charge. There are many different styles and sizes of bothies. A lot of them are old cottages, others are purpose-built wooden huts. Guirdil bothy, on the Isle of Rùm. Photo from Geograph, by Calum McRoberts, CC-...


31

I have gone through quite a few of these. The easiest thing to do is do a little research in the area that you are going. Then during the selling phase: Do not go into any private room to talk one on one alone with anyone. Simply say, I prefer that we talk "out here" or "in public". Remain very unimpressed with the property, setup, rate, everything. ...


31

hostelworld.com allows filtering rooms by gender:


30

In post-Soviet countries you will probably walk to local rail station and rest in its waiting area. It's usually open 24/7. You might be required to show a proof of onward travel from this station. Granted, there might be some slightly undesirable people there (actual homeless and drunkards), but come to think of that, aren't you a bit undesirable yourself, ...


30

If you're underage, confirm in advance with the locations you'll be traveling. Couch surfing is out of the picture if you're using couchsurfing.com, since being under 18 violates the terms of service. Some hostels will allow you to stay if you're above the age of 16, but they usually require parental authorization. Some just have a form, some require a ...


30

It is allowed. Booking a hotel for the night gives the obligation to pay for it, not to use it. If the people of the dormitory are the caring kind they might worry something happened to you, but you can easily explain to them that you are sleeping elsewhere. You can even return for breakfast. As mentioned in the comments your hotel may be required to ...


26

Well I'm a bit of a sub-expert on this, having worked nine years in the hostelling industry and encountering them as a traveller once in India. There's a bit of a dirty little secret in the hospitality industry about just how bad the bed bug problem has been for the past few years. Apparently all the big/expensive hotel chains have been having problems - it'...


25

Here's a story about a study done by researchers who hired freelance writers to write fake positive reviews, asked judges to tell them apart from real ones (they couldn't) and then did a statistical analysis. According to them, typical properties of fake reviews are: A direct mention of the place where somebody stayed Lots of adverbs like 'really' and '...


22

Utilize hotels.com or other "black-out date" wholesalers and discounters. They purchase rooms in bulk at a discounted rate and mark them up for a profit. As occupancy becomes scarce they will hold rooms back for the last minute premium. The room allocations they have will not be available to the hotel front desk or central reservations. Hotel front desks ...


22

Rick Steves has a post on this and his answer comes down to: Interpret hoteliers’ reticence as “I have lots of good furniture and fine floors in this room, and I don’t want your drippy laundry ruining things.” But as long as you wash carefully and are respectful of the room, go right ahead. It's also possible they want to save on water, but then ...


21

In general, no. If you book a ticket that includes some time in a city along the way, it's up to you to figure out where to sleep and to pay for that. Two exceptions. First, if you had a short connection, say two hours, and there's a problem that delays the second flight and you have to spend the night there, the airline might (might!) pay for a hotel. ...


21

I actually think I have the perfect thing for you. I made this site to check for when any booked hotels open up, and send you an email/text when it does: Hotel Alerts Full disclosure, I'm the creator of the site. You should add all the hotels that are in that area, and when any of them have an opening, it will notify you right away. Make sure you put all ...


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