When you are going on a family vacation, making a hotel reservation is an important part of the planning process. However, it is all too easy to end up choosing a shabby hotel that overcharges you. Use the following tips to make sure that you choose a great hotel at a good rate.
To keep your drinking water clean in a hotel room, rinse out your drinking glasses, even if there is a paper cover or a plastic wrapping around it. Dust and debris from the plastic can settle in the glass, leading to an unpleasant first sip. Taking the time to rinse it out will make your experience better.
When traveling with a pet, your choices of hotels will be limited. Once you find a hotel that is pet friendly, find out what the policies are with regard to pets. Most hotels charge an extra fee for pets, and they may have designated areas in which to walk your pet. Be sure you know the particulars ahead of time to avoid potential problems later.
Check out priceline.com and other online hotel discount vendors to help you find the best deals out there. These websites can really bring hotel costs down to rock bottom prices. Even upper scale hotels can be found for more affordable prices. There’s no reason you should be paying full rate.
If you’re a member of the AAA, you should see what your hotel membership discount will be. Many people are surprised to see hotel discounts included with their auto club membership. You can save 5 percent or more on your hotel stay just by showing your membership card. Over multiple nights, that five percent will really add up.
When traveling with small children, try to choose a hotel that caters to them. Most hotels offer cribs. Some have playgrounds and/or pools to help keep your kids entertained. Some even offer or children’s programs during the day or babysitters at night. Many hotels do not charge extra for children under a certain age to stay in the same room with their parents.
If you travel often and prefer one hotel brand, consider signing up for a loyalty program. These programs offer free room upgrades, a free night’s stay after so many days and other advantages. To get the most from this service, sign up to be alerted of specials the hotel may run from time to time.
Make location a top priority when it comes to searching for hotels. If you are going to be staying in a city and want to sight-see, it may not be wise to stay in a hotel 30 minutes away from all the action. Ask the hotel about attractions close by or look up their location on the Internet.
Try out DealAngel the next time you are looking online for hotel rooms. This relatively newer site will show you just how good of a deal you are actually getting. It even has a unique feature that will show you how hotel rates vary by date, letting you pick the cheapest time to go.
If you don’t have your heart set on a certain hotel, try using a website like Hotels.com. These types of sites let you put in bids and then return a list of hotels in your price range. The only drawback is that they may not reveal which hotel you have booked until after you have committed to staying there.
Pay attention to your security when you stay at a hotel. Make note of the fire exits and locations of fire extinguishers. Keep your door locked, and keep your key or key card in a safe place. Stash any valuables in the hotel safe. Consider bringing a flashlight along and keeping it by your bed in case you need it during the night.
Figure out what comes with your hotel. Find out if the hotel offers better noise control and views on one side. Ask them about nearby public transportation, restaurants, and if they are near any entertainment or business areas. You should also find out the type of neighborhood they’re in and what their environmental policies are.
If possible, try to stay in a hotel during the off-season. Most hotels know how desperate people are to find a room during the travel season. They tend to jack up their prices because they know people are willing to pay for the room. If you go during the off-season, you will get big discounts!
If your hotel offers a kid’s club, and you are considering leaving your child there, take a few precautions. Find out if the staff has undergone background checks and ask about the child to adult ratio. In addition, ask what the procedure is for picking up the child. You want to make sure that someone can’t just walk up and leave with your little one.
Nothing can ruin a family vacation more quickly than a stay in a dirty, grimy hotel. You want your family to remember the good times about the trip, not the disgusting hotel room that you had to stay in. Remember the advice you have read here to make the right hotel reservation.