With the holiday season upon us, you might be thinking about taking a vacation. One of the most important arrangements to make while planning your trip is where you’re going to stay. Loving (or hating) your accommodations sets the tone for how much you’ll enjoy your entire trip. Here are a few tips for making sure you love the place you stay while traveling:
- Consider the Type of Lodging That Would Make Your Trip Perfect
Decide the goal of your trip, and then choose the accommodations that best fits that goal. Do you want the quaint, cozy experience of a bed and breakfast? Are you planning to have an adventure that cabins can offer? Do you want the relaxing, luxurious trip that you find at resorts? If you you want a wide range of standard accommodations, you might want to search for hotels in your destination.
- Compare Rates
Many booking services for hotels lock in rates that are less expensive than booking the room through the hotel. Make sure to compare rates at several sites before booking your room. Also, you might want to call hotels directly and ask what their rates are for your particular dates. The rate that the third party booking site negotiated might be unrelated to the rates that the front desk can offer.
- Search for Promotions
Enter the hotel name and “promotions” or “promo codes” in a search engine; sometimes you’ll find an additional discount. If you’re staying at a privately owned accommodation like a cabin or bed and breakfast, call the owner and ask if they can offer lower rates. If the lodging has a high availability during the time you’ll be staying, they might be willing to make concessions to secure your business.
- Scope Out the Area
Often times, there are a lot of hotels in the area around the airport, but this isn’t necessarily convenient to the things you want to see and do. You can put the hotel’s address in Google maps to get an idea of its proximity to things you want to visit.
- Check the Hotel’s Refund Policy
How will your lodging accommodate any changes that might arise to your travel plans after you book it? Many times, the hotel can make changes or even refund your stay if you book it directly; if you use a third party booking site (even booking through the hotel’s website directly is often handled by a third party), you might have trouble being refunded if you need to cancel. Just call the hotel and ask what their policy is if canceled before committing.
- Ask About Additional Fees
The great deal you’re getting might not be worth it if you have to pay an additional $15 for WiFi and $20 a day for parking. Ask about these fees before you commit to your reservation.
- Pay With a Credit Card
Not only are you eligible for reward perks such as cash back if you use a credit card, some credit card issuers offer guarantees, insurance and fraud protection that you don’t get if you use a debit card or cash to pay for your stay.
Are you planning a great vacation over the holidays? What type of accommodations are you staying at? Please leave us a comment with the details!