- Choose your location wisely and pay attention to what’s around the accommodation.
- Do thorough research and use different platforms to do so.
- Read all the information on the accommodation to avoid surprises.
So, you have followed all the steps for a solid trip plan — just in case you have not, here’s a step-by-step to that — and you are thinking about where you will stay. This is a big deal, after all after a whole day seeing attractions and walking around you will need a nice place to sleep and rest.
As always, we are here to help you choose the best accommodation for your trip. Let’s go through 5 important tips:
All about the location
You need a place close to or at least with easy access to your main activities. For instance, if you plan to get to know a city better and enjoy all of that city buzz and attractions, staying in a place downtown or a rental close to a public transportation stop will make your life much easier.
From your accommodation, you will have access to the bus or metro downtown, and also car-sharing rides might be cheaper as you will be closer to the core areas. Sometimes travelers consider staying at a further hotel in outer town as those tend to be more economical, but you will spend more on transportation and food — with fewer options of restaurants and grocery shops around you.
Think strategically about where you will be staying; make sure you simulate all the possible costs you may have; use a map, like Google maps, to check what is around your accommodation; and most of the big cities have either maps or apps for you to plan using public transportation.
If you are staying at a resort or a bigger hotel, a lot of them have transfer vans to the main attractions around and to the airport. You can call them previously to check on that.
Of course that, when looking at accommodations, the ones closer to big tourist sites, beaches and beautiful views will be more expensive, especially if you get a room with a view. If you are on a budget you can choose one without the direct view but with easy access to those sites.
You do not need to have a view of the Empire State Building but you can most certainly be two to three blocks away from it.
Where can you look for the accommodations?
There are plenty of websites to look for them, for some of them you can search for hotels and rental homes too, you can just use a filter for that. Here’s a list with some suggestions and what you can find there:
- Booking.com: You can search for hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, homes, and hostels. You can book directly with them.
- Trivago: You can search for hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, homes, and hostels. The website does a general search for the best deals and directs you to the dealer’s website.
- Airbnb: Rental homes and rooms. You can book directly with them.
- Homestay: Rental homes and rooms. You can book directly with them.
- Kayak: You can search for hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, and hostels. The website does a general search for the best deals and directs you to the dealer’s website.
- Hotels: You can search for hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, and hostels. You can book directly with them.
- Hotel branch website: You can check some hotels’ websites directly and find some different offers, places such as Best Western and Holiday Inn, or any other big hotel branch.
Very Important: for each of those websites you will see filters — they are your best friends when searching — make sure to use them. You can filter your search to your exact needs, if it is pet-friendly place or a hotel that offers free parking. Do a general search, observe the rates and types of accommodations, then use the filters to get exactly what you need.
In some of them, you are also able to look by a location range. You use a map to determine the region where you want your accommodation to be.
Take time to read the guests’ evaluations and comments
Once you use the filters and you have some good options, look for the ratings — that can also be in the filters. Try to pick a place with a rating above 8.0 or 4 stars according to previous guests.
Regardless of what you chose, it is very important to read the reviews and to check where those accommodations are rated poorly. You can learn a whole lot from the reviews and avoid surprises.
When it comes to places with ratings below 8.0 or 4 stars, it is good to see what caused those ratings. Sometimes, guests expect things that the properties never promised and they get disappointed.
For example, someone may be displeased with a room that does not have a view to the pool, but to another wall, depending on your trip that might not make a difference for you. But be aware that there are some legit complaints and you want to stay away from those places. Just read the reviews. Always.
Check all the information available about the place
Every booking/rental website offers an information page with House Rules and Amenities on the accommodation. We often scroll through that because we do not want to spend time reading it, but just as important as the reviews, you have to read it.
It is in that section that you will find if your rental has an extra cost for cleaning, parking rules, and if there are extra costs or no cost for a crib in the room, and so on. This is a big part to avoid those unpleasant surprises and to make sure you know what you are paying for, and if you need to contact the place for more information.
Food. Because we need it.
An accommodation that offers breakfast is always nice, and you can still enjoy a local bakery mid-morning if you want to. See if the chosen place has grocery stores around it, even if small local ones and restaurants.
Do a quick run and buy some snacks and water to leave at your hotel room, and if you have a rental home and you buy some ingredients for easy cooking. Even if you eat out all day, there is a big chance you will get hungry later and you will need food around you.
The same thing is valid if you are visiting a city where food is expensive. In case there is not a food market close by, save some time during your first day to go to one and do the grocery you need to. Some accommodations also offer an inside restaurant or cafe and it is valid to check their price and what kind of food you will find there.
We also have other tips and how-tos to make your trip plan an awesome one, check that out and so much more on traveling on our blog.
Have a nice trip!
• • •
That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!