Everyone has a bad vacation story. The one where they had a 17-hour flight delay, their luggage was shipped to Tibet, and all the good rides at Disney World were broken. For me, though, the worst thing that can go wrong is ending up at a nightmare hotel. I’ve stayed in places that would leave Stephen King feeling shook.
In all my years of travel, here’s what I’ve learned about choosing the right accommodations.
Unless you’re a rich tycoon with bottomless pockets (if you are, call me!), then you can’t afford to start browsing Los Angeles homes for sale every time you visit California. Visit redfin.com for more information. Instead, like the rest of us peasants, you’ll have to figure out your budget. That means planning in advance based on your current saving, expected income, and future expenses. Next, subtract the cost of airfare, transportation, food, activities, and overpriced tourist souvenirs. Whatever’s left is what you can afford for accommodations.
Determining your priorities is entirely up to you. If you’re hoping to save money on food, a room that has its own fridge can allow you to buy groceries instead of eating pricey room service every night. Is it absolutely necessary for your hotel to have a weight room and an indoor swimming pool? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Decide what amenities you are and aren’t willing to spend money on, and then go from there.
Location, Location, Location
More than anything else, whether your vacation is awesome or not-so-awesome comes down to the destination you chose. That’s as true for your lodgings as it is for the actual city or country. Some hotels are closer to special attractions, like amusement parks, beaches, historic sites, and museums. Some hotels are closer to restaurants, food markets, and shopping centers. Some hotels are right next to the airport, so you can enjoy trying to sleep through the thundering ROOOOARRR of departing flights every ten minutes.
Arguably the best hotels are the ones located exactly where you want to be, on the beachfront or in the heart of the city. But maybe you value quiet and solitude. Maybe you’ve found a hotel that is an attraction all its own or one that has a great view. Maybe you like the idea of spacing things out so you can see as much of the region as you can. There are pros and cons to both approaches.
View and Review
If you’ve ever seen a McDonald’s cheeseburger in an ad and thought it looked delectable, only to order the real thing and find it barely edible, then you know that what’s promised isn’t always what’s delivered. There’s not a hotel on Earth whose website won’t make it sound like the second coming of the Taj Mahal, so it’s incumbent upon you to do your research before making reservations.
Most hotel websites, of course, have photo galleries of the room for you to view so you can get an idea of exactly what you’re getting. If you want the most honest and unvarnished look at what a place is really like, though, you’re better off looking up location tags on Instagram and Twitter to view pictures taken by actual guests. You should also visit sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor to read customer reviews. One bad write-up could just be a fluke, but a whole mess of them? Head for the hills!
Look for An In-Budget Choice with Good Ratings
Reviews from the previous consumers of an accommodation that you have shortlisted will help you make a better choice. Also, check the star ratings, as it is one of the decisive factors in picking the best accommodations available. Though ratings and price are not the only factors that you should consider when you have to choose accommodation for yourself, they are equally important. Consider a rating that fits your requirements well.
If travelling with a partner, and are looking for some of the luxurious picks, always go for high ratings. On the contrary, if you are going to stay for quite some days, then a place that has a rating between 3.8-4.3 will work. Also, you can choose to look for some budget-friendly accommodations that are located at a distance from the main city. The prices of staying in a hotel that is far away from the main city centre will be considerably low. This way, you will not have to compromise on comfort.
Keep an Eye on Extra Charges
You are of the wrong notion that the accommodation has every facility included in the room rates offered. Several accommodations have unreasonable charges hidden and are not included in their room rates. They charge extra in form of telephone charges, exorbitant charges, etc. Accommodations generally do not charge transparent fees. They might lock in your luggage or other important items until you agree to pay the extra amount. Hence, make sure to carry out good research before finalizing any option. You can also reach out to the reception desk and ask them about their detailed price chart.
Also, while booking a room for yourself, look for the charges they usually impose on their consumers such as the landline charges, laundry charges etc. Ask the staff about what is included in the room rates, and what they charge extra. The common fees that you should look out for include, staff gratuities, shuffle fees, to and from the airport, wifi provided, etc. You should always ask for the breakdown of the entire fee structure, before confirming your booking. Though you will find the required information online, asking ahead will save you from paying extra bucks.
Pick Condos and Rental Apartments
The best part about renting apartments and condos is that they always offer the utmost convenience and comfort for travellers. That being said, you will not have to pay the hefty bills generated by hotels, and you can also enjoy services similar to the hotels. When it comes to picking accommodations, there are several cost-effective options available online to choose from. Condos are the best choice if you are someone who is looking for the comfort of your home, and don’t want to spend a fortune.
People have different preferences and accordingly their idea of the perfect accommodation differs. However, comfort and budget-friendliness are the two factors that tops almost everyone’s priority list while searching for the perfect accommodation.
The above guide will help you look for the right accommodation that suits your budget, needs and preferences perfectly well. With overwhelming choices available, the task may be daunting, but a few tips will help you find the best place. When you are travelling, the most important thing is convenience. Different accommodations offer different services and amenities. Hence, make sure to research well and make a wise choice.