Tip Tuesday: Finding The Right Hotel

Finding a hotel for your trip can be the most daunting task! Here are a few steps to make your task easier:

California (3296)1) Set Your Budget: Know exactly what you can pay for a hotel. For the most part, the hotel is where you go kick up your shoes and rest for a few hours. It should not consume the bulk of your budget.

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2) Know Your Needs: Do you need a hotel with a kitchen? Refrigerator? Free breakfast? Airport shuttle? When booking your hotel you should know exactly what type of amenities you need. This will make narrowing down the exact hotel that much easier.

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3) Location, Location, Location: Like in real estate, the hotels location can make or break your trip. If you are relying on public transportation, being close to it should be tops of your list. If you are going on a beach getaway, you should find one close enough to the water. You should also find out a bit about the neighborhood the hotel is in.

 

DSC053014) Research: There are many websites and forums now-a-days that make your research easier. Whether looking for a bargain or finding out if the hotel is as advertised, the internet can help you see the full picture.

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5) Booking Site v. Hotel Site: There are advantages to booking through both. You will generally get a better rate on a booking site. However, once you find the hotel you want to book, check its website and price it out, I have found better rates at times on the hotel’s website.

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6) Look For Discounts: There are plenty of discounts to be had when it comes to online shopping. Same applies to booking travel. Do not settle for the “Best Available Rate”. Sometimes there are discounts for in-state residents, automobile association members and other groups. I make sure to price the stay with all different rates to find the best one.

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7) Blind Booking? I have had great luck booking hotels from surplus sites. Some sites are able to secure rates way below the best rate for hotels when they are under booked. The one thing to remember is that you will not know the name of the hotel, only the location and the rating given by other guests, until you have completed the booking. We have done this several times, gone with hotels with high ratings, and found ourselves staying at nice hotels.

California (2294)8) Beware Of Additional Fees: However you book, always keep an eye out for additional fees. Some hotels may charge for parking, others may have a fee for booking through a third party or wifi charges, etc. Most sites will make mention of these things, but you may need to read it in the fine print.

Have fun booking your next trip!

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