Tips: How to find the perfect hotel

Are you planning to go away for a few days? Perhaps for the weekend, a city trip or a holiday? People always ask me how I find my hotels. Part of the fun of traveling is being able to stay in the best, most fantastic, unique, most beautiful hotels around the world. But how do you find the perfect hotel? Not everyone seems to succeed. Therefore, I gladly give you these tips to help you to quickly and easily find the perfect hotel for your trip.

Tip 1: Explore and inform yourself

First, explore what’s available in the place where you plan to go. Large cities have a wide offer in hotels, smaller cities have a rather limited offer in hotel rooms. What’s available?

Also, when you go to a European or North American country, the prices for a night at a hotel can be more expensive than in more affordable countries. This only means that within your budget you can afford more luxury (a.k.a. more star hotel) in an affordable country, and perhaps should consider less luxury and comfort if prices are too high (as in for example in London or Amsterdam).

Which are you options?

You can check your options on large booking websites. I personally love eco friendly hotels ukusing Booking.com, but FlyGRN Hotels is also a nice one. It compares even more hotels and for every 100 euro it plants a tree (also check out their Search Engine Tips). It’s my favourite. I don’t necessarily book a hotel room through Booking.com, but do explore the possibilities I have. In Booking.com your can clearly search for a lot of characteristics, like:

  • Price range;
  • Customer rating, which is very trustworthy at Booking.com;
  • The area where you want to stay, or not;
  • Number of stars of the hotel;
  • Include breakfast;
  • Amenities;
  • Is it eco-friendly?

This way, the hotel that fits your liking always shows up. Unless it’s not available during the days you wish to stay there.

If hotel prices are above your budget, try Hostelworld.com to find a perfect hostel. Hostels aren’t necessarily dirty or cheap anymore and also have private rooms with private bathrooms available. Hostelworld.com has more great hostels available than Booking.com, for better prices.

Tip 2: What is the purpose of your trip?

Think carefully about the purpose of your trip. Do you want to escape eco friendly tourism ukcrowds? Do you want to explore a city? Are you coming for business or pleasure? Which areas do you prefer? Trendy areas or central areas?

Do you want to visit a particular location, like a theme park, a concert, a conference or museum? Then consider to find a hotel at walking distance from this location. It will safe you a lot of time.

Do keep in mind that city centres are not a nice place to stay in every part of the world. Choose to stay in an area that you like and where you plan to spend most time. This will safe money and time on traveling.

Travel blogs and websites can help you to determine the right location for your stay.

Tip 3: Ask for experiences

Ask others around you for their experiences. You can ask your friends on Facebook or Twitter, but also colleagues and others you know. They can give you great tips on what to do, what to avoid and where to stay. You often end up in nice places. Their experiences will help you to plan the best trip.

You can also consult travel blogs and travel programs on television for some great tips.

Tip 4: Do you need a credit card, visa or another currency?

Be well informed before you go on a trip. Do you need to bring a credit card? Will your card be accepted? Is it advisable to change some money into the local currency to bring in cash? Do you need a visa for this country?

Tip 5: Avoid big attractions and busy streets

As romantic as it sounds, you do not want to sleep in a hotel at 200 meters eco friendly tourismfrom the Eiffel Tower. It will be very crowded with a lot of noise, but you also pay the highest price for this location. Consider to book a hotel that’s located a few minutes from important locations, in order to be near but not too near.

Also: Is the area of the hotel a safe area to walk at night?

Tip 6: Breakfast included or not?

I always book a breakfast during my stays. I enjoy a good breakfast at thesustainable hotel breakfast hotel, instead of searching for the right place or ending up with a crappy breakfast. I don’t like to wander around a city with an empty stomach. If you include the breakfast in your booking, it’s mostly cheaper than booking it upon arrival.

Do pay attention to the price of the breakfast. Sometimes a breakfast outside is a fraction of an overpriced breakfast at the hotel.

Tip 7: Check transport to the hotel

How is the transport organized in the area/city where you go to? Is public transport safe or are taxies affordable? How should you go from the airport to the hotel? Inform yourself or send your hotel an email to ask them for advise.

The transport to the hotel is mostly not difficult, but you should inform yourself about the best option for you. Check other websites for tips

Tip 8: Read the reviews

What is the experience of others? Don’t be fooled by only negative reviews, but read several reviews to get a clear picture. Some people are born to complain. What does the average review say? What are the bad points in the reviews and does this matter to you?

If a bad part of the hotel is noise, cleanness, quality of the wifi, helpful staff, quality of breakfast or daily cleaning service, does this matter to you or not? These are aspects to consider before booking to prevent surprises.

Tip 9: Compare prices

Booking.com has certain prices. Sometimes this is a great price, especially for last-minute bookings. You can compare prices between booking websites, like Expedia, Trivago, Hotels.com, Hostelworld.com en Booking.com.

However, the website of the hotel itself generally ALWAYS has the best price. Especially small hotels generally make most money form direct bookings, as these don’t include (high) fees for booking website. Consider to book directly at the hotel for the best price and the most support for small businesses.

Tip 10: Don’t forget the conditions

Generally, the conditions aren’t very important. Unless of course they are. Some information is mentioned in the booking conditions at the bottom of the booking page. For example: are taxes included or not (very important), the ways to pay the hotel bill, etcetera. Don’t allow nasty surprises.

Enjoy your stay!

What to book: A hotel, hostel, Airbnb or b&b?

This is a very important question to consider when you book a stay or plan your trip. Do you want to say in a hotel, hostel Airbnb or b&b? Every option has its own unique characteristics. Make the right choice, because the place where you stay is very important in the overall successfulness of your trip.

Every kind of accommodation has its own unique characteristics. What fits your liking and your type of travel?

Let me explain the particular strengths and weaknesses of each type of accommodation. I promise you I will be honest.

Book an accommodation: hotel

On most of my trips I prefer to stay in a hotel. I love a certain level of luxuryhotel or hostel? and attention, with clean rooms, a nice bed, soft towels, daily cleaning service and a 24/7 reception.

Hotels are available in all price ranges. Choose the hotel that fits your budget. I love the anonymity of a hotel. You can do as you please, without being disturbed of feeling as if you invade someone’s house (which can be the case with Airbnb and B&B’s).

I love checking in at a hotel, receiving an excellent service, arriving at a great room in neutral colour tones and have a comfortable bathroom with preferably a bath. I love the little extra attention you receive in great hotels. I also love having breakfast at a hotel, passing by the breakfast buffet and choose only the things you love the most.

I just love a good hotel with nice, helpful staff, clean rooms, a comfortable bed, a luxurious bathroom and a delicious breakfast. These are precisely the reasons I generally book a hotel room, instead of a hostel, Airbnb or B&B.

I do advise you not to book hotels that are too cheap or with bad ratings. These hotels tend to be traps. If you have a limited budget, consider booking a nice, clean hostel instead of a bad hotel.

Or perhaps book an eco-friendly hotel.

Book an accommodation: hostel

At the other side of the spectrum are hostels. Hostels had the image of beinghostel or airbnb dirty and noisy, in which you have to share a dorm room with drunken, hippie backpackers that wake you up by entering the room in the middle of the night.

However, nothing can be further away from the truth. Hostels are experiencing a great revival. Hostels are great places to meet people and have fun with like-minded travellers, especially compared to anonymous hotels.

If you have a limited budget, a dorm room might still be a great option. If you do prefer a bit more privacy you can book a private room with a private bathroom at a hostel. Then you can enjoy the advantages of a hostel and meet new people, but at a more affordable price. Hostels these days are very trendy and also clean. They are nothing like the old image they used to have.

Actually, hostels tend to be a trendy way of accommodation that meets current trends in the hospitality sector. Who needs a boring room, with all kinds of amenities you don’t use but still have to pay for?

So try a hostel on your next trip. You’ll have great fun.

Book an accommodation: Airbnb

You’ve probably heard of it, but did you ever stay at an Airbnb? Airbnb is likeairbnb or b&b a bed & breakfast, but then offered privately by someone who rents out a bedroom or his/her entire house or apartment. An Airbnb is generally more affordable than a hotel, although you can enjoy the amenities of an entire house. Feel at home.

The most known provider of Airbnb accommodation is Airbnb.com, although there are also other, more specialised providers or Airbnb accommodations. At Airbnb.com you’ll find a long list of people who offer a room, their house or a unique accommodation to travellers. Airbnb surely is a unique way of accommodation. Mostly, however, you’re just staying in someone’s house.

That’s also the negative side of Airbnb. The accommodation you book is offered by a normal person like you and me, and not by a professional in the hospitality sector. Although you can check reviews, Airbnb has some serious limitations, like:

  • Perhaps the cleanness of the accommodation does not meet your standards.
  • The check-in and check-out times are generally pretty strict and don’t include leaving your luggage for the afternoon before heading to the airport.
  • You don’t have a 24/7 reception service. What to do when something happens and you don’t have any mobile phone service?
  • You’re mostly staying in some else’s home.

On the other hand: You can enjoy an entire apartment instead of a small hotel room or a bed in a dorm room, including a kitchen and dining area. The prices are mostly lower than a hotel room, which is also a great advantage.

Book an accommodation: Bed & Breakfast

The last accommodation option I would like to discuss is the old fashioned Bed & Breakfast. The difference between an Airbnb and B&B is that a B&B is done semi-professional and all year long. In the case of an Airbnb it is done privately for a certain amount of time in order to make some money with your house.

In a B&B you can expect more professionalism. However, a B&B is a very particular way of accommodating yourself for the night.

Traditionally a B&B includes a bed and breakfast, and not much more. You’ll b&b or hotel get a private bedroom, sometimes a shared bathroom and breakfast. After breakfast you’re expected to leave the accommodation again. These days, however, B&B’s can be more luxurious and can include private accommodations, a private bathroom en suite and unique accommodations.

A B&B has always been a great option if you want an affordable stay with a personal touch. You generally, but not always, sleep at someone’s home, but this person does value your privacy and your presence. For some this personal touch can be an advantage, for others a disadvantage.

For every trip you can prefer another type of accommodations. For a business trip you might prefer a hotel. During a trip with you partner, a unique accommodation might be great fun, like a B&B or Airbnb. If you only have a limited budget, you might consider a hostel of Airbnb. This allows you to have some money left for other things, like a nice night out or to visit a museum. What will you book for your next trip?