Tips to Follow Before Booking a Hotel

hotel-tips-traveler-fullFinding accommodations can be both time-consuming and stressful, if you don’t know where to start. There’s always that fear of walking into a dilapidated building, or worse, to see bugs crawling in your room’s bathroom! Having to pay for something that’s totally not worth the price is also a major concern. Take the stress out of reserving a hotel by following these simple tips before actually booking that room.

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1. Get the best advice from travel websites.

You have no excuse not to use the hundreds of resources found on the Internet. With sites like Orbitz and Expedia, you can find the best hotel for your needs. Online reservation sites bring out deals that are not often available through the traditional travel agency. They also feature user reviews, giving indispensable advice on what to expect from the hotel. Try browsing through three or four sites to help you compare prices.

2. Pay attention to the cancellation policies.

It’s an important factor in online purchases to check the cancellation policies before booking in that website. More often than not, cancelling your stay after the allowed period entails added charges into your credit card. Moreover, most hotels have a “no-show” fee that they charge if you don’t make it to the hotel on the specified check-in date. Luckily, there are booking sites with friendly cancellation terms requiring you not to fork out money.

3. Read guest reviews about the hotel.

One of the most popular hotel review sites, Tripadvisor, keeps receiving flak about putting dubious and unreputable reviews on its site. While it is quite helpful to consult the site on what previous customers thought about their stay, it helps to have a keen eye to sift through the credible reviews. Some people turn overly critical on a small oversight, and some tend to gloss over simple details about a hotel.

4. Google is your friend.

If visiting a place for the first time is a cause for concern, then use Google maps to check out the hotel’s location. Look up the exact address to see if the hotel is in a convenient area, where you have access to restaurants, shops or gas stations. Stay away from locations that are not too popular among other travelers.

5. Be clear about the room type.

There are numerous room categories to consider when you’re booking a hotel. It’s wise to call the hotel on what type of room best fits your requirements. The layout of the rooms is likewise a big factor in making your decision. If you want your precious sleep after a 16-hour flight, then it’s not a good idea to get a room that faces the noisy road.

6. Get down to the gritty details.

In addition to cancellation terms, there are other policies you must consider before making your reservation. Find out if you are paying the full amount or just a deposit. Some online booking sites only charge 10 to 15 percent of the room rate, requiring the guest to pay the rest of the amount upon check-in. When you’re booking a beach resort, clarify if there are resort fees to pay on top of the room rate. Also, check for applicable discounts that could slash a fraction of the cost in your booking.

Booking hotels for the first time need not be troublesome at all. It’s wise to stay on the safe side, when you’re tempted by what you think is a bargain. As they always, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Fun Facts #1

World’s priciest cities for a hotel room:

If you’re going to one of those cities be sure to call your banker first. While cities like New York are well known for their super high hotel rates ($320/night on average) other cities hold a hidden “sting”.

In Lagos, Nigeria, for example, you’ll shell out $341 per night on average and don’t expect a spectacular hotel in return. Moscow ($403/night), Geneva ($340/night) and Zurich ($332/night) join New York and Lagos to form the world’s top 5 priciest cities for a hotel room.

Fun Facts #2:

Top “Celeb-Spotting” hotels:

1) Bellagio, Las Vegas.
Recently spotted – George Clooney.

2) Hotel Hassler, Rome.
Recently spotted – David Beckham.

3) Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris.
Recently spotted – Sarah Jessica Parker.

4) Royal Hawaiian, Honolulu.
Recently spotted – Matthew Fox.

5) Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows, Los Angeles.
Recently spotted – Jennifer Aniston.