Accommodation is one of the most important things to consider when planning a trip. Along with flights, accommodation will influence a lot your travel budget.
Aside from the economic aspect, there are several things that you need to choose carefully in order to find the perfect hotel for you.
Over the course of the years we have been traveling together, we have stayed in quite a few hotels. Some of them were pretty, others not so much, and we have learned that hotels can influence our experience a lot, but not always in a good way.
The first thing you need to do is define what it is exactly you’re looking for.
Some things to take into account are the budget, the number of days you are going to stay or the area where you want to stay. In addition, you also have to take into consideration the public transport available or the possibility of having a car at your disposal.
First of all, remember that cheap things usually turn out to be expensive. We try not to book the cheapest accommodation we find, although sometimes because we travel on a tight budget, we have to do so.
If it is your situation, and you need to book the cheapest hotel possible, you have to be aware that you will have to give up some comforts.
For example, cheap hotels are usually located away from the city center or don’t include all the services you need.
Knowing this, you should do a search within your budget and check out the following things:
What you will find in this post:
Location is very important when choosing accommodation.
The first thing you have to look at is how long it takes to get from the accommodation to the main tourist spots by foot or by public transport. It is also good to check the subway or bus timetables and the ticket price.
Usually, the cheapest hotels are located further away from the city centre or the tourist attractions. In small towns or cities, this is not a problem, but in big cities, you will probably have to take public transport and thus spend extra time and money.
If what you pay for public transport to get from your accommodation to the city centre multiplied by the number of days you will be staying adds up to more than the difference between a somewhat distant accommodation and an accommodation in the centre, it is not worth it!
If you find very cheap accommodation on the outside of a city and have enough time, it might be worth taking public transport as long as the tickets are cheap.
Feedback and ratings from customers who have already stayed at the hotel
We usually book on Booking.com, but on any hotel search engine, we can find the ratings that customers assign to the hotel, comments, and opinions of those who have already stayed there.
On Booking’s website, next to any of the hotels offered, there is an overall rating that is usually between 6 and 9.5 (we have also seen lower ratings, but not so many).
This rating is based on the scores that customers have given to several aspects of the accommodation such as location, cleanliness, staff, comfort, quality-price ratio, wifi, facilities, and services.
Each one of these aspects is important. As we mentioned in the previous point, location is essential.
Cleanliness is also very important because we all like to stay in well-kept and clean places. There are countries where cleanliness doesn’t have the same standards as in Europe, but we already know that beforehand.
For the rest of the countries, we try to guide ourselves by the comments. We pay less attention to the other aspects, but this also depends on individual needs. You can see the ratings for each of the mentioned things by clicking on the overall rating.
We never book accommodation with no comments (just in case) and we always try to book accommodation with a 7+ rating. This of course is a personal preference.
It doesn’t have to mean that hotels with a rating under 6 are bad, but that you probably have to give up some of the comforts.
If you can find a better one for the same price, why not?
We recommend that you leave a comment at the end of your stay in the hotel so that you can also help other travelers who are looking for the perfect accommodation.
Having breakfast included in the price is very important!
Besides being the most important meal of the day and that we need a number of nutrients to start our day, having breakfast included in the hotel price is great when we travel on a budget.
There are times when we have a good breakfast at the hotel and at lunchtime we only have a snack. This way we save one meal a day.
It also depends on how the breakfast is. There are hotels that serve you breakfast worthy of kings and others that serve you very little food and sometimes poor quality.
To find out what we can expect from breakfast, we recommend you read carefully the comments of other customers. If most of them say the hotel serves an excellent breakfast, that’s our place.
On Booking’s website, along with the description of the accommodation, you will find some information about the breakfast, but the best thing to do is to read the comments because there you can find very detailed information about the food they serve.
Another thing to keep in mind is at what time they start serving breakfast. We booked a hotel with breakfast included for 10 days (in Bali) and we only enjoyed it once because they started serving it at 9:00 and we would get up at 6:00 in order to start our day as soon as possible.
Obviously, we didn’t know that beforehand, but we have learned our lesson and now we check the comments to see if anyone has mentioned it.
If you’re going on vacation and your intention is to disconnect from your mobile or just upload a couple of stories on Instagram, the speed of the connection may not be important to you.
But if you’re a digital nomad or you need to work online while you’re staying in a hotel, the best thing to do is to look at the rating that other travelers have given to the Wi-Fi. You can also look through the comments because people usually review the speed of the connection.
Lastly (and this as a personal preference), after having found several accommodations in the area in which we are interested, with prices and characteristics that we are looking for, what we usually do is to look closely at all the pictures in order to see which one we think is prettier.
Since there is usually more than one option, why not choose the prettiest one and feel comfortable?
These are our tips to consider when booking a hotel and we hope that they will be helpful. Remember: you should never book the first hotel you see.
This process requires a bit of time and reading a lot of comments in order to find the perfect accommodation. After all, we need to be comfortable in a place to rest well.
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