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!

How to book a perfect holiday online? 9 simple tips

Are you planning to book a great vacation? I remember the first time I booked my first holiday. I spend a lot of times comparing, searching the best prices, reading about the destinations, and I was thinking: isn’t there a more efficient way to book the best holiday online? Based on the experience I’ve gained ever since, I would like to give you a few valuable tips on how to best book the holiday of your dreams.

I have made a step-by-step guide for planning a trip, you make the process of planning your trip a lot easier.

Step 1: Choose the destination

Where do you want to go? Perhaps you already have a destination in mind of where to go on vacationwhich you are dreaming of for years. If not, allow yourself to be inspired. Read some travel blogs, watch travel programs on television and like travel pages on social media.

I love National Geographic as a source of great inspiration for adventurous trips through cities and nature.

Step 2: How long will you go on holidays?

It’s important to determine when you want to go on holidays and how long you want to go, in order to calculate the costs. Every day of vacation, will make the trip more expensive. But perhaps you only have a limited amount of vacation days available.

Step 3: How much will it cost?

You have determined where you want to go, when and how many days. Youaffordable vacation probably do have a certain budget you can spend on the vacation. You should make a budget in order to make the right bookings.

How much will the travel toward your holiday destination cost?

How much will a hotel cost that suits your preferences?

How much money will you have left for you daily spending?

The result of this calculation will give you an overview of your budget. Perhaps you can choose a cheaper hotel in order to have more money available to spend on other things, like food, drinks and activities.

You can find a lot of information for you budget in travel guides, online blogs and of course on Tripadvisor.

As a result of making your budget, you’ll have a clear plan to follow.

Step 4: Be inspired

Keep gaining new inspiration for you trip. Read interesting blogs, like certain social media pages, watch travel programs, etcetera. This will give you new ideas for you trip, for example what to do, which places to visit, etc.

Step 5: Book smart

You should realise you can safe a lot of money by booking your trips a smart way.

Airlines have certain discount periods, in which you can get the same flightcheap flights ticket for less. Always check these to prevent you book a ticket a few days before a discount period. Always check the flight prices of flying a few days earlier of later. Maybe you can save 200 pounds by flying 2 days earlier of later.

Searching for the perfect hotel can be done by checking blogs or Booking.com. However, I advise you to book the perfect accommodation directly at the hotel or hostel. This is mostly cheaper and allows you to support the business to prevent them from having to pay a fee to the booking agency.

Step 6: Book your flight

Generally speaking, the earlier you book, the cheaper the prices. Book your flight up to 2 months before your trip. Last-minute deals don’t really exist exist anymore. So try to book as soon as possible. Prices often rise a few weeks before departure.

Sometimes it is cheaper to book your flight at a booking website. At other times it is cheaper to book your flight directly with the airline. In any case, it is more reliable to book your ticket directly with the airline. In case of a mistake or delay, they are directly responsible to offer you a solution.

Pay attention to the flight times. It can be cheaper to fly early at for example 6 o’clock in the morning, but then you do have to be at the airport 2 or 3 hours in advance. It is not always possible to reach the airport during night times, or a lot more expensive. An expected cheap flight ticket will end up rather expensive because of an expensive airport hotel.

My favourite booking websites for flights are:

Step 7: Book the accommodation

Once you have booked your flight, you can also book your accommodation. book accommodationWhen you have made a travel schedule, you can search for accommodation based on that. If not, you can at least already book an accommodation for your first and last nights in order to be near the airport of arrival and departure.

There are different types of accommodations that match your travel style. A hotel is often more luxurious, with a private bedroom and bathroom. You can choose to book breakfast in advance. Many people (including me) find a good hotel breakfast a great way to start the day.

A hostel does not have the same level of luxury, which is not a bad thing at all. You can choose to sleep in a shared bedroom in a dorm, in order to save some money. Not everyone will appreciate a dorm room however. Many hostels also offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. You pay a bit more than a bed in a dorm room, but often a lot less than a room at a hotel.

Nowadays, new hostels offer more luxury. These hostels are the perfect combination between the comfort of a hotel and the lower price and cosiness of a trendy hostel. A hostel is often a lot less stiff, often has a nice common area and is sometimes even more modern than a hotel.

Booking website can be used to find a perfect accommodation. I personally prefer to book directly at the hotel or hostel for a cheaper price. I use the following booking websites:

Step 8: What are you going to do?

Plan your perfect adventure abroad. There are probably a number of places that you would want to visit and do.

Step 9: Pack your luggage and enjoy your trip!

Do not bring too much!

Before departure, do not forget to write down the address of your first accommodation on a piece of paper, in case your phone battery is finished. Don’t forget to plan ahead how to get to your hotel from the airport. It is advisable to bring some local currency in cash for the first hours. Plus, if you need a rental car, look here.

And enjoy your trip!