How to choose your accommodation?
Going on a language learning trip might be the perfect way for you to learn a foreign language.
What are the 9 steps I use to organise a language learning trip?
In this blog post series, I will outline the 9 steps I use to plan and go on a language learning trip.
Not sure on how to select a language school? Read Step 4 – how to choose a language school
Step 6 – Choose your accommodation
Accommodation will most likely be your biggest expense after flights on a language learning trip.
What type of accommodation suits your needs?
Are you travelling with your family? Do you need a kitchen, living space and additional bedrooms?
If you are by yourself, a simple room with perhaps a kitchenette might suffice.
What about security and location?
We (me, Lingo Dada and Lingo Bubba) recently stayed in a fabulous two bedroom apartment in Taipei for our language learning trip which we booked on Airbnb. On other language learning trips, I have stayed in a great studio apartment in Shanghai. In Nanjing, for a semester length study trip, I flat shared with a Chinese student. In Ho Chi Minh City (for a six-month stay) I stayed in a basic apartment hotel with a kind of non-existent kitchenette. As a student in Tallinn, Estonia, I stayed in a private house with some other students. I’ve also lived in a student dorm on-campus at Nanjing University.
There are so many accommodation options. What should you look for when you choose your accommodation?
Here is what you should consider when choosing your accommodation:
Type of accommodation
Apartments are great for longer stays like language learning trips, especially if you are travelling with your family or a friend or two. You can sometimes get 2 or even 3 bedrooms giving kids their own space (great for children who are light sleepers like our Lingo Bubba!).
Apartments usually have a separate living area too with a kitchen, lounge and eating area.
Great for – families and longer-term language traveller
Check – Airbnb
For a shorter stay or if you are travelling by yourself or as a couple, a hotel room might be just enough.
If your destination has plenty of cheap and easy food offerings you are definitely less likely to need a kitchen.
You may even get breakfast included in your room rate.
Great for – couples and singles, shorter stays
Some hostels offer private rooms with ensuite and even family rooms. This could be a great option on a budget or if you can’t get an apartment but still want access to facilities like a communal kitchen, laundry and eating area.
Great for – budget and solo travellers
Check – Hostelworld
Is there a better way to practice your new language skills than with a family or host?
Your language school might be able to arrange a homestay or there are private providers which can sometimes organise them too.
Great for – solo travellers
Check – Homestay
Again flatshare arrangements can be just perfect for getting to the most of your language immersion. Flatshares can be the most economical option especially if you will be at your destination for 2 – 3 months or longer.
Airbnb is an option for a flatshare arrangement – as you can just rent a room within an existing apartment.
Great for – budget and longer-term travellers
Are you travelling longer term? Housesitting could be a great option, especially if you don’t mind looking after pets and plants.
Great for – longer-term travellers
Check – Trusted House Sitters
choose your accommodation. how to plan a language learning holiday
What’ll you need
- A desk or table space is important (for any revision or homework you might like to do).
- Heating/cooling – depending on the climate
- Laundry – especially if you are travelling with children
- Kitchen – super handy especially if you’re with kids or staying somewhere longer term
- Wi-fi (especially if you haven’t bought a sim card with data)
I like to walk places! So being within walking distance of my language schools, shops, cafes, parks and transport stations is important for me.
Do you care if your accommodation is on a busy, main road? How far are you willing to commute to get to your language school? Is your accommodation near places of interest (especially important if you are travelling with your family and others who need activities to do whilst you are in class).
Check maps online to see what’s near your accommodation and check reviews to see what other guests have said about the location. If you know where your school is, see how far away your accommodation will be and whether you can walk or cycle or take public transport.
What accommodation have you stayed in for an immersive language learning trip?
Let me know below!
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Until next time,