If you are filthy rich, you can travel in a nice cocoon where nothing and no one can bug you but, even if I had the kind of cash that meant I could stay in 5 star hotel chains and hire a private car to take me around, I probably wouldn't.
Firstly, I'm cheapskate. If I had the money, I wouldn't spend it like that. Secondly, I don't really get the point of it. You might as well book into the local Hilton in your hometown and eat some foreign foods. I don't want all those layers of isolation between me and the places in which I travel.
Just because you're an introvert, you don't need to miss out on all the fun of travelling. I'm not going to tell you to break out of your shell and go stay in a party hostel because that would be a living hell. Instead, I've got some low cost suggestions that might actually give you a better holiday experience than hotel.
Note: my benchmark for budget is under $AUD 50.00 a night for me alone. Of course, this varies by country and region so take this as the most I'd pay in the most expensive city under normal circumstances (ie. I have full control over where I stay and you have ample time to book). I'm paying more than this per night for some of the time I'm in Amsterdam because I have to fit in with friend's plans. I'd also pay more than this for my first night after a long flight.
The things I find essential in accommodation for introverts when I travel are having a room of my own and no force joviality. I'd prefer a place without kids - in Japan people seem to think the hotel corridors are playgrounds for their kids - and without young people and their damn, noisy fun. I'm totally okay with a shared bathroom and think access to a kitchen is an optional extra. I don't go on holidays to cook.
I love AirBnb so much. Since I found them, they've become my first stop for finding holiday accommodation. I'll look elsewhere if there are slim picking in the area I want to go to (eg. outside of Tokyo/Osaka in Japan) but in planning my trip to Europe, they've been awesome. I might make a post later with all the handy tips I've learnt from booking on AirBnB because I've learnt a lot.
Of course, AirBnB is just a third party site to match up potential hosts with potential guests so it takes a bit of legwork to find somewhere good. You can either go the actual bed and breakfast route and stay with someone in their home or find an apartment that's all your own. No prizes for guessing I went for the apartments.
As well as having a space of my own, the great thing is that I've booked studio apartments that work out cheaper than a bed in a hostel dorm! Seriously. You might be a bit further out of the centre than you'd be with a hostel but that can be fun and, in places like Amsterdam with a small city centre, that's no big deal anyway, not compared with sharing a room with a bunch of noisy, sex-crazed, drug-addled backpackers.
If you decide on a private room in a BnB place rather than an apartment, the hosts include the level of interaction they'll have with you on their listing so you can check that and their reviews to make sure it's something you are comfortable with. Some people might want to be BFF while others meet up to give you the key and then disappear.
Also check the other rooms that are rented out in a shared apartment. Some places allow 4+ people per room. If they are renting out 4 rooms in the apartment that's potentially 12 other people in the place! Do you really want to share your space with that many people? Do you really want to share a bathroom with that many people?
The other thing to check out if you are looking for a private room with shared space is if the host is doing this professionally or just renting out a spare bedroom to make some extra cash. A professional might be renting out a bunch of rooms in an apartment with no concern about the other guests other than can they pay. But they are professional so most want to make sure you have a good experience and leave a shining review (always read the reviews).
If they are doing it for extra cash, you might have problems renting a place too far in advance. You'll be staying in someone's house and that might be uncomfortable.
I'd totally advise you to check them out if you are going on holidays - Airbnb - that's my affiliate link so if you use it, you get a $27 credit and so do I. There are some similar services around but I've never used them. I'm sure there is no much difference between them but figure it's better to stick to the one where I have references and a history.
Find out how to avoid an Airbnb nightmare with my tips based on experience.
In Japan, I often stay at cheap business hotels. You can get a basic room with a basic bathroom for cheap. It pays to be able to read Japanese (or use google translate) because the cheapest places are obviously aimed at Japanese businessmen so they don't bother with English language sites. That also means most of the other guests pretty much ignore you and act like you don't exist, which is totally fine by me. I use Rakuten's travel site often (but beware, once you sign up to their mailing lists, you can never, ever get off them).
For Europe, my second place to go for accommodation has been Eurocheapo/Booking.com because you can sort the places by price per single room. A lot of other booking sites will give you the cheapest room rate but it's for 2 people sharing a twin room. A single room can be half that price or almost the same price for a pokey little room.
Even if I'm travelling with someone else, I'd take a single room over a shared room unless the price is insanely different.
When I want a bit a bit of splurge, the hotel itself needs to be an experience - a boutique hotel or something special. So I go to Tablet. They do have the top of the range $1000+ a night hotel (who has that kind of money for a room to sleep in?) but also have some pretty quirky places for around $100 a night.
This wouldn't be my first choice if I didn't want to deal with people. You are in someone else's home as a guest and, if they want to be all clingy, you are at their mercy but if you read the host's profile carefully and think they might be the kind of person you'd get along with, give it a try. I've done it a few times and had good experiences but I read the profiles very carefully and would always pay for a place before I'd stay somewhere I'm not comfortable with - after all, it's your holiday. You don't want to spend it in the company of someone you don't like.
Check them out thoroughly, read the reviews and pack earplugs. If you need peace and quiet, look for smaller places.
Travel for Introverts - Part 1