Staying in luxury hotels nestled in scenic locations is one of the best things about traveling. There’s something so relaxing and indulgent about sleeping in a Californian king-size bed with luxurious satin silk bedding. Room service, housekeeping, spectacular pools with an oceanfront view, and in-house spas – it’s like adding frosting to a decadent cake.
However, if the bed is riddled with nasty bugs and the pool is brimming with fungus, your money will go to waste. Digital tools and directories have made research incredibly easier and convenient. However, visuals improved with filters and enhancements can also prove grossly misleading. Booking a hotel requires close attention to detail and scrutiny to ensure you enjoy your money’s worth.
We’ve compiled some crucial factors to consider when booking a hotel for a satisfying experience.
1. Pricing & Affordability
Suppose you’re planning a trip on a strict budget, and hotel stays are a small chunk of your overall expense. In that case, you cannot afford to splurge on a luxury resort. Even if you’re in the market for an opulent spa, it’s wise to work with a mindful budget.
Mapping out your affordability is crucial, and we recommend you compare prices. Savvy travelers leave no stone unturned to find quality hotels with affordable pricing and stellar amenities. Once you get past the famous hotel chains, you will find incredible boutique experiences and small-scale inns to enjoy luxury. We advise you to do a location-specific search to find quality hotels that meet your budget.
Every region has a hotspot famous amongst budget-friendly travelers and backpackers for affordable stays. For instance, travelers exploring the Great Smoky Mountains can explore hotels in Pigeon Forge, TN. Pigeon Forge is famous for its spectacular camping sites, riverside retreats, and budget-friendly inns nestled in the cradle of snow-laced peaks.
Likewise, travelers headed to California can rent lavish beachside and oceanfront cottages at half the price of a luxury resort chain. It all boils down to prioritizing pricing and finding accommodations that align with your budget. But then some destinations are notoriously expensive, such as Montana, compelling you to increase your budget.
When traveling to ridiculously overpriced destinations, it’s wise to explore Airbnb rentals and Couchsurfing options. Be sure to explore discounts offered to students, seniors, military personnel, and veterans while comparing prices. All hotels offer discounted packages and special offers that you can enjoy for a budget-friendly taste of luxury.
2. Cancellation Policies & Charges
Imagine all your funds going to waste should you end up stranded at the airport with a bad case of tummy trouble. Most hotels and rental accommodations require advance booking and payments. Even the best-laid plans can go array at times, so it’s crucial to check the cancellation policy.
Does your chosen hotel offer a flexible cancellation policy?
A flexible cancellation policy will help you avoid an unnecessary expense and the awful frustration of sudden, unexpected changes. Many hotels offer a 24-hour cancellation policy, while others extend the duration to 72 hours or more. It’s wise to explore hotels that offer free cancellation or charge minimal amounts, especially if you’re unsure about your plans.
3. Exploring Authentic Reviews
The ability to read through detailed and honest reviews is the most significant advantage of following travel influencers. The digital landscape has empowered travelers with accurate information and transparency. You no longer have to visit and stay at a hotel to understand the kind of experience it offers.
Instead, you can check out scores of reviews made by people who stayed at the place you’ve chosen. We advise sticking with customer reviews made on Yelp, Facebook, and social media. Be sure to check out the profiles to establish authenticity and avoid falling for promotional gimmicks. Reading through at least 10-15 reviews will help make up your mind about the services and experience.
Reviews will give you accurate information about the amenities, cleanliness, customer service, and ambiance. This research will also introduce you to the common complaints made by travelers and how you can avoid these issues. We advise you to avoid booking hotels and accommodations that do not allow reviews on their platforms.
4. Complimentary Breakfast & Hi-Tea
Is there anything more satisfying and delightful than enjoying free food while traveling? Very few experiences rival the lure and satisfaction of a complimentary breakfast spread, prepared with perfection!
Does your chosen hotel offer complimentary breakfast and hi-tea vouchers? It’s a common practice, and as a traveler, you have every right to enjoy free food while paying hefty accommodation costs. Besides, travel expenses add up at lightning speed, and saving up on food is crucial while exploring expensive destinations.
5. Examine the Location & Transportation
Is your chosen hotel centrally located in proximity to the leading attractions? Or will you end up incurring hefty commuting costs traveling around the area from your hotel?
The location, nearby attractions, and transportation options are all crucial factors that will add up the expense. If your accommodation is located in a remote and far-off area, your commuting costs will increase alarmingly. Many hotels offer bus and shuttle services to help vacationers explore the region.
We advise you to check out the local bus, train, and Uber costs before finalizing your booking. Hotels situated in a centralized location are ideal as you can walk around and explore on foot.
6. Check out the Amenities
What’s a hotel without a swimming pool, a hot tub, and high-speed internet? It’s an utter waste of money and time! We strongly urge travelers to prioritize hotels and boutiques that offer amenities to make their vacation rewardingly enriching.
Imagine taking a dip in the pool as soon as you wake up, followed by a complimentary breakfast by the pool. Or perhaps, you’d prefer heading out to the in-house spa of a rejuvenating massage. Many fitness-focused travelers seek fitness studios and gym facilities to watch their weight while enjoying different culinary experiences.
Be sure to check out all the amenities and call up the hotel management with queries regarding their facilities. We also advise checking out images and detailed reviews to avoid being misguided by promotional tricks and filtered visuals.
Finding the right hotel for a rewardingly satisfying vacation requires diligent research and close attention to detail. Digital tools offer ample information to establish transparency with authentic reviews. However, brand-led efforts are often misleading and shrouded with visually appealing filters and editing tricks. You must rely on your curiosity and inquisitiveness to dig deep and ask fellow travelers to share their experiences. Social media groups and communities are beneficial in this endeavor.