So, you’re going on a trip and need to find accommodations that will meet with your needs. With AirBnBs, Timeshares, and the old-faithful couch surfing, you could stay somewhere for minimal the cost, but why not splurge a little and allow yourself the comfort and convenience of staying at a nice hotel where you don’t have to worry about things like breakfast and keeping your space organized. And, if it is a work trip, you can use this ”necessary expense” to give yourself a much needed mini vacation. But, how do you choose the right one? Allow me to help you look at the things that you should keep in mind before you click that Book It button.
1. Location, Location, Location
The most important thing to keep in mind is where you are going to stay. Whether on vacation or on a business trip, the last thing you want to do is have to worry about how to get to where you are wanting to go. Each mile away from your intended destination is an additional five minutes that you will have to wake up early to make it there on time. And if you flew in and didn’t arrange your own transportation, you’ll have to wait for a taxi to arrive. Plus, you don’t know what the traffic is like in the area. Maybe the hours you will be on the road is light and will make the drive easy. Or you could be locked in bumper to bumper traffic. Do not be afraid to ask the front desk employee what kind of traffic time you can expect based on their distance from where you will be going. For business trips, arranging stay in the hosting hotel of a convention or meeting would be the best idea.
2. It’s All In The Ratings
Geographical location isn’t the only thing you should consider when looking for a hotel. You need to consider the ratings it has for service and cleanliness. Being in the right spot can be amazing, but if the staff is not there to handle issues and there are bugs crawling beneath the sheets…you will not want to stay there. Read reviews on the hotel, both on their website as well as on travel websites to get a good idea as to how they fare for travelers. You will want someplace where you don’t have to worry about if someone will help fix the runny faucet and leaky toilet while staying there.
3. Feed Me
The next feature you should consider involves one of our most basic needs: food. Try to find a hotel that has a good rating when it comes to the meals they offer. Even the nicest of hotel rooms won’t be worth it if the room service is beyond nasty. Also, look for a hotel that offers free breakfast with your stay. Most hotels are going this route to help attract guests. If they do not offer it complimentary, consider where the upcharge for a breakfast is worth it. The few bucks added to your daily expense may make the world of difference then having to run out and find something to eat. Or having it brought in through a food delivery service. The more the hotel can do for you, the easier your stay will be.
4. Got To Pay To Stay
As you’d expect, pricing is important, and you would expect to pay once the stay is complete and you are happily on your way home. But what if the hotel has a policy that demands the money up front for your stay? Or what if they require a deposit? This may or may not affect your decision on the hotel. And what if you need to cancel but you’ve already given them some of the money to cover your cost? Ask about or research the hotel’s cancelation policy to find out how far notice they require in order to get a full refund or if they will keep the entire deposit. This may help you pick the right hotel to use.
5. On The Other Side Of The Window
A room with an amazing view always adds a little something extra to your stay, but how important is that view to you? If you are arranging a stay for a high-ranking employee who is coming to visit, then throw the extra bucks to ensure that each element to their hotel room is truly spectacular. But, if you are going on a much needed vacation and will be spending only enough time in the room to sleep and shower, then is it really that important if you are overlooking the city skyline or the parking lot. Don’t waste your money on a view that you won’t be able to enjoy. Truly weigh the pros and cons of how important this feature is to you.
6. Accessing The World Wide Web
In this day and age, access to the internet is just as important as access to television and air conditioning. People need to be able to reach the outside world for both personal and professional means and choosing a hotel that offers hospitality WiFi is key. If a hotel required payment to be able to use their internet, they would find their reservations slowly dwindling away. Hospitality WiFi is a major attraction when booking at a hotel, and the faster the internet the better the review a hotel can expect. If you plan on hosting an event, just make sure that the internet access is permitted or that it is included in your contract should they not make it a standard.
7. Where’s The Car?
Let’s say that you are able to drive for your trip and need to park your car at the hotel. Most hotels will consider that covered under your room rate. But in the more metropolitan areas, parking space is limited and can come at an added cost. Try to find a hotel that will not charge extra for your vehicle. However, if you can’t find one, choose one that will charge per stay instead of per park if you will be leaving the hotel a lot. Most have it written in small print that once you leave the property with the vehicle that you will have to pay an additional charge when you return. Also, see if the price covers valet options so you don’t have to spend your time cruising the parking lot looking for a place to park.
8. Coming and Going
You’ve found the hotel. It is in the perfect location, pricing is affordable, and the features are truly amazing. So, you go to book it, but something catches your eye before you click. Check-In and Check-Out times are set at ridiculous hours. If you were to stay there, you’d have to spend several hours bumming around town or sitting at a public location until you could check in. And checking out is equally as horrible as you would have to leave well before you need to check in for your flight back home. Speak with the hotel employee to find out if their hours can be extended (Early Check-In/Late Check-Out) and if there is an additional fee for this. That may help win deciding if this hotel is a go or no-go.
What other features of the hotel do you need? Are you an avid health guru and need to have access to a gym? Make sure your hotel has a fully equipped one that can meet your needs. Or perhaps you want to be able to wind down from your day with a cooling swim? See whether it has an outdoor pool that will only be available during certain times of the year, or an indoor pool that will be open year-round. Or maybe you really want to enjoy a nice drink. A hotel with a lounge could be the difference between a regular stay and a great stay.