Booking A Hotel: Rookie Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Trip

 

Photo by Kevin Dooley

You’ve just booked your dream hotel. Or at least, you think you have. Unfortunately, there are common mistakes that many people and families make, and they are left to rue their choices. Let’s take a look at some of the questions you need to ask, so you don’t make any blunders.

Where Is It?

OK, so the hotel website tells you it is just a short walk away from everything you need. But it doesn’t tell you anything concrete about its direct location. And concrete can be an issue if you’re hoping for a nice view. Make sure you check out the area beforehand – use Google Earth, for example – or you could end up in the middle of a building site next to a motorway.

What Do They Say About It?

What does who says about it? Certainly not the hotel website. Or even the travel agent that handed over that glossy brochure. The best way to investigate the quality of any hotel is through review websites. You will learn exactly what to expect, from the moment you get there until the end of your stay. Don’t forget to look at the bigger picture. The more unscrupulous hotels could be beefing up their overall scores with fake reviews, although it is usually easy to spot these. On the other hand, difficult customers are prone to complaining. And complaining. And complaining. Use websites like Yelp to help you make your decision.

Where Do I Park?

When you make your hotel booking, make sure to ask about parking. Not every hotel will offer  a free car park, and it can be a hefty addition to your expenses. Especially if you have gone away for a whole two weeks. If you do forget to ask and only find out when you get there, see if there is a hotel nearby that does offer free facilities. You never know, they might give you a better deal.

What’s For Breakfast?

Not including breakfast in your booking can often be a costly mistake. You are likely to end up paying way more than its value if you don’t make sure you find out before booking. Give the hotel reception a call and ask some questions. Find out what they charge with and without the breakfast, and compare the difference to see if it is worth it. You could always use the cafe across the road.

Is There A Cheaper Option?

Hotels may be hiding cheaper and better value deals that they don’t reveal on their websites. If you’re trying to keep down the costs of a holiday, just ask them directly: straight up and no-nonsense. There are no guarantees, of course, but being polite or starting a conversation about the local area could lead to some interesting results. You might be surprised at the amount of people that don’t ask – and if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

What are your biggest hotel blunders? And have you any tips you have discovered that you could share? Let us know in the comments section below!

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