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No More Top Bunk For This Guy – Thank You Roomorama!

by Tony · 12 comments

No more bunk beds with RoomoramaCreative Commons License photo credit: unruly chaffinch

I have been saving money since I graduated college.

Well before our RTW adventure had even been dreamt of I was saving because I knew that money in the bank gave me freedom. Freedom to spend money on the things that were important to me.

Freedom to eat incredible food at nice restaurants every now and then…

Freedom to buy nice gifts for people when I can…

And most importantly, freedom to eventually travel.

But to save money and earn this freedom, I have had to sacrifice a few things that others would find painful.

Late nights out at bars with friends…

Fancy one-week vacations from work…

A slick new car…

Luckily, when you prioritize travel as the #1 thing you want in life, you’re able to recalibrate your values and realize that the $10 rum and coke being ordered would cover your lodging and dinner in Thailand for a night (so we’ve heard).

Now that we are on the road without jobs, we are no longer in saving mode. Now it is full-on conservation mode.

Do we make dinner tonight or go out for a nice steak? Should we pay for that museum tour or try and latch on to the free city tour? What was once a daily Starbucks habit now becomes only something for the ultra-wealthy traveling retirees.

I don’t mind counting my pennies on the road if it means I can travel longer. But you know what really hurts?

Saving a few bucks by staying in hostel dorms and sleeping in separate twin beds… typically of the bunked variety.

Being married is supposed to guarantee that a lady sleeps next to me most nights! Isn’t that why all guys eventually take the plunge?

The cold hard truth of traveling as a couple: You sometimes have to stay in hostel dorms to save on cash. It’s just a fact.

But you can’t travel a whole year like that. Sometimes you need to book a private room and have more privacy to unpack your stuff, relax, and do married people things (like cuddle… get your minds out of the gutter).

Could you resist?

How could I not want to sleep next to this lovely creature?

Cheap hostels can turn into expensive hostels though when you are paying for a private. In Buenos Aires, we saw $12 dorm beds turn into $26/person privates (that’s $52 per couple for you math majors).

What to do?

Rent an apartment. They can often be cheaper than a private room at a hostel and a WHOLE lot nicer.

I’m talking a living room, porch, private bathroom that is actually clean, kitchen, and work area.

MTV cribs here you come.

But where to start? You don’t know the city you’re heading to, you don’t know the people, and you just have no idea where to begin.

Enter Roomorama

Roomorama Logo

Roomorama is an online portal that let’s travelers book short term apartment rentals. It is super easy with a good amount of options overseas depending on the city you are looking to stay. For Buenos Aires, there was more than enough to make us happy.

In their own words:

Roomorama is the discerning traveler’s one-stop shop for short-term rentals. Wherever your next trip will be, or wherever your property is, use our online marketplace to connect and transact with hosts and guests who believe in convenient, rewarding and unique travel experiences. With an ever-growing inventory of hospitable accommodations, Roomorama is working to make you feel at home wherever you are.

Why Roomorama?

Besides doing much of the heavy lifting for you (like combining many local apartment listings into one searchable portal, showing availability, and booking directly through the site), they also handle the cash.

I am always leery about handing my scrupulously saved money over to a stranger. This is why having an online site like Roomorama take care of the transaction makes so much sense.

They book the room, but don’t fully process it until you are checked-in and have handed over their previously provided unique payment code to the rental owner.

Our Experience

The online experience at Roomorama was incredibly easy. Find a few nice looking apartments… inquire as to their availability… then book and pay via paypal. Simple!

Roomorama Home Page

This being our first weekly apartment rental in a foreign country, we were on guard for any of a thousand possibilities that could make renting an apartment a horrible experience.

But dang… were we surprised.

The wifi was fast, the apartment felt safe, and we could not have been happier (as you can tell from our glowing recommendation).

It was in an amazing location in the heart of Palermo Soho…

Beautiful open living room and kitchen with a nice work area for those extra dedicated road warriors…

Palermo Soho Apartment

There was too much good food in Buenos Aires to cook every night... but we tried to use the kitchen as much as possible!

A large bedroom…

Bedroom in Palermo

And an incredibly luxurious bathroom (especially after a month of shared hostel bathrooms)…

Bathroom in Palermo

Really loved the high powered face wash next to the toilet... Wish every apartment had one of those!

Bonus points for a lovely porch just perfect for meals.

Palermo Porch

Oh, and most importantly for Buenos Aires… AIR CONDITIONING!

For only US$45 per day, we were able to rent this incredible apartment for the week. Again, just a reminder, but the hostel we were originally staying at charged $52 per day for a private room… and we still would have had to share a bathroom and kitchen and deal with hostel noise!

When To Use Roomorama?

From our perspective, using roomorama makes total sense for the couple traveling for extended periods or any couple staying in one location for more than a few days.

It would even be a good fit for the solo traveler who values privacy over just the lowest room price.

There is a fee to book through Roomorama that increases based on the number of days you reserve. For example, our US$315 reservation for 7 nights had an additional fee of US$30.

Pricey, but not ridiculous. It basically added an extra US$4 to our daily rent… still less than that private hostel. This just meant that we made sure to book a place for at least a week as the fee per day is less the longer you stay.

As always, do your research.

Sometimes you can find cheap private hostel rooms in a great neighborhood with little noise (good luck).

Sometimes you might value the comradarie of hostel life over the peace and quiet of your own apartment.

Sometimes you might not be staying long enough to justify an apartment rental.

But honestly… after staying in this beautiful apartment in Buenos Aires that we booked through Roomorama, I don’t know how we’re going back to dorm rooms in hostels.

It’s going to be rough transition!

LandingStanding is focused on sharing our adventures as a couple on the road, but also on providing you with helpful advice so that you can hopefully join us. Because of our focus on budget traveling as a couple, Roomorama reached out to us so that we could try really living like a local while in Buenos Aires. In return for a discount on the stated price, they asked us to write an unbiased review of our experience. As always, all opinions are our own and we would tell you if we hated it. But we didn’t. It rocked.

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

Megan February 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

love this post! my boyfriend and i are traveling next month and this time…we are on a serious budget! i mention hostel dorms and he cringes…but now he is realizing it may be an actuality b/c we cant afford much else! im going to check roomorama! thanks for the recommendation :) we also use airbnb.com alot :)

Tony February 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Roomorama was new to me but we seriously loved it! It helped that our landlord was so great and that the apartment was in such a nice location. It pays to do your research!

We’ll have to try airbnb next time to compare!

Hostel dorms are great for the budget but you need some couples time every now and then… definitely worth the few extra pesos.

Charlie February 27, 2012 at 1:22 am

Tony, got to love those high powered face washers in Argentina…

Tony February 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm

True story… i just tapped the faucet of it and it was so powerful it shot right into my face and the back wall… i’d be afraid to sit on it I think.

CR February 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I agree with Charlie, love the high powered face wash. I need to get me one of those.
Really nice apartment. I am going to look into Roomorama myself!

Tony February 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Tremendous resource for the traveling couple and I would prefer it over a nice hotel. Your own kitchen!!!

Magz February 27, 2012 at 11:50 pm

That place looks amazing!! Those are the kind of accommodations I am going to expect when I come and visit… Just sayin.

Tony February 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Are you visiting? Is this the first of its kind Breaking News in the comments section?!?!?!?!

Kristine October 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Oh my god, that apartment looks amazing–I read the article but was sold by just looking at the pictures. I remember when I was trying to go to Florence last minute with a friend we were having a hard time finding even just a cheap 6-bed dorm, but through a site like Roomorama we found an apartment right in the city center for much cheaper. LOVED being able to watch Italian-dubbed MTV in my own apartment.

Tony October 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm

The apartment was incredible and it a perfect neighborhood… Palermo soho is dynamite.

And honestly, traveling as a couple means most hostels are going to cost us $30-$40. That is the same or more expensive than a lot of apt rentals!

Italian dubbed MTV is fantastic… I remember it from my days studying abroad in Florence back in college. Great call!

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