Whether you are considering trotting to the other corner of the globe or flying domestic to a neighboring state, the internet is at your disposal for everything travel-related! From booking a budget-friendly flight to choosing a window seat in your recliner as you soar in an exclusive business class high above, there is a thorough list of flight-savvy airlines to choose from.
Apart from attacking Google with a typical ‘Things to do during my Vacation’ query, your primary concern might be to book a hotel where you can bask under the sun within tiled swimming pool enclosures! You might be tempted to put in lesser hours during research and perhaps, book a hotel that seems amazing on the cover, but is in reality, not at all what you expected.
Sure, entering your payment information along with your journey details on a professional travel website seems pretty accessible, but booking a hotel online is not as straightforward as it seems.
Mentioned below are 10 mandatory things that we believe every globe-trotter should consider before booking a hotel online.
1. RESEARCH THE LOCATION OF THE HOTEL THOROUGHLY
If you are planning on booking a hotel online through its parent website, be prepared to see photographs that seem convincingly right from Eden itself! Research about the hotel’s location before making the transaction so that you can make your commuting arrangements. Always make sure to choose the hotel that’s situated close to your destined touring spots. Check the distance of your hotel to the most popular spots close by so that you would not have to spend a fortune on commuting alone.
2. WI-FI CONNECTION IS A MUST
Your phone’s internet connection might not work especially when you are traveling overseas. If you work from home and rely on a working internet connection, then choose a hotel that has complimentary Wi-Fi all the time. Though a majority of hotels boast to have a quality and working internet connection, at times, you might not get it through which can compromise your work.
Also, there are hotels that require you to connect only a limited number of devices through an access code. If you plan on connecting your phone and laptop including your roommate’s electronic gadgets as well, make sure you convey your requirements and terms before booking a hotel.
3. CATEGORY AND REPUTATION
Does it matter if you stay at a five-star hotel that provides you top-notch amenities and service or a three-star motel that provides you exactly what you need within your budget? Before booking a hotel, decide the category you are comfortable with. For instance, do you mind paying big bucks for a five-star hotel if you are on your lonesome or staying at an inexpensive motel that has no running hot water when you are with your family?
Consider researching the hotel’s reputation in association with the services they offer, and also if such amenities are of use for you or not. If the hotel you are considering on booking provides you with a detailed list of amenities including a complimentary breakfast but limited internet and parking, will you book it in the first place?
4. LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Most hotels provide loyalty programs to their frequent customers, especially those who book their hotels through a reputed travel website. Since loyalty programs are prime marketing gimmicks, hotels usually ensure to provide maximum comfort despite providing a limited list of amenities ideal for your convenience.
You can either enter lucky draws to win loyalty hotel programs or consider visiting their sister or parent travel websites that endorse their brands. For instance, if you are booking a flight, there is a chance you might come across a couple of reputed hotels with loyalty programs and discounted coupons if you reserve them for your stay.
5. VALET PARKING
While most reputed 4 and 5-star hotels offer parking services that are either free or included in your reservation, there might be a few 2 to 3-star hotels that will charge with every valet service. Since you will not be staying at the hotel 24/7, it is better if you book a hotel that has free parking services to save a buck whenever you come in from outside.
6. TIPS AND EXTRA CHARGES
Did you know that many hotels might even require you to tip their greeter who welcomes you whenever they see you coming in or going out of the hotel? Before booking a hotel, read testimonials of tourists or nomads who stayed with raving experiences. Try to filter out influencers by reading both positive and negative reviews so that you can get the best of your money.
Also, many hotels might not make it evident prior to the booking stage but require extra charges for amenities that are a bit lucrative and out of routine. For instance, many hotels do have spas and gyms enlisted in their list of amenities but might require you to pay an extra charge for availing the service. If you are booking a hotel mainly to avail of its spa sessions, consider asking whether its service is included in your reservation charges or not.
7. COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST!
A complimentary breakfast might not seem like a pretty big deal to you but starting off a brand new day with an empty stomach sure is! Many reputed hotels provide complimentary breakfast but with fixed timings. Consider booking a hotel that provides you a free breakfast buffet so that you can splurge on your vacation. Also, always remember to ask the timings of breakfast so that you can avail it in the first place!
8. RELAXING HOTEL AMENITIES!
Is your hotel child-friendly? If you are traveling with your family, make sure it has a playground or daycare where your children can enjoy while you unwind yourself. Also, most 5-star hotels have a detailed list of outdoor amenities that are never-ending but highly expensive! In order to avail of a specific list of outdoor amenities, you have to choose the package that allows you to enjoy your daily dunking in the Jacuzzi along with a lap in the pool as well!
9. INDOOR HOTEL AMENITIES!
Do you plan on being practical or extravagant while booking a hotel room for yourself and your family? If you are on your lonesome, you might not mind a room with a single bed. But, will a television set, an indoor bar, a tiny refrigerator and a microwave help you spend those boring nights in a foreign country?
If you are crashing with your family, consider booking a hotel room that not only fits your budget but also provides you with a thorough list of indoor hotel room amenities. For instance, if you plan on staying for more than a couple of weeks, you might get tired from eating out every day, not to mention it will become quite expensive as per foreign currency exchange rates. An indoor room microwave might come in handy if you plan on making your own food out of the blue!
10. SHUTTLE SERVICES
Most hotels have shuttle services that can take you to and from the airport itself. Usually, most hotels can also help you arrange a ‘Rent-a-Car’ service if you make the request before reserving a room for yourself.
THE FINAL WORDS
Our primary concern is to help you book a hotel that not only meets your convenience but is also comfortable even if it provides the bare minimum. To recover from a gruesome jet lag so that we can enjoy a much-needed vacation or meet the requirements of a business conference with a rested and peaceful mindset is exactly what we crave for when overseas! We hope our guide helps you to research the most popular hotel choices before you reserve a room for your journey!