How to make the most of your rubbish accommodation and not let it put a downer on your trip!

How to make the most out of rubbish accommodation

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How to make the most of your rubbish accommodation and not let it put a downer on your trip!

We’ve all been there- it’s just so easily done. You nab your bargain flights to somewhere you fancy, you spend time figuring out what to do and of course where you want to stay. You check reviews, location and what’s included and think ‘Great! This will be perfect’. Only to get there and BAM, the accommodation is nothing like you were expecting. Suddenly the trip has a grey cloud hanging over it and you don’t know what to do. By this time the hotel has been paid for and it’s just not in the budget to up and move somewhere else.

I once spent a few nights in a god awful hostel in Penang with no air con, paper thin walls, filthy sheets and a man snoring his head off on a camp bed right outside the door. It sucked and I didn’t feel particularly safe but it didn’t ruin my time there. In fact, Penang turned out to be one of my favourite places to visit and now I just look back and laugh at where I was staying. So although it may feel that the shit has hit the fan right at the beginning, fear not! I am here to tell you that this doesn’t have to define your trip and you can still make the most of it. After all, every cloud has a silver lining!

How to make the most of your rubbish accommodation and not let it put a downer on your trip!
Looks lovely and seedy here…


Be honest with yourself, have you gone to that location for the hotel experience or to experience the area? I have stayed in plenty of naff accommodation and find that treating the room as a place to just dump my stuff, sleep and shower really helps. At the end of the day, the memories you will take away with you will be about what you did, not what your room looked like.



Sometimes things can look so bad that the only way to deal with it is to laugh or you’ll cry. So make sure you laugh! That way, you’ll get over shock quicker, see it from what it is and move on.



What better reason to not spend your morning lazing around in bed? Although it may not be as you intended it to be the best things happen when you least expect them to. So get out and about and see what else you stumble upon.

How to make the most of your rubbish accommodation and not let it put a downer on your trip!
View from Penang Hill


I always find it reaches that awkward time of the day when some things are closing up for the evening and the night stuff hasn’t opened yet so you want to go back to your room and chill out. Obviously, if your room is crap then you possibly won’t want to do that. Why not spend time relaxing where all the locals are or head back to a gorgeous park or square you didn’t stop off at in the day. Time to stop and take things in is just as important as going everywhere you can, and being outside amongst it all is far better than being in a hotel room.



Travel is a privilege and if you travel often it’s easy to get used to it and even take it for granted a bit. In the grand scheme of things, having a crappy hotel room is not the end of the world. It’s important to not forget how lucky you are to be able to experience new places anyway.



Although a poor accommodation is not the end of the world, you have of course paid for it. It’s always worth having a word with the manager to express your disappointment and to give them a chance to try to rectify things. Be calm and polite about it and don’t be afraid to ask for changes to be made, or even a refund to be given.


We've all found ourselves in some pretty rubbish accommodation at some point, but it doesn't have to ruin your trip! Check out my handy tips to help you make the most of it and still have an amazing time.


  • departureandarrivals

    We all have been there 🙂 If it is only for a one/two nights the situation is much easier to get over. I wouldn’t be pleased about sleeping at terrible place for more than that period of time 🙂 Nicely written 🙂

  • Bri

    I’ve been lucky so far in staying in some nice places but I’m keeping this bookmarked just in case it ever happens to me haha. I do agree that when I’m in a nice hotel, I find it hard to leave so maybe I should start booking stays in dodgy places..

  • Eleonore

    I’ve definitely experienced this – and I do as you said, try to just see it as room. If anything, it makes you get out and explore even more of wherever you are! Plus it’s always an adventure and usually atleast a good story later on! ??

  • Christie

    Hahaha I love this post – such a clever thing to write about! I just got back from NZ where we had a few questionable stays so I wish I had read this beforehand 🙂

  • Lena

    I still remember the worst accommodation I have ever stayed in. It was in London (of all places!), it cost a fortune, so it was twice as more disappointing. But it didn’t ruin my experience of London, which I loved regardless. As long as place is clean, I don’t really care, I travel to see places, not hotel rooms 😀

  • Travel Textbook

    Love this so much! Have definitely had my fair share of dodgy accommodation and these tips are all so true. The bad accommodation definitely makes some of the best travel stories afterwards, and my favourite tip is to try and laugh it off (even if it doesn’t feel funny at the time).

    Lucy x

  • Aleks

    Definitely have been there! And these are all tips we use often! Great advice for those seeking a different perspective and a reminder that sometimes the negative parts of travel make the best stories!

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