Booking a hotel these days has never been easier. After all, there a plethora of websites where you going to easily book a hotel within a few minutes as well as a rental car and a flight. Having a one-stop-shop for travel arrangements has made it easier than ever to booking the vacation of your dreams. In fact, the travel and tourism industry is worth more than a trillion dollars.
Sure, there are many ways that you can book hotels, but you may not know exactly how to find a good hotel. Fortunately, by paying attention, you can find a great hotel while you’re traveling on your next vacation.
Think About What’s Important
As you look at things and read different things about how to find a good hotel, one of the most important things to keep in mind is what’s important to you.
If you’re planning a vacation, make a quick list of things that you’re looking for in a good hotel. Are you looking for big beds? Are you looking for free breakfast? Are you looking for somewhere luxurious to stay?
As you think about how to find a good hotel, keep these three factors in mind:
By locking down those three things, you can find a hotel that’s perfect your next vacation. Once you’ve settled on what you’re looking for in each of those categories, then you can go and read reviews on various hotels in the area you are looking to vacation in.
Pay Attention To Amenities
There’s no one perfect formula for how to find a good hotel. But, these days, there are three to four amenities that you should check that a hotel offers before you get there. What are those?
- Air conditioning
Any hotel that has those for amenities should automatically get a few checkmarks in your book. But you shouldn’t automatically take these at face value. You need to find out if there are any costs associated with any of those four amenities.
It might sound strange, but there are places that charge for something like Wi-Fi or fiber optic Internet or offer a very limited free breakfast. As you research hotels, check to see if there’s any price associated with breakfast and double-check to make sure that air conditioning is provided in the room that you want to book. Parking is another thing you’ll have to check because you may find that parking offered by a particular hotel isn’t actually on-site parking.
These days, it also helps to see what kind of business sanitizing services a hotel might offer. You can never be too careful when it comes to hygiene and if you see that a hotel offers sanitizer, handwashing stations and thorough room cleanings, you can feel safer about staying there.
Look At Maps
A hotel’s website can give you exact information about an address and location, but you should also take a look at a map yourself. Traveling is all about location and you absolutely should know where a hotel is in relation to where you might want to be in a big city.
Let’s say for example that you’re planning a vacation to New York City. As your research various hotels, you’ll probably see a lot of things that say the Empire State Building is only a short distance away or you can see the Statue of Liberty from your hotel window. Lots of people would assume from those descriptions that that’s accurate, but you need to make sure for yourself. It could be that what’s considered a short distance away involves hopping two different subway trains and getting off at specific stops. It might also mean that a short distance away is actually a half-hour walk. The last thing you want to do is feel cheated because you didn’t do your research.
Check Into Conditions
If you’re wondering how to find a good hotel, one of the best things you can do is to check into the condition of a place you’re considering staying at. Travelers like yourself often trust that hotels are clean, modernized, and safe. But if you have read any hotel reviews recently, then you know that not all hotels are created equal.
As you check out a hotel’s website, keep a sharp eye open. Photos that you see of a hotel’s offerings may be outdated. Information about how modern and updated facilities and public spaces are could turn out to be flat out wrong.
This is something you need to take very seriously. After all, if a hotel doesn’t care about upkeep, why would you want to stay there?
The good news is you can usually tell when a hotel has taken time to do some updating renovating. If you notice new designer office wallpaper, sparkling shower heads, or even updated appliances, then you know a hotel is serious about keeping up with the times. But it’s not all about the decor either. You want to find out when air conditioning services last serviced the hotel’s HVAC systems and when the mattresses were replaced. Remember, you’re going to be sleeping there and you want to crash on a comfortable bed at the end of the day.
Pay Attention To Reviews
Part of how to find a good hotel these days is reading guest reviews. This has never been easier as you can go to Google, TripAdvisor, and countless other sites that offer a chance for guests to leave a rating or to write a review.
Sometimes reviews can be tricky. You may read about how some hotels were fantastic a number of years ago in terms of their decor, amenities, and management. But maybe things have changed since then. If you notice that it’s been a while since someone has left a current review at a hotel, you might want to start asking questions.
Read All Reviews
On sites like TripAdvisor, you can literally read reviews for hours. If you really want to know how to find a good hotel, then you need to read every review, good and bad. It’s easy for a guest to leave a glowing review that raves about the amenities or a hotel’s fine art collection. But if you notice a series of bad reviews over a short period of time, that might be concerning. Some reviewers can be little nit-picky and give negative reviews, but if you start reading about cleanliness issues, booking complaints, and even Wi-Fi issues, then you may want to look at another hotel.
Part of learning how to find a good hotel is knowing how to carefully judge all factors when it comes to picking one. This is especially important if you’re going to be traveling and you’d like to stay within a certain budget.
With that in mind, here are some things to think about if you’re trying to find a good hotel on a budget:
Price Isn’t Everything
It’s true that you can find plenty of affordable hotel deals nowadays, but sometimes the hotel that offers the lowest price isn’t necessarily offering you the best deal. When you’re booking a hotel, you want to take a look at what comes with the room you booked, how big it is, and how it hits you in the wallet.
For example, you may find a room at a certain hotel is $50 cheaper than a more luxurious hotel. But what you might not find out until you actually get there is that even though you’re saving money, you’re not getting free Wi-Fi or you’re not getting free breakfast, or there may be some other basic amenities that aren’t provided for at all. Again, it pays to do some research and ultimately find what makes the most sense as a guest and from a financial standpoint.
Stay Loyal To Popular Chains
One of the great things about learning how to find a good hotel room is that many of the big hotel chains offer loyalty programs to customers. You can join any of these rewards programs for free and they come with plenty of perks, including earlier check-ins, upgrades to better rooms, and even breakfast. You can even can discounts on hotel rooms, even more than what you might find on popular booking sites.
Use A Travel Agent
If you don’t have faith in your trip-planning skills, you can always go to a travel agent. A travel agent typically has negotiated good rates with many different hotel chains and agents may also be able to negotiate deals for food and room upgrades.
What’s even better is that an agent can give you the 411 on all different types of hotels. An agent may not be able to give you specifics on roofing for commercial properties, but they’ll be able to answer any questions you have about different hotels, hotel chains, and which bookings might be within your price range.
One of the most important things you can keep in mind as you learn how to find a good hotel is to be flexible.
Let’s pretend again that you’re traveling to a big city. You may have researched for weeks and find what you think is the perfect hotel. But just days before your trip, you find that the hotel you booked is engaged in commercial disputes. So that means you’re in the market for another hotel. By being flexible, you might just find a place that’s in a better location, saves you a few dollars, and offers better amenities.
Stick With What’s Familiar
It’s true that you can score some great deals by staying at the same hotel chain in different cities. But there’s also something to be said for staying in the same hotel every time you visit a particular city. By staying in the same place, you become well acquainted with the manager and other employees. Not only that, but you’ll be staying in a place you trust and one that obviously does it’s best to keep things clean and up-to-date. You’ll know for example that you’re safe there because hotel personnel have a good relationship with hotel door suppliers to provide them with doors that require a key card to access.
Don’t Be Afraid To Bundle
As previously mentioned, it’s never been easier to plan your dream vacation and bundle all your essentials together. Not only is this smart, but it helps save you money. Like hotel chains, most major travel websites offer membership programs that you can use to rent cars and book flights at discount prices.
Think About Alternatives
While there are many ways you can find a good hotel, there are also lots of other lodging options you can consider on a vacation such as camping at a campground, staying at a hostel, renting an RV for a road trip, and even renting a house through sites like AirBnB.
Talk To The Hotel Directly
Booking a hotel is quite easy online, but there’s also a lot to be gained by calling the hotel and booking a room directly. For one thing, you may get a better deal if you call and speak directly to an employee. For another thing, you can hear directly from the horse’s mouth about amenities and what kind of shape the hotel is in. For example, if you’re worried about a leaky hotel roof, an employee can tell you how recently the hotel had any sort of commercial flood damage repair done.
An employee can also tell you about any ongoing construction in the area and what else you might want to watch out for. If, for example, the hotel is installing new sprinklers and has detailed different sprinkler system layout examples, then you’ll know to keep an eye out for running sprinklers if you happen to be pulling in at night.
Reap The Benefits
By doing some research and keeping your eyes open, you’ll quickly learn how to find a good hotel for your next vacation. It shouldn’t necessarily be the highlight of your trip, but a good hotel can make your vacation much more enjoyable by offering a clean environment, good amenities, and friendly service.