Tips of the Trade

5 Tips for Picking Your Next Hotel

So, you’re excited about your next trip and you think the hotel doesn’t matter cause your only going to sleep there?

WRONG! 

What looks good on the internet might not be what you’re actually getting. Photoshop can do wonders! You don’t want the proverbial “roach motel”.  Even some “minor” construction going on could be a headache (especially after that great party the night before).  An hour of research could make the difference.

Everyone has their own method of finding a hotel or place to stay when they travel. Some people check out Airbnb, Orbitz, or sites like Kayak where they can see all their options at once. Some even go on sites like Priceline and let them surprise you.

Me…I do all of that and more. You might call it slightly obsessive or OCD. I call it research. I like to know what I am getting myself into or at least have an idea. Here are 5 tips for picking your next hotel.

Here are some things I tend to do:
  • 1. After I’ve decided where I am going I begin looking on different websites to see how much the hotels are going for. Even if I have been to a particular city before, I try to narrow down an area or two of where I want to be then try to find hotels with good prices around those areas.
  • 2. Not only do I try the Orbitz, Kayak, airbnb, etc., I also try the actual hotel web sites to see if I can get more information or if they have their own discounts for booking directly with them. Going directly to the web site also gives me a little more insight into the hotels that maybe I didn’t get from the other sites.
  • 3. Once I start finding hotels that I am interested in then I really start looking for information on them. I will go to Hotels.com, Orbitz, and TripAdvior and read different reviews. You can’t take every review for face value because everyone has different experiences. If you do happen to keep seeing similar pros or cons you can assume it could be true. An example would be, one hotel said checking in took forever. I picked this hotel and sure enough it was forever, but I knew that and was already prepared (kind of) when it did happen.
  • 4. OK, so I am not sure how many people actually do this, but the other thing I love to do when narrowing down hotels is go on Youtube. Youtube has tons of videos of different hotel rooms and the property.  Make sure when you look on Youtube you aren’t picking videos that the hotel put up or someone who works with the hotel. You want to look at ones that actual guests took. Also don’t go to far back in time. Try and look at the videos that were uploaded from about 1 year ago to recently, because hotels do improve, change, and renovate.
  • 5. The other thing I do a lot when trying to finalize a hotel is find out what is around the surrounding areas. This is very important if you have never been to the city you are visiting. I like to know how close the public transportation is from the hotel, where can I get a rental car if necessary, what places are around to eat, and activities.
Hopefully my methods of looking for a hotel help you find the perfect one for your next HollyDay!

11 Comments
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July 6, 2014
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11 Comments

  • Kim Bolden

    These are such great tips as I have begun planning for spring break and summer. Thanks!

    • Holly Dayz

      I hope they help you to plan for your trips!

  • Amber

    My approach is very similar to yours, Holly! I love researching and looking at different sites to see what’s the best value I can get for a decent place to stay that has great amenities and in a good location. That’s the most fun for me – knowing that I’ve done my research!

    • Holly Dayz

      I am glad there is someone else similar to me with this. People think I do too much, till they enjoy themselves..then it is all quiet lol. I love researching, it is part of the journey.

  • Nicole

    These are good tips. I always check out reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor but never thought about the youtube videos directly, nice!

    • Holly Dayz

      Thanks! Yes, Youtube is almost like your there with the right person filming it. Def try it out!

  • Michellette "Mimi"

    Great tips, I never thought to check for videos on YouTube. I browse multiple sites and the hotel site and check out the area but this one never came to mind. Thanks for sharing.

  • MJ (@FABHauteMama)

    Your tips are perfect. I never thought about YouTube but I do all the rest. I stayed at a hotel once that stayed “light renovations” it was a good experience once they moved is to one of the upgraded rooms! Ha

  • Katrina M.

    Good ideas for travelers. I’m also OCD when it comes to my accommodations. And I love Airbnb for family travel!!!

  • RavenDelana

    Great tips. I’ve been guilty of just choosing the place with the best price or that “seemed” to be in a good location. It change the whole tone of your trip. Definitely worth it to do the research!

  • tamarasw

    And if you’re looking at budget hotels, be sure to check for things like whether or not there’s a bathroom en suite (not a shared bathroom) and if breakfast buffets, parking, wi-fi, etc. are included in the price. Always helps me decide which hotel really has the best value.

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