One way to save money on travel is to consider housing alternatives that still provide a private bathroom.
As early retired, budget-conscious world travelers, we are always on the lookout for good deals on accommodations. Our slow-travel lifestyle often enables us to get great prices on month-long Airbnb apartment rentals — usually under $20 per day.
But short visits to more popular tourist locations can necessitate paying more. We usually turn to Booking.com for such stays. Rarely will we stay at hostels or guest houses. At around 50 years of age, one of our few absolute requirements is a private bathroom.
But recently, we decided to take our first room in a “shared apartment”. We booked the “Master Suite with private bath” at a three-bedroom, two-bathroom Airbnb apartment. It meant while the master bedroom and in-suite bathroom would be ours alone, we could potentially be sharing the rest of the place with other renters. Strangers. Foreigners.
We were heading to the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia and had delayed making definite plans — so most bargain, well-located accommodations had been snapped up. The shared unit was located exactly where we wanted to be. And being just a three-night stay, we decided to give it a try.
We paid $27 per night for the master room with private bath. The queen-size bed was comfortable, the bathroom clean and modern with hot water heater. We had a nice, quiet, window view, and there was a lock and key for the bedroom door.
Here’s a 26-second video tour:
As you can see, the common areas were spacious, tidy, and well equipped.The ground floor apartment measured about 1000 square feet with high ceilings, a full kitchen, and a small terrace and garden area. Further amenities included: satellite TV with English HBO/Cinemax, slow but stable wifi, a malfunctioning tap water filter, and tasteful, comfortable living room and dining room furniture. Of course, utilities were included, but air conditioning or fans are not needed in the cool Cameron Highlands.
In the end, no other renters ended up booking either of the available rooms during our stay. Thus, we had the whole place to ourselves for $27 per night, including the Airbnb fees. That price was a good value for a short stay in a large apartment at a fairly popular tourist destination.
We were slightly disappointed that we didn’t get to meet and share living space with complete strangers as we had envisioned. This review might have been quite different in that case. Who knows. Still, we will likely book such an arrangement to save money on travel again in the future, and we can post another review then. One thing is for sure; we will have the private bathroom.
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