Travel Tips: Finding the right hotels

by Bert Maxwell /
Bert Maxwell's picture
Apr 13, 2012 / 0 comments

One of the biggest expenses while traveling is accommodations. You probably don't want to bed down in a hostel anymore, although many hostels are now family friendly and have separate rooms for those who can pay. You also might not be in one location long enough to rent a home or apartment. You're left with hotels and motels - and that can be either wonderful, or ruin your trip. Most will be perfectly fine - but there are also some dumps out there. When you're trying to book a hotel online, there are definitely some tips you can utilize to maximize success in finding a decent hotel. So how do you find the right hotels or motels to stay in?


1. Look for good reviews
You'll definitely want to look for reviews - although you should also take them with a grain of salt. Tripadvisor is the biggest review site, and has had problems with review stuffing or rivals writing bad reviews. You should be able to spot these, though. Ask around, too - your friends and family, and also your extended online friendships. Facebook, g+, and twitter are fast becoming great places to get travel advice. Look around on travel bloggers' sites - they are incredibly honest about the things they find on their travels.


2. Find a reputable hotel in your price range
You'll want a hotel that is listed online, and not just a sign on the corner. They should also be able to accept credit cards, and use one of the top merchant services for motels. Paying in cash, especially in the developed world, means a shoddy experience is about to commence. Call and ascertain that the hotel is in existence, and that it is where it says it is. Call the Visitor's Bureau and make sure that there is nothing horrible or surprising about the hotel.


3. If something isn't right, ask for a change
Were you parked in a room right by the dumpster, and the smells are ferocious? Ask to be moved. If you're located right next to party central and need your sleep before the big presentation in the morning, ask to be moved. If the handicap accessible room isn't handicap accessible, ask how they can best accommodate your needs. If this supposed family friendly hotel isn't, then ask for a refund and find a different place to stay.


4. Be flexible!
That's the mantra for any travel, but especially for accommodations. If wifi is critical, make sure that it's functioning. However, ice isn't necessary. Clean beds are (with no bedbugs), while a fully-stocked minibar isn't. Safety is the #1 concern, but a breakfast buffet isn't that great, anyway. Decide what your priorities are, and let the rest fall by the wayside. After all, it's only for a few days!