Sometimes the lone female is riddled with worry. We brook caution at things like safety, security and peace of mind.
When it comes to accommodation, these factors come to the forefront and plague us with questions. Is there a decent lock on the door? How secure is the front entrance? Are my bags and person safe?
Traveling on a long-term basis has allowed me the opportunity to try several kinds of accommodation options. I use to sway towards the budget-minded tools, exploring things like house-sitting and couchsurfing. Both were beneficial and rewarding.
Then, in a state of panic last summer, I tried Airbnb and felt the touch of ‘local’ instead of concentrating solely on the budget aspect. It was wildly successful. I could actually let down my high alert guard.
In an effort to constantly expand my definition of home, recently I took a hard look at Roomorama.
Based in New York City, Roomorama has been in operation since 2009 and to date, have 30,000 properties listed worldwide. Not surprisingly, Europe is a strong customer base for holiday rentals, but it might shock you to know Asia is a burgeoning market for Roomorama.
What differs Roomorama from Airbnb is a dash of sophistication for not only the discerning traveler, but for the independent traveler.
I played around on the Roomorama website and was delighted to discover a 7th floor, 67 square meter room with shower, pantry and dining area in Bangkok, for only $11 CDN a night.
If we return to concerns on safety, this is what I think Roomorama is promising. The hosts range from individually owned homes to managed properties, which could equal to anything from an alarm system to extra locks on doors or even a security guard. Case in point, the Bangkok apartment I just mentioned has 24-hour security.
Roomorama has employed a unique payment code system, kind of a fail safe. When a room is booked, you are given a code that you submit to the host upon arrival. Roomorama holds funds until that code is released. So many scenarios play on the moral principle of right or wrong. In other words, if the house or room was falsely advertised or vastly unsuitable, there is an option available for you to opt out.
Maybe that elusive peace of mind can be captured and bottled.
Another thing I’m hopeful for with Roomorama is being steeped in a neighborhood that isn’t strictly targeted to tourists. You know which ones I mean. Situating myself in a building where everyone else lives, not just among other transplants is an exciting prospect.
Exploring the streets littered with local businesses and institutions is an egg of discovery waiting to be cracked. Watching parents pick up children from school, gawking at teenagers rough housing and giggling loudly, or fawning over adorable seniors toddling to the corner market are all the things that I miss from home.
Shopping at the markets and cooking from local ingredients is an enticing alternative to always eating out, especially for this vegetarian who’s had constant struggles in countries like the Philippines or Taiwan. Apparently, chicken or pork is vegetarian.
Roomorama is an appealing addition to the ever growing phenomenon of short-term accommodations available to the modern lady.
And sometimes, a girl just wants a break from the bawdy, disordered social atmosphere of a hostel or feeling like we just landed in the chaos of someone else’s home.
As Virgina Woolf stressed, a “room of one’s own” is important to a woman once in a while.