Traveling and Hotels – What to Look For When Booking a Hotel
Traveling and hotels are a great combination because you can stay somewhere nice while enjoying the comforts of home. However, it’s important to know what to look for when booking a hotel, especially with so many new options opening all the time. In addition to looking for things like free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking, you should also consider the amenities that are most important to you and eliminate those hotels that don’t offer them. This is because even though it can be tempting to book the cheapest hotel possible, you may end up missing out on a lot of other stuff that makes your trip more enjoyable, or worse, find yourself in a room that doesn’t meet your expectations when you arrive.
The first thing to do is read reviews, but don’t rely on them solely. Reviews can be biased, and it’s often difficult to determine whether a bad review is actually because of the hotel or something else. If you see a pattern, however, that’s worth paying attention to. For example, if you’re seeing lots of people complaining about the Wi-Fi, or the location, or the noise outside the rooms, then it may be worth eliminating that hotel from your list.
Many hotels also have loyalty programs, which can help you earn points that you can use to get free stays in the future. It’s also worth checking out if your hotel is partnered with a frequent flier program, as this can help you earn miles on your flights.
Another important thing to consider is how close the hotel is to the attractions you want to visit. Hotels often claim to be “easy” or “short” walks to major attractions, but it’s hard to tell if that’s true without checking the map. It’s also worth comparing the hotel website to what you’re seeing on the booking site, as sometimes hotels address issues pointed out in reviews and make changes that weren’t mentioned on the booking website.
Finally, it’s worth looking at the hotel website to see if there are any discounts available. There are sometimes deals for veterans, students, seniors, and AAA members that can save you money on your booking. Also, travel agents can sometimes get rates that aren’t advertised to the public. These deals are often quite significant and can make a huge difference on the cost of your stay. Travelers should also consider looking at hotels that are part of a travel association, as these can often get you better amenities and perks for your money than other hotels. For example, Signature Travel Network clients enjoy complimentary breakfast and late checkout at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, among other things.