Booking great accommodation isn’t rocket science, but a little work goes a long way to ensuring you have a truly excellent trip. After recently arriving at homestay in the US that was vastly different to what I thought I’d booked online, I committed to never again paying for accommodation that wasn’t excellent. It’s a big part of your trip, and it’s important you get it right and feel safe.
So, here are five tips to booking great accommodation, no matter what the destination.
#1 Research, Research And Yep, More Research
This is a no-brainer, but invest a solid amount of time in the lead up to your trip researching options thoroughly. Research the city, the weather conditions and the best activities to do for the time you’re there. Read forums and blogs, review multiple accommodation providers and sign up for deals on special offers on your preferred locations. Keep Google maps up while you research and work out the proximity of each accommodation to public transport, the city centre and reputable, safe parts of town.
#2 Imagine You Had To Spend The Whole Day Inside
In the past I’ve booked cheap (read: dilapidated), modest (read: bloody ugly) rooms thinking, “it doesn’t matter how barebones and uninspiring it is, I’m going to be outside exploring every day!” But what if you can’t go outside? Extreme weather conditions, illness or even a nasty hangover might keep you room-bound, and by that stage it’s too late. Cursing your name for that last cocktail you necked you’ll wish you’d booked something a little more comfortable and inviting.
#3 Compare Prices And Offers
There are volumes of sites that aggregate and compare prices for accommodation across the globe. Spend some time entering your travel dates, destination and price range and see what each website offers. Look for websites that allow you to book with no upfront or cancellation fees, so you can secure something immediately but keep shopping the market until you find the best possible arrangement.
#4 Write A List Of The Things That Are Important To You
Maybe you like bright, well-lit rooms? Need a good coffee to start your day? Perhaps you love hiring bikes and discovering a new city on two wheels? Whatever is important to you on your travels, make sure it’s included in the accommodation you secure. Don’t sell yourself short, write that list and keep it close when you make any booking.
#5 Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
Like what you see in pictures on a website but want more information on the downstairs bar? Maybe you want to know more about the mattress for a back injury you’re nursing? What is the state of the shared bathrooms? Whether you lodge a general inquiry on a hostel’s website or reach out to an Airbnb host directly, if you have questions about the accommodation’s facilities and offering, never be afraid to ask them. It’s your holiday, your hard-earned money and you’re the one that’ll be staying there, so load up the questions until you’re totally satisfied.
Image Sources: Pexels, Marina Bay Sands, UBC Blogs, Pintrest, Booking.com, Charisma Suites.