With all the websites, forums, booking engines, guides and other sources of information, choosing the right accommodation should be a piece of cake. It usually is, but the abundance of options can be confusing, so you should keep a few basic rules in mind. To make this process stress-free and simple, here’s a list of tips for choosing the right accommodation.
- Set your priorities
What kind of trip are you going to make? Romantic getaway with your loved one requires a different type of accommodation than a short business trip. If you’re going to spend a few days in the city and most of the time you’ll be at some meetings, conferences, and events, then it’s not so crucial to stay in a hotel with a private Jacuzzi and three different restaurants. As a solo traveler, you’d have more fun in a hostel or a modern hotel than a secluded resort full of couples and families. If all you dream of is being alone with your sweetheart, the last thing you want is a crowded backpacker hostel with party animals disturbing you regularly. Take your plans under consideration and choose an accommodation that suits them. While looking through the property’s website, you can easily understand what kind of atmosphere it has.
- Check the location carefully
It’s not enough to know the hotel is located in Paris or New York. If you need to be in the center because that’s where most of your business meetings will take place, find a place that isn’t somewhere in the outskirts. If you’re only stopping for one night in the city and a low price is the most important thing, a hotel situated outside of the center might be the best option. You can get on a bus and ride for 30 minutes instead of 10, which isn’t such a big deal but can save you lots of money. For longer “fun in the sun” holidays you’d probably like to stay close to the beach, so don’t just look for a hotel in, let’s say, Cancun or Dubrovnik. Make it’s close to the beach, so that you won’t have to walk a few kilometers each time you want to reach the sea.
- Read reviews
Nothing will tell you as much about a hotel as reviews. Look through TripAdvisor.com, VirtualTourist.com, Holidaycheck.com and other websites; there are plenty of them. You can also visit travel forums where people exchange recommendations. Nowadays some hotels order fake reviews, so when you read, try to understand whether it’s an honest opinion or not. It’s usually quite easy to notice that a review wasn’t written by someone who stayed at the property. They try to sound authentic, but there are lots of unnecessary details and way too many positives. Besides, when you read the reviews, pay attention to the information that matters to you the most. It’s not so much of a problem if families complain there was not a babysitter if you’re going for holidays with a group of friends, for example. Don’t forget to read both the positive and negative reviews.
- If you’re taking a car, make sure there’s a parking
That’s something easy to forget, especially for someone who doesn’t usually travel by car. If this time you’re going to take your vehicle or rent one, check what kind of parking space the hotel features. In case there isn’t one, you may also look for something nearby, perhaps there’s a private parking in the neighborhood that you could use, and it’d even be cheaper than those offered by hotels.
- Read about services and amenities
It’s simple when you use such booking engines as Travelocity.com or Hotels.com. You set preferences, and the drivers find hotels with the right amenities. When you open a particular hotel’s website, you can just look through it and once again check what kind of services it offers. Are you a foodie and your primary goal is exploring the local cuisine? Then you should find a hotel with good restaurants. Will you need a laundry? Are you working out regularly and a gym is necessary? Don’t miss the things that are the most significant for you. If you’re looking for a holiday rental, check whether the apartment has a well-equipped kitchen, what kind of beds are in the rooms, etc. Don’t just look at the photos, read descriptions carefully and write/call the owners when you have doubts.
- Travelling with kids? Look for a family-friendly place
When you travel with children, it’s doubly important to find a suitable place. While reading the reviews, pay particular attention to those written by families. Look for such features as swimming pools, kids clubs, crèches, and playgrounds. If a hotel has them, then you know it’s a family-friendly place. You’re going to need those amenities to keep children entertained. It’s great if a hotel or resort has something special for the little ones. Many farms stay, hotels, etc. organize workshops, swimming lessons, parties and games for kids. At some point during the holidays you might feel like to spend some time alone with your spouse, so having access to babysitting services is a significant advantage. Of course, you want someone trustworthy to look after your kids. To be sure the babysitters are good, read reviews written by other parents.
- Remember about safety
Safety should always be your number one priority. A good hotel should have a secure lobby and elevators activated by room-keys so that nobody from the outside can get near the rooms. If you’re staying in a hostel, make sure there are lockers in the dorms; it’s always safer to keep your things there than just on a bed or in a wardrobe. Although, when staying in a hostel, it’s better to have the valuables with you all the time. So many people enter and leave hostels consistently, that even if it’s a lovely and friendly place, you can’t be overly trustful. Check the exact location too. You certainly don’t want to end up in a suspicious neighborhood where walking in the evening feels like a fight for survival.
- Find out if there’s free Wi-Fi
We consider Wi-Fi as something standard, so it’s not difficult to forget about it. It’s not as standard as many people think though. There are still numerous hotels, guest-houses, etc. that don’t have Wi-Fi at all or they do, but it’s expensive. If you don’t need the Internet – wonderful, it’s great to escape the virtual reality once in a while. But if you do need Wi-Fi to work or contact someone during your stay, double check what kind of connection the hotel has, whether it’s fast and free.
- Compare and calculate prices
Are you a frugal traveler? If yes, then you most likely don’t need a reminder, but even if you’re willing to spend lots of money for holidays, it doesn’t make sense to overpay. With all the information available online you can quickly check what the cheapest options are. Booking engines don’t always show all sub-charges. Keep it in mind and look through the hotel’s website to find out what kind of fees you might have to pay. A place that seems affordable might turn out insanely expensive once you add the sub-charges. Don’t book anything if you aren’t sure how much it costs. Don’t hesitate to write the hotel staff and ask them questions.
Now you’re ready for choosing the right accommodation for your holidays! Share this article with your friends, so that they too could avoid making typical mistakes.