Somewhere along the line I got a reputation for being great at choosing hotels. Now my family comes straight to me every time they are going on a trip and asks me to choose the hotels. It's fun to go exploring travel sites but can be a little sad when you realise you aren't going on the holiday with family. I am pretty good at finding great deals on the big chains, but also on cool little local boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts. This blog has some of my tips for other people when they are booking hotels and accommodations.
When making hotel or motel reservations at a location you've never visited before, you may be tempted to just book a room online and not give your accommodations another thought. While this can often be sufficient for ensuring you have a room, there are a few additional things you might remember about making out-of-town reservations and that can help you save money and avoid any surprises. Note a few things to remember and ask about when making your reservation.
Ask about an onsite restaurant
Never assume that a hotel or motel has an onsite café or restaurant; even if they do, don't assume that it will be open 24 hours per day or even 365 days per year. Some restaurants may be located on a patio or pavilion that needs to closed during certain off-season weeks or months, when the weather gets cold or windy or when the area may be prone to strong storms. Not every restaurant will be open for room service around the clock, and some might serve a light breakfast and then close. If you're counting on a restaurant onsite, be sure you've checked any limitations or call and ask about it so you know what to expect when you arrive, and ask if there are discounts available with your reservation so you save some money on your meals as well.
Always ask about other discounts
You might overlook some discounts for which you're eligible when making out-of-town reservations, including discounts for senior citizens, those who belong to a travel club, students, and veterans. While very often a website will tell you what discounts are offered on room reservations, it never hurts to ask. You might even get a discount if you sign up for certain email reminders or fill out an application to join a certain travel club of which you're not a member. Always ask about these to ensure you're saving the most money possible on your trip.
Ask about public transportation and parking
If you're bringing your own car or a rental car, don't assume that there is parking onsite. You may need to park in a nearby underground garage if choosing a location in a crowded city. If you want to take public transportation, ask if cabs come to the hotel or if you need to call one, or note how close your hotel is to the nearest bus stop or subway station. This can help you better decide if a rental car is right or if public transportation is the best decision during your trip.Share