At various times during the year we travel from one place to another either for business or leisure. Whether we are visiting a new place or not, one of the things that makes our stay worthwhile is where we lodge. These days it is very easy to book a hotel, there are many options to choose from. However, too many choices can get overwhelming. It is important to have a plan in order to choose the right hotel to stay. Making the right choice of hotel can be tricky, especially when visiting for the first time, but by following these simple steps, you’ll save yourself time and reduce frustration.
Determine Your budget
You have to make sure you know the maximum price you are willing to pay for the hotel. This will help guide your choice.
Filter and sort hotels
Most hotel booking sites allows you to sort and filter hotels based on various criteria. The first thing you should do after putting the city and dates you desire, is to filter the hotels by your desired price bracket. It’s advisable to not filter out the ones in the lowest price bracket even when you are willing to pay more as you never can tell when something good might end up in the super cheap range.
Next thing is to determine what amenities or features are most important to you. If the site has filters for amenities, you select these amenities. For example you might say you only want hotels that have WiFi, a pool, and parking. Sometimes you can choose how many stars you want or the type of hotel such as “romantic” or “family.” This will eliminate any hotels that don’t match your requirements, which gives you fewer options to sift through.
Then sort your list. Maybe price is the most important thing, or maybe you want to sort by the review ratings. Now you can look at the choices in the order that’s important to you.
Take a Look at the map
Is it a business trip? Do you want to be close to your meeting venue? Are there certain attractions in the destination you’re traveling to that you want to be close to? Do you want to be close to the airport? Do you want to be close to public transportation?
These types of things are usually mentioned in the hotel description, but it would take a long time to read every single one to find out. Instead look for the map view. Move the map around until it shows the part of town you want to stay in, and then only open up hotels that are in that area.
Some booking sites will show all hotels on the map, even if they don’t meet your criteria. You should be able to distinguish the ones that match your requirements from those that don’t by the color of the pin or marker used to label each hotel. That way you don’t have to get excited about a hotel only to notice later that it’s outside of your price range.
Decide what’s important in a hotel
Some people only want a hotel with free breakfast while others prefer to eat their morning meal at a local restaurant or bakery. If free breakfast isn’t important to you, don’t let that become a determining factor.
If you want a place with WiFi, read to see if it’s free or for a fee and if it’s available throughout the hotel or just in the common areas like the lobby. Also determine if the hotel has only WiFi, only a computer with internet available for use, or both.
Are you arriving late at night? Check to see if they have 24 hour reception. If not, sometimes you just need to notify the hotel of your arrival time and someone will let you in. But there are some places that are impossible to check into if you arrive past a certain time.
Look at things like the bed size and smoking vs non-smoking rooms. Does the hotel provide any toiletries or a hair dryer?
Not all of these things will be important to you. Pick a few that are essential to you, and eliminate hotels that don’t have all or most of what you’re looking for.
It’s important to focus on what matters most to you and ignore everything else in order to choose the right hotel for you. It will waste your time if you look through every single hotel on offer, so filtering out the ones that don’t meet your criteria will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend on this task.
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Know the Do’s and Don’ts
Ensure you find out if there are certain restrictions when you are making your choice of hotel. For instance, if you’re bringing the family dog, you want to be sure the facility accept dogs. You should also look into whether there are any extra cleaning fees, if they provide a dog run, and if there’s a place to walk the dog nearby.
If you’re going to be traveling with small children, you want to be sure you choose a hotel that will accommodate them. Be sure to research basics, such as optional cribs, a pool or recreation area, and refrigerators in the room.
Consult Opinion of Others
When choosing a hotel, always consult the online reviews. There are websites that are solely dedicated to this purpose, and you can read recent experiences of real customers in order to get a feel for what you can expect.