Homestay in Hanoi with TravelMob.com
A few weeks ago, we visited Hanoi and Halong Bay for the first time. Like many first timers, I’m having trouble choosing the right accommodation for my trip to Vietnam. I’ve stayed in boutique hotels, luxury hotels, resorts and even camps before but never really stayed in a homestay for an entire vacation before.
Search where you intend to stay and when you plan to stay and hit “search”.
So how did I get to know travelmob.com? A few weeks ago, I listened to an interview of travelmob on BFM, a Malaysian business radio station and it caught my attention. Curious, I checked out their website and did a quick search on homestays in Hanoi and Halong Bay and it looked promising. There were rooms for rent from as low as MYR32 per night. Registration was easy – I was able to register using my Facebook account and started contacting a few potential hosts.
Don’t hit the “Book It” button yet, contact them instead!
Unlike the usual accommodation or hotel booking sites, at travelmob, I get to communicate with the host to know more about their place and also the surrounding area before I book. In fact, the site encourages guests to contact the host to get to know each other and clarify any questions before booking. Apparently, this also increases your chances of an accepted booking. Hey, I guess if you are going to stay at someone els’e property , they too deserve to know who you are and your purpose of travel.
I sent an inquiry to several hosts, introducing myself and asked questions about the location of each homestay as. I wanted to stay somewhere central given our tight travel schedule and ambitions to cover as much as possible in Hanoi.
Have a little chat with them. Ask anything you need and for us, we needed a transfer from the airport.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to reply – most of them starting replying within a day. Of course, I had the freedom to choose the ideal host and location for my trip. For four nights, I chose three different hosts. I stayed in Hanoi for three nights with two different hosts in two different locations and one night in Halong Bay with another host.
After choosing the right place, I submitted a booking request and entered my credit card details on travelmob.com. The payment was only processed once the host confirmed my booking request..
If you are comfortable with the host (vice versa) and also room is available on your ideal date, hit the “Book It” button to pay.
Not only were the hosts quick in responding, they were also hugely helpful. I’m grateful that they extended help in arranging local transfers for me. We had heard so many horrible stories on Vietnam taxis (but we found out later that there are only a few bad apples amongst them).
You will receive the itinerary with full details of the host and map too. Print it and keep it!
Not going to be long winded here, head on to travelmob.com now and check out the accommodations available not just in Vietnam but all across Asia! I will be sharing more details about our itinerary and experience with each host in the coming posts as well – so stay tuned!