Choices are great. But too many choices can get overwhelming. When booking a hotel, there are so many to choose from, so it’s important to have a plan in order to choose the right hotel for you. It’s not always the most exciting part of planning a vacation, but you need a place to sleep. By following my simple steps, you’ll save yourself time and reduce frustration.
Filtering and sorting hotels
No matter what booking site I’m using, the first thing I do, once I’ve put in the city and dates I’m searching, is filter the hotels by my desired price bracket. Unless there are hundreds of hotels, I will usually leave in the ones that are in the lowest bracket even though I’m willing to pay somewhere in the middle. You never know when something good might end up in the super cheap range.
Next, if the site has filters for amenities, I choose the ones that are most important to me. You can say you only want hotels that have WiFi, a pool, and parking. Sometimes you can choose how many stars you want or the type of hotel such as “romantic” or “family.” This will eliminate any hotels that don’t match your requirements, which gives you fewer options to sift through.
Then sort your list. Maybe price is the most important thing, or maybe you want to sort by the review ratings. Now you can look at the choices in the order that’s important to you.
Looking at the map
Are there certain attractions in the destination you’re traveling to that you want to be close to? Do you want to be close to the airport? Do you want to be close to public transportation?
These types of things are usually mentioned in the hotel description, but it would take a long time to read every single one to find out. Instead look for the map view. Move the map around until it shows the part of town you want to stay in, and then only open up hotels that are in that area.
Some booking sites will show all hotels on the map, even if they don’t meet your criteria. You should be able to distinguish the ones that match your requirements from those that don’t by the color of the pin or marker used to label each hotel. That way you don’t have to get excited about a hotel only to notice later that it’s outside of your price range.
Decide what’s important in a hotel
Some people only want a hotel with free breakfast while others prefer to eat their morning meal at a local restaurant or bakery. If free breakfast isn’t important to you, don’t let that become a determining factor.
If you want a place with WiFi, read to see if it’s free or for a fee and if it’s available throughout the hotel or just in the common areas like the lobby. Also determine if the hotel has only WiFi, only a computer with internet available for use, or both.
Are you arriving late at night? Check to see if they have 24 hour reception. If not, sometimes you just need to notify the hotel of your arrival time and someone will let you in. But there are some places that are impossible to check into if you arrive past a certain time.
Not all of these things will be important to you. Pick a few that are essential to you, and eliminate hotels that don’t have all or most of what you’re looking for.
It’s important to focus on what matters most to you and ignore everything else in order to choose the right hotel for you. It will waste your time if you look through every single hotel on offer, so filtering out the ones that don’t meet your criteria will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend on this task.
Read more about lodging:
- How to Read Hotel Reviews
- How to Choose an Apartment Rental for Your Vacation
- What is it Really Like to Stay in a Hostel?
- Or check out our destinations section to find your next vacation!