Preparing to go on vacation is so exciting. There’s nothing better than the feeling of dropping your daily routine and visiting a new place. As refreshing as it is for your mind and spirit, there are some major decisions you’ll have to make before getting out of town.
Figuring out where to stay is no easy task, especially if you’re visiting a popular place that has many hotels to choose from. Before you get lost down the room-offers rabbit hole, prepare yourself with this hotel checklist that will help you find the perfect retreat this summer.
1. Filter by Price
The first step everyone can take to narrow down hotel options is to filter them by price. You’re most likely working with a vacation budget and know how much you want to spend on lodging.
Adjust your searches to account for how much you’re willing to spend per night, and don’t forget that many of the prices you’ll see won’t include local taxes.
2. Check Out the Amenities
Standard hotel amenities usually include breakfast, a pool and a small gym for guests to use. It’s good to stay somewhere that will offer those things, but look for other cool amenities, too.
Some hotels may allow pets to stay free of charge. Others could be flexible with their check-in hours or supplies for kids, like a bathroom step stool.
One big amenity that is worth its weight in gold is when a hotel has an in-house restaurant. You can read about the many benefits of an in-house restaurant, but here are some ways they can change your trip:
- You won’t need to pay for parking
- You can save your leftovers
- The food can be brought to your room
Amenities are what make hotels worth staying in, compared to renting out a room from a local. Get the most bang from your buck by comparing different hotels’ offerings.
3. Gauge Your Location
Why are you going on vacation? Will you be seeing certain attractions or hanging out in a specific spot, like the beach?
Your eventual hotel should be close to where you’ll be spending the most time. Those that are closest to what you want to do will save you travel time and potentially even parking fees.
You can map out the distance and even find close by hotels by using Google maps.
4. Consider What You Value
What’s important in a hotel will be different for each guest. What do you value most when you stay somewhere? Do you want to relax in a fancy bar or spend time in the spa? Make a list of what you would look forward to most and make sure to search for hotels that offer those things.
5. See What Costs Extra
Depending on where you vacation, your hotel could end up charging extra for things you’d never thought about. Some hotels will charge if you use the mini supplies they leave in your room. Others have a fee to use Wi-Fi while you stay with them.
If you don’t see potential extra charges on their website, it may be because they’ve made them hard to find to be more appealing to potential guests. You can always call the hotel and ask what you need to pay for and what are considered amenities. It could end up saving your budget big time.
6. Read About Security
Every hotel needs to have a security system in place. You’re going to be staying in a public building with all your most necessary items and sleeping in a room around other people you don’t know.
Make sure the hotels you’re looking at describe what they do to keep guests safe. They may have locked parking garages, safes in each room or account-specific locks on their doors. Security is always important to learn about when you’re traveling, just as a precaution.
7. Call About Previous Updates
You could find a hotel that offers everything you want, fits in your budget and seems like a great place to stay, but does the owner take care of the building?
Look into when the building was last updated. If they haven’t renovated rooms, cleaned carpets or updated the general structure, you could end up staying in a run-down hotel that’s only been polished to look nice.
Be aware that a lack of building care could mean you face more immediate issues like bedbugs or carpet roaches. A hotel that shows concern for itself will pay attention to both the big and little issues it might face.
8. Educate Yourself Through Reviews
One thing the internet has proven good for is teaching people about where they’re going – this is a must on our hotel checklist! You don’t need to leave your home wondering if you’ll have a good experience at a hotel, because guest reviews will solve that mystery for you.
Read reviews on the hotel website and on other sites to gauge their accuracy. Some may be paid for or specifically selected, especially if they’re on the hotel’s website. Reading reviews may make you change your mind about where you’d like to stay. It’s better to do that as early as possible than have to find a new place to book after you’ve arrived.
A Perfect Place
Many factors come into play when you’re deciding which hotel you should book and this hotel checklist should help with that. Wherever you choose to stay, be confident before you reserve your room. Your hotel experience can make or break your trip. Spend as much time as you can before making your decision, and you’ll find the right hotel for you.