With a wide variety of hotels, it’s not always easy to pick one! The thing is, they don’t offer the same quality or service; also, travelling with your family or solo is a complete different game when it comes to choosing a hotel. Whatever you choose, it’s the experience that matters!
Here are 10 tips and tricks to guide you through the many hotel choices out there for the taking.
It’s probably one of the most important criteria. Sometimes, being closer to downtown or the airport costs more, but there is value in reduced transportation costs. Choosing a hotel 2 hours away from everything that costs $50 less is not necessarily a better deal than a downtown hotel that costs $50 more, because in the end, with travelling, it’s not a win-win situation. Choosing the right spot is an art and a strategy.
The service you receive will certainly have an influence on your journey and your overall experience. If you feel welcome, valued and important knowing any problem can be resolved by staff, it significantly reduces stress or other uncomfortable situations.
Activities and venues
You want to take salsa lessons? Your children want to go swimming in the pool? You can go to the casino every evening? A good hotel will offer you a large variety of services, activities and installations to help you enjoy yourself every time. Depending where you go, many hotels offer fun-filled activities for your family.
This is one of the most difficult factors that comes into play. Price range will vary across many websites and platforms. Therefore, the service, the quality and the overall atmosphere can be all over the place. But remember: Higher prices are not always the best! Certain hotels are pricier because of their location, but not necessarily better in terms of service, food, activities, among other factors. On the other hand, a cheaper price is not always good either – You could end up with a less than average room or building, combined with things like uncomfortable beds or bad food. The most important thing is finding that fine line between value for money. To do so, all you have to do is do your homework!
There is nothing worse than having an amazing experience at a hotel with great, friendly staff, nice beaches, a nice pool, or a clean environement. However, if the food is not enjoyable, it can ruin a trip. Make sure you read reviews from many different websites or ask around. Eating is important not only for the taste, but for safety. No one wants to get sick on their favourite vacation in which they saved up money for months, or even years! You don’t need to be a perfectionist and demand 5-star service, but at least if the breakfast is included in the price, it’s a good start.
Overall cleanliness and conditions
Who wants a dirty room with cracks on the ceiling, cockroaches or even worse, bed bugs? Lift up the sheets as soon as you arrive at your hotel and take a quick look before jumping on the bed and spreading out. Some hotels can be hit and miss. Again, it all comes down to reading reviews and doing your necessary homework beforehand. Then, you know more of what to expect upon arrival. If you have no choice to stay, here are a few tricks : Wash your hands and take a shower regularly, use disinfectant wipes and don’t put your clothes everywhere. Sometimes, living out of your suitcase is not a bad thing because you know it is clean and belongs to you.
Safe and protection
Does the room have a safe or any other protection device? Certain hotels charge you a fee for protection, which may be worth it; however, you shouldn’t have to pay extra to keep your personal belongings safe. Security should never be compromised no matter where you go. You probably travel with electronics, money, your passport or other valuable objects, so make sure you can keep them safe.
Now that Wi-Fi is almost everywhere, some hotels offer free wireless internet and lower class hotels charge a fee for its use. It all depends on the venue, but we all know it’s next to essential nowadays. With that being said, think of opting out of an extra fee for Wi-Fi to save money and to disconnect (literally!) from your devices for all or most of your trip. Yes, it’s always fun to have unlimited wireless internet, whether you need to work or simply watch a movie, but when you’re on vacation, it’s not always necessary!
Cancellation policy and payment methods
An urgent matter can arise anytime, to anyone. Certain places don’t offer you free cancellation; rather, they’ll charge for it. Although this is normal, make sure you aware of hotel rules and policies before booking because it varies based on your chosen hotel. Some hotels even charge you only upon arrival, which is a good option if you’re travelling on a budget.
As we previously mentioned, it’s imperative nowadays to read many, many reviews. Thanks to the power of the internet, information is readily available to everyone and you now have the possibility to consult online reviews just about everywhere. We can’t stress this enough – it’s essential before you choose any hotel because you get a good idea of what you can get and avoid many problems upon arrival. Check positive comments, but also negative ones, and most importantly, the date the review was posted. The best is to check the most recent reviews; the ones that were submitted 5 years ago are probably irrelevant.