What to Look For When Booking a Hotel—Besides Price

Make sure you consider all of the following tips to give yourself the greatest chance of actually enjoying your hotel while you’re away from home.

No matter where you`re travelling, booking a hotel is always difficult. It doesn`t matter if you`re booking a hotel in Branson, Missouri to go to Silver Dollar City, you`re heading to New York to catch a Broadway show, or you want to fly overseas and explore the Italian countryside, it`s important that you don`t choose a hotel simply because it`s the cheapest option.

Make sure you consider all of the following tips to give yourself the greatest chance of actually enjoying your hotel while you’re away from home.


One of the first things you’ll want to confirm is the hotel’s location, which means you have to think about just how close you want to be to the action. Many hotels are listed as being options for a particular area, but they are actually located just outside of town, so make sure you look carefully at the address.

If you’re having a hard time figuring out exactly where a hotel is located, pull up Google Maps and look it up. It’s the best way to see if the hotel is within walking distance to the subway station, if it’s off the beaten path enough to provide you with peace and quiet, or if it’s really as close to the airport as it says it is.

Sleeping Situation

You never want to make any assumptions when it comes to the sleep situation in a hotel room. After all, if you aren’t well rested on vacation, you are going to spend the entire time feeling crabby, which isn’t fun for anyone.

Everyone’s needs are different. You just have to make sure you’re clear about yours. For example, if you’re traveling with friends, you may be willing to share beds, but you may not be willing to share a bed with your uncle on a family vacation.

It’s even more important to consider the sleeping situation if you’re traveling with kids. Can they easily share a bed without keeping everyone awake? Or would it be better to book two rooms with a door in between?

Willing to make a couch more comfortable? Looking for a certain kind of mattress? These are all things you should think about before you book that room!

Double Check Must-Have Amenities

Think that room has a coffee maker and an air conditioner? Don’t make the mistake of assuming certain amenities are included with every room. You really need to double check that the rooms have amenities that you would miss if they weren’t there.

A few include:

  • Coffee kit
  • Free WiFi
  • Free breakfast
  • Free parking
  • A/C unit
  • Toiletries

Depending on where you’re staying, you may have to get even more specific. For example, some bed and breakfasts don’t have television sets, while some cramped hotels and hostels in other countries may not even have windows!

Look For Amenities You Want

Only once you have established the fact that the hotel you’re interested in has basic amenities should you consider additional amenities, but they are important if you want to relax and enjoy yourself while you’re on vacation.

For example, are you planning a romantic getaway and hoping to order room service? Or maybe you’re traveling with the kids and not having a pool would be a travesty?

There are a lot of other cool amenities you can find out there that will take your experience to a whole other level! A few fun and funky amenities you may be able to find include:

  • Cookies and sweets as part of the turndown service
  • In-room games and arcade machines
  • Popcorn and treat delivery
  • Local in-room beverages
  • Elevator bartenders

Consider Their Clientele

Different kinds of hotels cater to different kinds of clients. Do you know what kind of clients your hotel sees most often? It can make a big difference in your stay.

For example, a budget hotel may be cheap, but it can also house some shady characters, which is a bad idea if you`re traveling with kids. Mid-range hotels see a lot of business travelers, while vacation resorts see a lot of partiers.

One hotel isn’t necessarily better than the other, but knowing what you’re getting into can keep you and your family safe, and it can ensure you get the kind of atmosphere you’re looking for.

Date of the Last Update

One thing most people don’t look into before booking a hotel is whether or not it has been remodeled recently, but it’s an important consideration. Although you expect the hotel to provide you with a clean, modern stay, it may not be the case if it hasn`t been updated within the recent past. Look for a hotel that has updated at least some of its spaces within the last four to six years. If you don`t, you may notice that the carpet is dirty, the wallpaper is dated, and the mattress seems a bit saggy.

You should also make sure the hotel isn’t being updated during your stay before you book a room! If renovations are currently taking place, you could be awoken to construction noises, you may have to take a longer route to your room, and you may find that some amenities, like the swimming pool, aren’t available.

Friendliness of the Staff

It doesn’t matter how luxurious your room is or how many amenities the hotel offers, if the staff isn’t friendly, you aren’t going to feel welcome.

Before booking your hotel online, try giving them a call. Not only might you discover that you can get a better deal by speaking to the manager, you can also get a feel for how the hotel will treat you when you’re a guest.

Price is an important consideration when you’re booking a hotel room for your next vacation, but that doesn’t mean the cheapest option is the best option. There are many things you should look for in a hotel before you confirm your stay to ensure you feel safe and comfortable while you’re away from home.


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