I love to travel often and whenever I get the chance to do so, I’m out on the road. One of the hardest things to do when I’m ready to plan a trip is to find a great hotel. I hate when I arrive at a hotel and find out that it’s just a plain old dump. Not only does it ruin my vacation, it makes my stay very uncomfortable.
To avoid staying at some lousy hotels, I came up with a strategy that I use all the time now when it comes down to booking a hotel. If you follow my ways to spotting a great hotel, you should be pleased with your selection 99% of the time.
#1 Don’t settle for less than 3 stars: I’m going to tell you the truth right now. Yes, there are a great “2 star” hotels, but they are 2 stars for a reason. Don’t go out and book a 2 star hotel and expect the Hilton. It just isn’t going to happen. If you’re going to want to have a nice stay, I would recommend that you pay a few extra dollars and get a 3+ star.
#2 Check hotel booking sites: Always make it a habit to check out at least 3-5 hotel booking sites. Some of my favorite sites when it comes to finding out hotel reviews are Priceline.com, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor.com, and Expedia.com. Search out your hotel and see what each site says about them. It will give you a fairly good idea on what the bad and good are.
#3 Google the hotel name: A good thing to do sometimes is to Google the hotel name to see what comes up. You may find some news stories, or other reviews on other related sites. This should only take you a few seconds to search, but could lead to some great, as well as bad news. The more searching you do, the better it’s going to be for you.
#4 Look at the pictures / description: When booking your hotel, get a good idea on what the hotel is all about. Does it have all the amenities that you want? You may want to look at more than just the hotel’s professional pictures online, because you know they are going to be biased toward the property. Instead, again, Google the hotel name and look at user submitted images to get a great view for the property.
#5 Location, Location, Location: Just like when you’re ready to purchase a home, location is going to be one of your main concerns. A hotel shouldn’t be any different. If you’re going to go to a beach city, why not stay on the beach? You don’t want to spend $40 less a night and be 10 minutes away. That just doesn’t make sense! Instead, Google Map your location and see how the hotel matches up to competitors in the area.
It should only take you 10 – 15 minutes to find a hotel that you should really like. Once you find that hotel that suits your needs, you’re going to find that you can keep going back in the future. By following these 5 tips, I hope you can find the best hotel for your money the next time you head out of town!