Did you know that there are more than 700,000 hotels in the world? While it’s always great to have a lot of options available, it can also be overwhelming! A good hotel can make or break your vacation, so how do you choose the right one?
The best hotels will have good service, all the amenities you want, easy access to the best attractions in the area, and will be quiet, private, and clean. And they should fit your budget! Choosing a hotel that meets all your criteria can be very difficult, especially when you’re looking online.
So how does the smart traveler choose a hotel for their trip? Read on to learn some handy tips and tricks for picking the best hotels for your trip!
Think About What’s Important to You
One of the reasons there are so many hotels in the world is because there’s no one-size-fits-all hotel for travelers. Every traveler has different requirements for their accommodations.
You can probably think about a few hotels in your travels that really impressed you. Think about the things that made your stay so excellent.
Did they have a good free breakfast? Fast wifi? Modern decor or historical?
Think about what your personal criteria are and list them. These criteria will help you narrow your search. If you have a specific neighborhood in mind, this can also narrow your search.
Consider the Amenities
Your room should always have climate control. If you’re traveling somewhere hot, you should be looking for air-conditioning. Likewise, if you’re traveling somewhere cold, you should be looking for heating.
Consider the availability of parking if you’re doing a road trip or renting a car. And, you can look for a pool or fitness room if that’s important to you!.
All these amenities should be free. Check the website to make sure they are, and if there’s no price listed on the website you can always call and check with the receptionist. No one wants to check out and find themselves with a staggering air conditioning bill!
If you’re booking online, always be aware of your specific room’s amenity package. For example, at the same hotel, some rooms will come with free breakfast while others won’t.
Check Out the Surroundings
Have you ever booked a hotel you loved the look of but found yourself in a neighborhood with no restaurants or shopping? This can be avoided with a little bit of planning!
Check out your hotel’s exact location on the map, and try putting in a few attractions to see the commute time.
For example, if you’re going to New York, every hotel will say they’re close to the Empire State Building. However, “close” is a relative term, and the trip can take up to an hour from parts of Manhattan. Put your hotel into Google maps and check out a few local destinations and see how close it really is.
A good way to pick a centrally located hotel is to plan the attractions, shops, and restaurants you want to see and star them on a map. Look for a hotel that’s around a cluster of your stars, so you can be close to a good number of your target attractions.
Read the Reviews
You probably check the star rating of every hotel you stay at, but this rating can be difficult to interpret. Hotel quality and service can change over time. What was a five-star hotel last year might have turned into a three-star hotel this year.
Filter the reviews by time, and check the most recent reviews. If they signal a decline in quality, consider a different hotel.
Also, filter the reviews by most critical. This will give you a sense of the complaints and their validity.
We’ve all heard the adage that the “customer is always right,” but that’s not always true. For example, someone might give a hotel a one-star review because the hotel didn’t let them bring their pet despite the fact that the hotel has a clearly stated no pets policy. The critical reviews that matter are the ones that speak to the cleanliness, service, and quality of amenities.
Plan on a Budget
As much as we all want to stay at five-star hotels and live like royalty, budget is a consideration. Plan your budget for the whole trip and how much of that you’re willing to spend on a hotel. If you employ smart travel budgeting, you’ll be able to travel more often and experience better hotels.
Most search engines allow you to sort based on price, so you can specify a range of what you’re willing to spend on your hotel. If there’s flexibility, you can account for that too. This allows you to pick the best hotels on your personal travel budget.
A great way to save money while getting a great hotel is to use reward points. For example, if you join the Marriott Vacation Club, you can try banking Marriott Points for a big vacation to get a discount on a fancier hotel than you can usually afford. Leveraging your vacation points can turn a luxury hotel into an affordable hotel!
Start Choosing a Hotel for Your Next Trip Today
Hopefully, this article will have given you a sense of the criteria to consider when choosing a hotel for your next trip. The right hotel will improve your trip, making it a once in a life time travel adventure. The wrong hotel can totally ruin it.
Travel smart and use a bit of advance planning to pick the best hotel you can. If you enjoyed this article, you’re sure to love our other content! Check out our blog for more tips and tricks!