Hotel booking when travelling abroad can be pretty daunting. There are millions of listings to choose from. How do you check the credibility of the website? How do you know you are getting the best deal? All these things can be very overwhelming when you are planning your vacation. The hotel you stay in can be the make or break of your otherwise relaxing vacation. That’s why hotel booking should be done carefully to avoid a disastrous vacation. There are certain factors you should always weigh in before hotel booking. Having said that, here are some of the most important factors to check before booking a hotel or AirBnB:
You should always do a price comparison before booking your hotel or AirBnb. Different websites have varying prices listed for the same hotel room. Each booking site has their own package, deals, and policies! Be sure to be on the lookout for those deals and compare the price to save some bucks! Some hotels and booking sites offer additional savings if you book flight tickets or multiple nights with their service. Referral codes are another way to save a few bucks!
The Cancellation Policy
There is a high possibility that your travel plans might change. Even if that’s not the case, it’s better to stay on the safe side. This is why always check the cancellation policy. Most hotels have a 24-hour cancellation policy and some have a 72-hour policy. You might be charged for cancellation while some offer free cancellation up to a certain point. Check the cancellation policy to avoid paying outrageous fees.
The Hotel Location
This is the most important factor. Don’t get caught up in deals. Be sure to check that the hotel is in an optimal distance from all the tourist locations. Use Google maps, forums and reviews to ensure that the hotel is in a central location. This hack will save you from paying extra Uber, taxi, and transportation costs. Also, check for nearby COVID testing centers in case it’s needed. Please make sure that medical assistance is readily available nearby in case of any health emergency.
Many hotels offer free luggage storage with hotel booking, but one should always double check. Research places where you can store your luggage if you check-in/ out outside given times.
Check In/Out Time
Always make sure to check the check in/out time from the hotel website. The front desk might not be open 24 hours. This is a good thing to know if you plan to arrive early or late at night. Some hotels are flexible with their check in time and will let you access your room early if it’s ready. Some will even allow you to check out late if they have availability!
Some countries don’t have WiFi available everywhere. If you are on a business trip, WiFi is a necessity. Be sure to check if there is free WiFi available with the hotel booking or if it’s only available in the common area.
If you can’t survive without A/C, make sure it’s available in your hotel/ accommodation. A/C is not guaranteed especially when travelling abroad. In some cases, you have to pay extra to upgrade to an air-conditioned room. Always double check with the hotel and your AirBnb hosts about this!
Check for safety features for your precious belongings like lockers. You should also check for other safety measures like on-site guards, surveillance cameras, and gates. You can also research about the neighborhood on different forums prior to your arrival.
Hotel Payment Policies
Most hotels require a credit card for safety deposits at check-in. It’s important to stay prepared for this beforehand. Bring your ID card for verification, and book the hotel in your name. Some hotels don’t accept debit cards, so check for this while hotel booking. To avoid any hassle, research about the available payment options.
Check at least 5-10 reviews before hotel booking to ensure that the place is authentic. Read through the details and profiles- like common complaints, atmosphere, cleanliness, customer service. With the pandemic and risk of COVID, you should always look out for the cleanliness measures! Avoid hotels with reviews that are too good to be true and seem extremely skewed. Use Google street map view to take a good look at your accommodation prior to your arrival!
Do you require additional amenities like a gym, swimming pool, kitchen? If so, check out what additional amenities the hotel has to offer before hotel booking. Checking these will ensure you are aware of all the happy-hour deals, on site restaurants to make it a more comfortable stay.
Additional Taxes and Hidden Fees
Be aware of the additional taxes that might not be included with your initial billing. Ask the hotel authorities beforehand to be on the safe side since some cities charge tax. Make sure that you are aware of all the hidden fees. Sometimes hotels will charge you for amenities that you otherwise thought to be free. Ask the hotel staff of any hidden charges beforehand.
Check for an Airport Shuttle
It can be a little tough to navigate from the airport to your hotel especially when you are travelling abroad where you don’t speak the language. Calculate the airport transfer costs upon arrival. You can always check in with your hotel for a free airport shuttle or book a hotel that offers one!
It definitely helps to have free breakfast at your accommodation. This helps for the restaurant costs from adding up too quickly! You can always save a few bucks without having to compromise much. Just check whether your hotel offers free breakfasts or not prior to booking!
Most hotels have an age requirement for you to check-in. It’s usually 18+ for most of the hotels but check for it beforehand. Keep your ID card by your side in case they require verification. We hope this list of features helps you plan out your next adventure in a more efficient manner.