Traveling is a lifelong passion for many, but finding affordable accommodations can be challenging. Hotels and other lodgings offer a range of rates, perks, and rewards, and the market for them is growing. It can be difficult to know how and where to find the best deals, but a little research can help you save.
Booking a room at a hotel is one of the most important parts of traveling, so be sure to book ahead of time to get the best prices. You can do this through an online travel agency or directly with a hotel.
Some chains offer a variety of different types of properties, so it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs. There are also some chains that specialize in certain categories of travellers, such as families or business travelers.
For example, a hotel that caters to families will have a pool, children’s club, and other amenities. If you’re traveling with a group, look for a hotel that offers suites or multiple rooms.
Another option is to stay at a B&B. These tend to be smaller and more spartan, but can often be cheaper than a hotel.
Checking the reviews of other travelers is also an important part of choosing a hotel. They are usually unbiased, and they’ll tell you whether the hotel is worth the money.
The rating of a hotel can be based on criteria such as location, cleanliness, service quality, facilities, and so on. Some ratings are based on hard criteria (for example, the hotel must have a swimming pool) and others are based on subjective criteria (for example, the staff should be friendly and the rooms comfortable).
If you’re planning to stay in a large city, it may be worth looking into the number of stars awarded to a hotel. The higher the number of stars, the better.
Some hotels also offer shuttle transportation to and from airport terminals, train stations, or other locations of a guest’s choice after completing their stay. These services are offered in vans, mini-buses or even cars.
A growing trend is to allow guests to check in and out through automated kiosks in the lobby, which may be provided as a measure of economy or convenience. Some hotels also provide smartphone apps that let guests access their rooms and control room functions remotely.
In some countries, hotels have to meet specific health and safety standards, so it is important to check the hotel’s website or ask at the front desk if you have any questions about these regulations.
You can also use price alerts on sites such as Skyscanner to track fares and snag bargains on flight, hotel, or car rental deals. These apps check prices regularly and can be useful for saving on long-haul flights, or even if you’re just looking to save on a night’s stay in a foreign city.
Make a reservation 21 days in advance and you’ll often get a lower rate than if you booked when you arrived at the hotel.