Preparing to go on vacation is exciting, but finding a hotel, not so much. Not only do you have to decide where you want to stay, but you have to invent a strategy: book now or wait to see if the price falls? And if you book on one page, but then find a better offer on another? Or what if you change plans and need to change dates?
There is no doubt that booking a hotel has its challenges, so we ask our experts for practical information and tips to share with you and help you get the best hotel deals. Ready?
Avoid the high season
For starters, the best way to avoid expensive and chaotic vacations is to travel in the offseason. It is not for nothing that many of us choose to travel in high season: to enjoy the climatic conditions that we like the most. In beach destinations, the high season can be between June and August, while in winter destinations, it is usually between December and February; or vice versa if you live in the southern hemisphere.
But if you travel outside these busy times, you can save and avoid the masses. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
An unknown fact by many is that one of the most expensive nights to stay in a hotel is Friday. And it is logical because everyone tries to get juice at the weekend, cramming the hotels and, therefore, making them more expensive.
The best thing you can do is to arrive on a Sunday morning. Leave your bags at the reception if your room is not ready yet and go exploring the city with the money you saved.
Choose only essential services
Why deny it: a hotel with an indoor pool, spa, and gym is attractive, but if you're not going to use any of that (and you know it because you know it), why include them in the search? If you click on too many filters you can end up limiting your options, so just mark the services you need yes or yes, such as Wi-Fi, breakfast included, parking, or whatever it is in your case.
Consider transportation costs
Before choosing the perfect hotel, check out the public transport prices in the city where you are going.
Accommodations in the city center are usually more expensive because everyone wants to be able to walk to the main attractions. But, thanks to us, you will arrive more informed and you will know that if you look a little outside the center you can find better hotel offers. Find out if it is easy and cheap to get to the center by subway or if there is an accessible bus a few steps from your hotel.
Depending on the price of buses, trams or the local subway, you can end up saving more in a hotel a little further from the center as long as you don't mind spending a few more minutes admiring the city as a resident every day.
Do not base your decision only on the comments of other customers
It is always a good idea to read the opinions of other users to know a little more about the hotel that interests you, but do not let this factor determine everything. There will always be someone who complains about something online, but remember to use your own criteria and common sense.
If you plan to stay in Times Square, in the noisy center of New York, for example, you are likely to hear noises from construction sites, traffic, and people. Enduring a little noise is the price you have to pay to stay downtown and there is nothing the hotel can do about it.
Analyze them and determine if the complaints are realistic or if the truth is that they pass a little.
The stars are not everything
Not everyone knows that a hotel must have certain services to be classified in a certain category. The 1-star hotels must have all the essentials, such as daily cleaning of the room and bathroom, among other things, while a 5-star hotel must have additional advantages, such as a restaurant with varied cuisine or a coffee, for example.
But beware, because there are no restrictions on when these services were included. You may be in a 5-star hotel, but everything from the comforter to the hairdryer is from 1970. All this leads to the following ...
Look well at the photos
A photo says more than a thousand words. The photos of the hotels can give you an idea not only of how your room could be, but when the hotel was last renovated. If everyone in the photos is wearing bell pants and flower shirts, you can conclude that the hotel 1) needs to update their photos or 2) needs to update the interiors, services, and others.
Although sometimes it may be that a hotel has been recently renovated and they have not updated their photos, it is always a good idea to pay attention to details to avoid surprises upon arrival.