Picking your hotel is one of the most crucial parts of planning your vacation. Your hotel is your home away from home, and you need to find the right one that will make you feel comfortable while you are on vacation. You will be spending a significant amount of time in your hotel, so make sure to do your research and spend adequate time picking the right hotel. Here are a few things to look at when you are trying to narrow your search.
As you plan your vacation, you must factor in the cost of lodging as a priority. Think about how many nights you are planning to stay, and see what hotels fit into your budget. For the best rates, be sure to check travel websites like Travelocity or Expedia, as they often have discounted rates on higher quality hotel rooms.
Depending on where you are traveling to, you might not have access to a car for the duration of your trip. Even if you do, you may not want to drive a significant distance to get to the attractions you plan on seeing. Take a look at where your hotel is located before you book it. See how many miles away it is from your desired attractions, and if there are bus lines or taxis available if you will not have a car. You don’t want to book an awesome hotel, but have to spend all of your time there because you don’t have access to transportation.
Most hotel and travel websites offer pictures of their rooms for prospective guests to look at before they book. Take a look at the pictures and see how you feel about the overall look of the rooms. If possible, browse pictures of the lobby, bathrooms, and exterior of the hotel as well. While the pictures you see are of rooms that are exceptionally clean for the purpose of the pictures, you should expect the room you book to be as clean and well kept as the images you see. If you notice anything suspect or out of place in the images, investigate a different hotel.
When booking your hotel, check to see what is included in your nightly rate. Many hotel chains offer a free breakfast or dinner when you book your room. Many hotels also include a fitness center, swimming pool, and computer office if you have some work you want to get done. You should also check to see if your hotel includes things like free Wi-Fi and cable. All of these things factor into the overall cost of your hotel room, so make sure you are getting a fair price for the extras you are getting.
Once you have narrowed your search, make sure to read reviews on your prospective lodging. Most travel websites offer reviews from previous guests, and it is important to take your time to peruse as many of these as you can. These reviews can give insight on the cleanliness of the rooms, attentiveness of the staff, and the overall experience. Many websites also offer the reviewer a chance to give the hotel a rating, so make sure you take that into consideration when you go about booking. Usually, people who write these reviews are not getting compensated for their time, so their reviews can be trusted.
If possible, find a friend or family member that has stayed in the area you plan on traveling to. Ask them where they stayed, and if they have any recommendations. This may not always be possible, but getting a review from someone you actually know tends to hold a little more weight than reviews from strangers. Regardless, if you notice a pattern in what people are saying about your destination, you can use that to help you decide if the hotel is right for you.
If you are traveling with young children, pets, or someone who is mentally or physically handicapped, be sure your hotel can accommodate your unique needs. Some hotels allow pets, but you will probably have to call and find out directly. Hotels should always be wheelchair accessible, but if you have a family member that may require medical attention or that is rather noisy, be sure to discuss this with the concierge prior to your booking.
Choosing the right hotel does not have to be difficult, but you should expect to do a good amount of research before you submit your information. To avoid confusion, make a quick phone call to your desired hotel before you book and discuss any concerns you have with the staff directly. By being aware of what the hotel has to offer, you can make a more informed decision about which place is best for you to stay at. Remember that you should always have a concrete date set for your vacation before you go about booking hotels, as it can be cumbersome to try and cancel or change reservations.