Self-catering accommodations in the USA for International Student
The self–catering accommodation business in the USA has been increasing a lot as many people are starting to see the advantages of weighing out the disadvantages. This article talks about what self–catering accommodations mean. The advantages and disadvantages are listed as well. Some of the top self–catering accommodations in different tourist sites of the USA are included in this article as well.
In recent years self – catering accommodations have been encouraged throughout vacation houses and other accommodations. Hotel services contribute to water wastage and food wastage throughout the year. Hence self – catering accommodation is a good choice. It is also cheaper than hotels. In a hotel you usually have one room however self–catering accommodations are usually apartments, houses, or condos.
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What are self-catering accommodations?
Self-catering accommodation is something that would be the opposite of staying in a hotel room. It means exactly as it sounds. You get your own space where you have to get everything done on your own. It gives you privacy from other guests in the hotel. A lot of people prefer self-catering accommodation because the price is lower and instead of a room you get a whole apartment. It is recommended especially when you are with kids. You will not have room service as a hotel does but you will have your privacy and space. The self-catering accommodations usually have a kitchen and washing machine which makes things much more convenient.
What do I need for self-catering accommodations?
When you are planning to enjoy your weekend or vacation in self-catering accommodation you will need to pack big time. As it is not a hotel small things like condiments or a first-aid kit might not be provided. Do not worry much about having too much luggage as there will be a lot of space compared to hotel rooms. Here is a list of things that you might need for self-catering accommodations.
Since there is no room service you cant just ring someone up and tell them to get you a cup of tea. You might not have time or energy to run down the store and get yourself a cup of tea either. Pack some tea bags or instant coffee. Some sweeteners for your coffee or tea are also needed. Any other condiments you think you might need. If you are planning to use a kitchen you can pack the spices and salt in small containers. Using a ziplock bag to store condiments can be more secure. Take spare ones in the case.
This is especially important if you are spending the holiday in a countryside location. There might be a limited number of streetlights around you. If you go out for a night walk you would want to be able to come back safe to your place. Having a torchlight will make sure sure that you won’t get lost on the tracks.
Even if you are staying at a hotel board games are a must. If you are with your family or friends you can have loads of fun. Usually, when people get a self-catering accommodation they spend more days and nights, so there is more time to spend. Games you can bring are Monopoly, cards, UNO, or any other board game that would not be a hassle to carry.
Bring a lot of towels including kitchen towels. Not all accommodations will provide kitchen towels. Towels will be needed when you shower or wash your hands. As it isn’t a hotel you will have to provide yourself with the necessities. If you are bringing kids to your trip, make sure to bring more towels. A trip to the beach or hot spring will require towels as well.
Personal Care Products
You should bring your shampoo, body wash, moisturizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, and any other products which you use daily. If there are a lot of people, just buy a medium-sized one for everyone to use.
If you are planning to cook and use the dishes, bring dishwashing liquid and a sponge. There may be utensils in the accommodation but nothings you can clean the utensils with.
Hair Dryer or straighteners should be taken if you use them regularly or are planning to use them during the trip. You will go out a lot and showed a lot you wouldn’t want to roam around with wet hair. If you are okay with it and think it is unnecessary that is also fine. However, be careful to not catch a cold during a holiday trip. Some accommodations do provide hairdryers, therefore you should check with the owner.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is very important. Pack all the essentials in the kit including your regular medicines. This way you can be prepared for emergencies.
Include things like:
- Antibacterial gel
- Sterile wipe
- Safety pins
- Antiseptic cream
Advantages and Disadvantages
Just like any other topic in hand self – catering accommodations have their perks and drawbacks as well. Here is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of spending your vacation/weekend in a self–catering accommodation.
Self-Catering Accommodations are very big and spacious. Usually, you book a room in hotels or dorms however in self–catered accommodations you get a whole apartment. You can get this for a lower price. Apartments typically include 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a balcony. It feels like a home.
When you are eating in a hotel your food options are very limited and might be more expensive as well. Hotel packages, which come with breakfast and lunch or so, may seem like a steal but in comparison to self–catered food it may not be the case. You can cook your food as a kitchen is provided. You can also order any food from any restaurant you want. This is a good advantage if there are picky eaters.
As mentioned earlier in hotels you will book room by room but self–catering accommodation includes a whole apartment. Too many people sharing a hotel room or bed doesn’t sound like a relaxing vacation. In an apartment, you could have separate rooms for the kids and adults. As kids’ sleeping schedules differ from adults’. You could talk, laugh and chat with everyone and not worry about waking the children up.
Just like any apartment, self–catering accommodation comes with washing machines. You will not have to worry about where to pile your dirty clothes.
Hotel hours have strict hours and you need to follow a routine to maintain the mess with the kids in a hotel room. However, in self-catering accommodation, you won’t have to worry about that. It will be like you are in your own vacation house. You have privacy and the choice to eat whenever you want. Hotels will follow a specific time for the meals. If you think it is a hassle you can ask your apartment to be serviced during your stay.
Unless you are here with many people it may get a bit too relaxing. In a hotel, there is usually a lot going on. There are different people from different places. Hotels have musical and theatrical events and many other events. There are clubs for kids, where they can make new friends to play with.
When you are out for the weekend or vacation you wouldn’t want to be in charge of cleaning. However, in self–catered accommodation you have to do your cleaning. Unless you ask for cleaning services during your stay which will, of course, add to the cost.
In a hotel, it is easier to meet people. If you are in an apartment you will have neighbors but they might not have time to spare as they are not on their vacation. In a hotel, you would be eating in the same restaurant and using the same facilities giving you more time to bond.
The top self–catering accommodations in the US
There are several self–catered accommodations in the USA and it is increasing day by day. There are websites like booking.com or hometogo.com, which can help you, find your ideal accommodation.
There are many places in the US to go for your vacations. Some of the top self–catering accommodations throughout the US are listed below.
Floridays Orlando Two & Three Bed Rooms Condo Resort
This accommodation is located in Sea World Orlando Area, Orlando. It is the best one in Orlando. It is a pet-friendly resort with 2 outdoor pools. The Walt Disney World theme parks are very close to this resort. Floridays Resort Condos are mostly two or three-bedroom suites with balconies. TVs and DVD players are included.
The condo has its gym and children’s activity room. Shuttle service is offered which takes you to Walt Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando.
There is a Pool Bar and Grill where you can buy refreshing beverages and light snacks. Other stores like Starbucks are available within the resort. The Orlando Premium Outlets Mall is also a very short drive from this resort.
The most popular features according to the reviews were
- Swimming pools
- Family Rooms
- Pets allowed
Hilton Grand Vacations Suites on the Las Vegas Strip
Hilton Grand Vacation Suites is placed in the heart of Las Vegas. It is in the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. It is very close to the casino area. There is a steam room and beauty treatments at the Spa at Hilton. A large outdoor pool with fountains and a gym is available to guests as well.
The facility includes a microwave, refrigerator, and cable TV in every suite. The rooms are very spacious. The Waves Pool Bar and Grill which is open seasonally in the Vacation Suite provides casual dining.Las Vegas Convention Center, Fashion Show Mall, and The City of Rock concert venue are also close by.
The most popular facilities in Hilton Grand Vacations Suites on the Las Vegas Strip according to reviews are
- Swimming pool
- Family rooms
- Non – smoke rooms
WeLive Wall Street
WeLive Wall Street is located in the Financial District of New York. It is not too far away from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and One World Trade Center. WeLive Wall Street provides a restaurant and Bar for beverages and dining.
The units include a full kitchenette with a microwave, flat-screen TV, private bathrooms. This accommodation also offers a hot tub. There is a beautiful shared terrace with a view of New York City. The nearest airport is 14 km away, which is very convenient.
The most popular properties according to reviews of WeLive Wall Street are
- Family rooms
- 24 –hour front desk.
Seacoast Suites on Miami Beach
Seacoast Suites located in Mid – Beach of Miami Beach include an outdoor pool, spa centers, fitness centers, and massage treatments. The units include a kitchen, fitted dishwasher, and even an oven. Like the other accommodations, microwave and coffee machines are available too. The private bathrooms in each suite include free toiletries and a hairdryer. The area is popular for golf and Tennis. The nearest airport is 16 km away.
The most popular facilities according to customer reviews are
- Swimming Pool
- Family rooms
In the end, you have to take your situation into considerations when you are choosing accommodation. If you have kids or happen to be a picky eater a self–catering accommodation is the best option for you. When you are in a self – catering accommodation you will feel more at home. The prices of the accommodations vary from location to location. It also depends on the facilities provided. If you are on a budget you can look online for accommodations within your comfort and budget.