Outside of flights, your hotel will generally be the most expensive part of your trip. Finding a hotel can be a real challenge because what you see online may be a total misrepresentation of what your hotel actually turns out to be.
A bad hotel can ruin an otherwise great holiday . That’s why it pays for you to do the kind of research that gives you the best chance of choosing wisely.
As you do your research, be aware of the kinds of facilities hotels have that you may not want. If you’re not going to use the gym or the swimming pool, a hotel without those facilities may be less expensive than one that offers them.
One way to have a good idea of what to expect when you walk into your hotel room is to choose a hotel that’s part of a prominent chain. A hotel attached to a well-known chain has incentives to provide the services and amenities they publicize at the price they advertise.
If you stay at one of these chain hotels and your shower doesn’t work or the beach-front room you paid for is located six blocks from the nearest grain of sand, your complaints will actually be heard by the chain name attached to the hotel, and something will likely be done about it.
A good part of using a chain hotel is that you can locate your exact hotel on the internet through the chain site. You will be able to see exactly what you will be getting in your room, what amenities the hotel offers, and maybe even a virtual tour of the rooms. This will give you an excellent idea of what you your hotel room will be like.
Many hotel chains offer a major discount if you book online far in advance. And some chains have online-only deals, prices that are dramatically different from those you will be given if you call to make the reservations or make them in person. In fact, sometimes you can save up to 50% on a standard night’s stay if you make your arrangements using the online site. These deals usually are not available when using travel booking sites that are not the specific hotel chain homepage.
One of the main drawbacks of using a chain hotel is that you may not get any feeling of the local destination in your room or even in the public areas. In other words, when you look around your room, you could be any place in the world. That aspect might appeal to some people and be a drawback to others. Only you can decide if this is a drawback for you.
If there’s a particular hotel you want to stay in, call and check out their cancellation policy. Let’s say that a cancellation has to be made two days in advance to avoid a cancellation charge. This gives you some time to work with. Book a hotel that has a one-day cancellation policy. Then, call your preferred hotel two days in advance. The hotel will be anxious to fill any space and may give you a great deal while you still have time to cancel your hotel without a penalty.