Travelling in South America is a true adventure and sometimes not a comfortable one – there are many long-distance bus rides involved, the quality of hotels is inconsistent, there are language barriers and more.
For us, after a couple of weeks, the constant checking-in and out of cheap hotels (almost on a daily basis) started to take its toll. Even more challenging was arriving into a new city at 6am and having to wait until hotel’s 2pm check-in time or needing a place to hang out until our 1 am bus departure. In those instances, I remember thinking to myself “I wish we could rent a hotel room for just a few hours…!” while we unenthusiastically killed time in cafes. I’m sure any long-term traveller can relate to this!
Well, it turns out there’s a company that created a service to tackle this type of issue. BYHOURS is an online booking platform and app that allows you to book short stays of 3, 6 and 12 hours in more than 3000 hotels around the world. You choose your check-in time and only pay for the amount of hours you spend at the hotel.
It is a relatively new concept but I can see the demand grow in the future as we move towards a more flexible and experiential way of travelling.
Here are 5 reasons why you may consider a hotel microstay during your South America trip.
1 – No more trying to snooze on a bus station bench
Taking an overnight bus is very common and sometimes the only way to travel from one city to another in South America. With departure times at 12am, 1am and sometimes 2am (!), you’ll find yourself with no place to kill time other than the bus station because even cafes and restaurants would be closed by then.
Booking a short stay of 3 hours at a hotel nearby to rest, will make a huge difference before and after the lengthy overnight journeys. Not to mention it is always safer to stay inside a hotel at such late hours!
2 – Treat yourself before the next destination
What I love about BYHOURS and the concept of microstay is that it democratizes access to quality hotel facilities and services. You get to experience the hotel’s swimming pool, lounge area and gym without having to pay the full night fee.
Why not spend a couple of hours at a hotel to work out, take a nap or lounge by the pool with a book in hand?
3 – Be your most productive self
I know from experience that a quiet room with high-speed WIFI can do wonders to my productivity levels. During my microstay at Wyndham Garden in Quito, I was able to purchase air tickets, book an excursion and write a blog post in just a few hours. Best thing? All of this while lying down on the bed!
If you are planning your trip on the go or you’re a digital nomad, consider investing in a couple of hours at a hotel with the goal of getting stuff done. It’s worth it.
- Related post: 5 Awesome Things to Do during a Layover in Quito
4 – A safe refuge in a foreign place
During our travels, we found that when we crossed the borders from one country to another, we often had to do a daytime layover in a city or town that did not have much to offer or was not particularly safe. In those cases, a short stay at a hotel can be a great place to spend a couple of hours in an unknown city before moving on.
5 – Surprise your adventure companion
If you’re traveling with your partner in South America, we can assume that throughout the journey you got to know each other on a whole new level. In our case, we’ve been exposed to so many new situations; from nursing each other’s altitude sickness, to getting food poisoning (not a pretty sight) and going through stressful situations that caused petty arguments.
How amazing would it be to surprise your partner with a “daycation” – where you can forget for a moment of all the travel challenges and enjoy some quality time together?
This post is in collaboration with BYHOURS. As always, all opinions are my own.
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