|After traveling for over 80 nights (on this trip alone), we think we can give our top ten list of what constitutes an ideal budget travel room (either hotel or hostel - camping is a whole other ballgame - we will rate in the US portion of our trip!!!) In no particular order: 1. Privacy - this means we have either twin or double room in our own area (away from snoring, talking, zippering, procreating etc....don't laugh, it has all happened) 2.Private Washroom - while we sometimes do comprimise in this area, we prefer our own washroom/toilet area but... ...if we have our own area, we like to have toilet at a regular height (not for midgets or giants) WITH toilet seat (not absent or tied on with binder twine or ill fitted etc...)Western Toilets should be considered a luxury so every time you 'go', appreciate them. Oh, and did we mention there should be toilet paper - 3 ply if ideal and not coloured with extra pink or blue dye (you can imagine the consequences of this!) 3. Secure - OK, this might be the first if we had to rank but we would like to feel safe in our rooms...especially when we are sleeping. We are always in a quandry about whether we should leave our valuables in a. the room, b. the front office which ranges from a safe to nothing in particular...or c. on our person. Depending where we are, this ranges. 4. Clean...this or course is quite variable in standards. Lynda prefers NO cockroaches, Tracy no spiders (we each kill the opposite when encountered). We prefer no body hair. condoms or blood from previous residents (altho we have encountered all so far on this trip alone). We really like our bathroom and bed in particular to be clean but this does not always happen...so we break out the flip flops.... 5. Good Location - ideally, we would be in walking distance to all the attractions AND an affodable distance from airport, train OR bus station...but that is hard in some cities. 6. Bed - OK, this is really important as we spend most of our hours in the hotel/hostel in bed sleeping, rejuvenating for the next day's adventures.... Ideally, for us...a double but twin beds are also fine. Firm but comfy mattress - NOT too soft, too hard, creaky, slanting towards the middle, full of bed bugs etc... AND pillows - we are so glad we brought our firm-o-rest pillows because we have used them most nights. The pillows we are given are often really bad...too hard and scratchy... 7. Quiet - despite earplugs, this remains of crucial importance. There are an astounding amount of ways we can be disrupted in our sleep - roosters who do not know how to tell time, fellow travelers trying to negotiate the stupid skeleton keys, dogs dogs dogs, full moon parties, mosquitoes, music, traffic, etc...etc...etc... you name it 8. Fan or A/C...we have mostly been sleeping in really hot places so we are very appreciative when we have a Fan or A/C (rare). They both help with noise as they provide a dull white background noise and also help regulate our tempartures... 9. Price ...well, we prefer to pay under $50.00 US for a place for 2 which can be done on a pretty regular basis but often with no frills (as above). Morocco has been the cheapest, followed by Egypt and then East Africa. South Africa is on par with Canada but south-east Asia will be cheaper (we hope).... 10. Friendliness...this is very appreciated when available and is connected with helpfulness in terms of local tours, transportation, where to find the 'supa dukas' or supermarkets etc... a friendy face at the end of a long dusty travel day can be particulary nice and turn the whole day around. OK...we have to add the following two: a. Lights...this is a pet peeve in Canada as well...do hotel owners not assume that people read in bed...mood lighting is NOT enough. We like bedside lights that allow us to read easily...and not have to use our batteries to power our headlamps... b. Fridge...accesss to or ideally, our own. Very rare in Africa but we celebrate when we have one so that we can freeze or cool water and have cold milk. Too picky....maybe...but we did say is our idea.