Trip planning is always such a daunting task – from booking flights to hotels to rental cars and things to do. But with experience you will know the right things to look for to make planning and booking a breeze (and maybe even enjoyable if you are like me ;)!). Since we have travelled a bit, we have some tips to share when it comes to choosing hotels online.
Here are 5 tips on choosing the right hotel for you :
1 ) What is important to you + setting a budget :
The first step I always ask myself is the kind of stay I want to go for. Travel stay experiences are subjective and you might be looking for a whole other kind of experiece than someone else. So setting your priorities first and asking yourself what it is that you are looking for + setting a budget first off the bat is super important. After you know this it gets much easier to sort through hotels that fit your style.
Do you prefer a five star resort? Or an airbnb? Or something intimate like a boutique hotel? Or an all inclusive? Stays at these various kind of places can be different experiences so its important to know what you want out of your vacay.
My go-to websites to first off browse the different type of options for :
(a) Luxury stays : My favorite website to search for unique luxury hotels around the world is Leading Hotels of the World. They have an incredible curated collection of about 400 authentic uncommon luxury hotels in over 80 countries!
Another website is Five star Alliance to check out luxury resorts and hotels around the world. It has a comprehensive collection of 100% luxury hotels on its website and you can search and sort based on region, country and city.
(d) Boutique Hotels : Look up hotels of your destination of choice on reputed boutique hotel search sites like SLH (Small Luxury Hotels of the World) or Mr and Mrs Smith. Both these sites have incredible unique recommendations in the boutique category.
2 ) Location , location, location :
For most people, myself included the location of the stay is so vital! If I am going on a longer trip to a new destination – I usually try to choose 2-3 different hotels to stay at that are at different locations that way I get varied experiences. Similarly, if I go back to the same place I try and stay at a different location that what I did before, for a change of scene. Depending on whether you have a rental car or not, you might want to stay closer to points of interest. Or perhaps you just want something thats intimate and secluded. Either way location is an essential point to consider when choosing your stay option. Most booking engines online allow you to see individual hotels on a map; Expedia and Hotels.com in particular are my faves for this as they also have the extra capability of searching and mapping a hotel in relation to a particular point of interest.
3 ) Tripadvisor is your best friend :
Once you have a list of potential hotels – Tripadvisor is your bff! Usually I compile my list from step 1 (above) and then go through each of them thoroughly on Tripadvisor. This really helps me compare hotels on all levels and narrow down my choice to the one I finally want to book.
Some pointers for going through hotels on Tripadvisor :
- I always love sorting hotels based on “Best Value” first or “Traveler ranked”. Best value according to Tripadvisor ranks the properties by taking into account exclusive TripAdvisor data, including traveler ratings, confirmed availability, prices, booking popularity, location and personal user preferences.
- Stalk the “Traveler photos”. This step is something I diligently do. I am super particular about aesthetics of the hotel, and know that the hotel gallery on their own website might only have professional photos that might not convey the true picture. Seeing photos from other travelers shows you the raw authentic deal of what you can expect.
- Read both the good and bad reviews online.
- Go through the amenities that are included / important for you. Things I usually look for – is breakfast included? Is parking Included? Is there free wifi? Is there a hotel gym? Are there any extra fees? Knowing all this is helpful and won’t surprise you or catch you off guard.
4 ) Loyalty and reward programs :
If you frequent certain chains of hotels then it makes sense to sign up for their loyalty program so you can redeem points and rewards during your stay. I love Hotels.com rewards program where you get 1 free night after collecting 10 nights. Its free to join, you can collect nights wherever you go and redeem them anytime which makes this reward program totally worth it.
5 ) Contact the hotel :
I always like actually making contact with the hotel directly before my trip. Pick up the phone and call the hotel or email them to get any questions you have clarified or ask them for other details like cancellation policy, fees, early check in options etc.
Do you have other tips to share while you book hotels? Also I have tons of Hotel Reviews on my blog for your inspiration if you are interested.
Thanks for stopping by! xoxo