Finally, at long last, your much-deserved vacation is just around the corner. But where to go and where to say when you get there? A little pre-planning on your accommodations can make a huge difference in not only how much you’ll spend, but more importantly, how much fun you’ll have.
Even if you’ve settled on a place, it may pay-off to dig a little deeper. After all, if something sounds too good to be true...
Here’s a quick list of questions to consider before you start searching:
Is one side of the hotel preferable to another?
Is there parking nearby?
Is the hotel near public transportation?
Is there a restaurant?
Is there an exercise room?
What are the neighborhood attractions?
How safe is the neighborhood?
What is the hotel's cancellation policy?
Does the hotel offer smoking/nonsmoking rooms?
What are the hotel's environmental policies?
What facilities are there for the disabled?
So, with those things in mind, now you’re ready to start searching for your dream hotel. First off, ask yourself what is most important to you. Price? Location? Amenities? More than likely, you’re going to be seeking a balance between all of these considerations. Let’s break each of them down:
Price: Almost all booking sites let you sort hotels by price. A better way to go can be to use an actual lodging site, like Hotels.com that offer additional discounts and promotions.
Location: Once you’ve narrowed down your choices based on your budget, consider how close each is to “the action.” Is it in walking distance to the beach? To nightlife? To a particular point of interest? A convenient location based on what you want to do and see goes a long way in determining the level of enjoyment you’ll end up with.
Amenities: Make sure to utilize the amenities checklists and comparison charts that most sites offer. Does it have to have a pool? Is it family-friendly? Does it have on-site laundry? Shuttles to popular destinations? Don’t be surprised – find out everything you need to know before you get there.
Another way to go that can save you money time and again is to join a hotel loyalty program. You not only earn points towards future visits, but it’s possible to also gain airline miles if your hotel is partnered with your frequent flier program.
To get an idea of the real flavor and some inside tips on what to expect from your destination, it’s a good idea to hear what travelers just like you have had to say. Virtual Tourist, for instance, provides guest reviews and comments, such as the behavior of the hotel staff, how clean the rooms really are, how dependable their wireless Internet actually is, and cool things to do that may be under the radar of most.
Lastly, don’t overlook Vacation Packages and helpful articles like Hotels.com’s “The Hippest Areas To Explore In 10 Major Cities To Help Travelers Save Money While Gaining Cultural Experiences.” Have a safe trip, have a ton of fun, and for crying out loud, don’t think of work!nnk of work!