With travelling comes the sometimes difficult task of finding a hotel room. Nowadays there are so many options to choose from that it can be quite the daunting task. Today I’ll be sharing with you a few of my tips and tricks for booking hotels that have helped me in the past. These tricks will help ensure that not only do you get the best hotel room for your money but it will also ensure that you get any little details ironed out.
GOOGLE MAPS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Something that I ALWAYS do when I’m considering booking a hotel is to google maps the location and street view it. This will not only show you what kind of restaurants or stores are near your hotel but by looking at street view it will also give you an idea of what the area looks like and whether it looks like a safe area or not.
REVIEWS, REVIEWS, REVIEWS
A very important part of trying to figure out if a hotel is for you is to go through reviews. To get the best and most honest reviews possible, go on sites such as TripAdvisor or Expedia where there will be reviews from actual travelers who have stayed at that specific hotel. It’s also important to remember not to let one bad or mediocre review ruin the hotel’s reputation. If there is only a handful of bad reviews within a sea of thousands of great ones, try not to take the bad reviews to heart too much. Also by going on the respected sites mentioned, it will ensure that you are reading reviews from actual people and not from people hired to write reviews for a hotel.
PARKING IS A MUST
If you will be driving to your hotel or renting a car while staying at your hotel, be sure to find a hotel that offers parking spaces. More often than not there are hotels that simply do not have the space to offer parking which can get quite tricky as you will be forced to find another space near your hotel to park or you’ll need to park on the side of the road which isn’t always allowed. When I’m staying in a hotel I also only book hotels that offer free parking if I’m going to be driving there as parking fees can be quite pricey on top of the price you’re already going to be paying for your hotel room.
FLEXIBILITY = MONEY SAVED
If and when possible, try to be flexible about the days that you will be needing a hotel for which will in turn save you a bunch of money. Certain days of the week tend to be more popular and more busy for hotels so in knowing this they often times bump up the prices for their rooms. For example, Fridays and Saturdays tend to be the most popular and most expensive days of the week to be booking hotels so try to stray from those days in order to save a few dollars.
FILTERS WILL SAVE YOU PRECIOUS TIME
In order to not waste time going through hotel listings that don’t have what you’re looking for, you can use filters which most booking sites allow you to do. For example if you are looking for a hotel that has free breakfast, a swimming pool, and parking spaces, you can check those requirements and then the site will only show you hotels that have all of those things that you are looking for. Doing this will filter out the hotels that are not for you and save you lots of time scrolling through the hundreds of options.
BEWARE IF YOU ARE UNDER 21
Before you book your hotel, be sure to read the fine print which includes any hidden fees or restrictions the hotel may have. One of the major ones includes the age in which the person must be in order to check into the hotel. If you happen to be under 21, it will be especially important to check this out before doing anything as many hotels will NOT accept persons under 21 to book and check into the hotel. If this is the case, don’t worry though as there are many hotels who do allow people who are 18 to check in so just choose one of those hotels instead if you are not yet 21. You must also ensure that the person using their card to pay for the hotel is also the same person whose name is on the booking and be sure that that person is of the required age (most hotels will not allow you to book a hotel under your parents’ name or someone else who is over 21 all the while using your own card to pay for the room).
Life is unpredictable and unfortunately we can never know when something will happen that will mess up all of our plans, so when booking your hotel be sure to read up on their cancellation policy. Most hotels will allow you to cancel your booking within a few days of your expected arrival free of charge while others will still charge you a small amount of the price of the room if you cancel. To ensure that you won’t waste your money on a hotel room that you won’t even get to enjoy, try to choose a hotel that has a free cancellation policy. This way if ever you’re not able to show up, you won’t be going broke in the process.
PICTURES CAN SPEAK A THOUSAND WORDS
It’s pretty much common sense to look at pictures of your hotel before you book it, but most of the time you’re scrolling through the pictures that hotel has on their site. Though these pictures for the most part are showing what the rooms actually do look like, they’re also sugarcoated for the most part. Hotels will always try their best to make their rooms and their hotel look its best and this reflects in their photos. To get a real idea of what the rooms look like on a regular basis, you’re better off looking at pictures that actual travelers have posted on sites such as Expedia. This will give you a much better idea of what to expect before you show up.
If you have any other tips and tricks that you use when you book hotels, let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear them!