When you go vacationing, the first thing you probably look for is the hotel room. Questions go through your mind: where should I stay? Free breakfast? How many stars? Is it a good area? How convenient is it? Here are some tips to finding a good place to stay.
5 stars is not always the best. In fact, most 5 star/posh hotels offer very little free items other than a room. Each thing more is extra, and the cost can be pretty high. Forget wi-fi, free breakfast, free parking. 5 stars means valet parking, expense hotel room service and food.
Normally, you should look for a 3 or 4 star hotel, and if you can, pick a well-known name like Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, etc. Use travel sites to book the lowest value room in the hotel. Each room is typically the same, so you won’t be shorthanded if you pay 50% less than the normal rate. Next, check if the hotel has free breakfast and free wi-fi (if you need that). Most 3 – 4 star hotels have at least 1 of those 2, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Book in advance. Never try to book the week before you go and expect to find a cheap place with what you want. People typically look for the same things you do, and all the good, low cost hotels fill up quickly. Try to book at least 3 months beforehand.
Pick hotels in good locations. Don’t take a hotel in a run down area because it has the lowest price. Don’t risk injury or loss because you choice a bad area. Instead, find a populated area, and read hotel reviews and view maps to find out more. If you are visiting a city, try to get a place in town so that you can wander around in the evening. If you are too far away, you may have to pay extra to park in town, and you might not be able to stay and mingle in the nightlife (especially if you use hotel services like shuttles and buses).
When looking at motels, read reviews on travel sites to find out what type of place you are looking at. It is best to generally have an idea what the hotel room will be like and what the hotel provides before picking it.
Finally, if you really do find a good deal on a 5 star hotel like I once did (roughly $100 a night on rooms with regular rates of $500), then you should take that type of deal if you can’t find other places at roughly the same price. Since you will be saving a load of money, you can afford to pay for valet parking and things of that nature. You can live without Wi-Fi and other things for a few days.
If you have any tips that YOU try to follow, post them here!