Don't book a room at the first hotel that crosses your path. Plan your trip in advance and look for the most suitable lodging.
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, don't just stay at the first hotel you find. Plan your lodging in advance so that you can get the best room at the best price. If you're not sure how to look for or choose a hotel, here are a few tips that might help:
1. Check for the best hotel location. Not only do you want to find a hotel that is situated in a good part of town to avoid potential security problems, you want a convenient location. Factors to consider include the hotel's proximity to the highway, how easy it is to enter and leave the parking area at high-traffic times, its closeness to destinations you will need to visit during your stay, and access to amenities such as restaurants, laundry facilities, and shopping areas.
2. Ask for the lowest hotel price. If you are in town for a conference, find out if a facility offers a special conference hotel rate. Otherwise, inquire about an American Automobile Association discount, or other possible reductions due to military service, retirement status, or other reasons. Sometimes hotels keep a small block of rooms available at lower-than-usual rates for people who need to get an affordable room at the last minute.
members, or co-workers who have stayed in the hotel, or another in the chain, whether the establishment has a good reputation and can be trusted to provide services that you will need or have come to expect. If uncertain, call ahead and ask the desk clerk or hotel reservations manager about the types of amenities that will be available during your stay.
4. Inquire about parking or transportation. Shuttle service to and from the local airport may be available, so find out before you take public transportation, which can be more costly. If you are driving, ask about parking arrangements and fees. If no shuttle service exists, find out how much you can expect to pay to get to the hotel from your bus, train, or plane station.
5. Check AAA hotel ratings. The American Automobile Association provides a star rating for all of the hotels that are listed in each city's guide. You can have this information as part of an annual membership fee. Other travel guides provide similar information, so do an online search before you book a hotel to get the best services that are available.
6. Book well in advance. If you will be attending a national program or visiting a hotel location during a popular time, such as peak foliage in autumn, book your hotel several weeks ahead of time to get the room rate and availability you want. Waiting until the last minute means you may have to pay a higher rate and you may not get the exact room location you prefer.
Choosing a hotel is not difficult, but it does require a few minutes of time well in advance of your departure date. Give some thought to your lodging needs before leaving town and you can look forward to a relaxing stay at a reliable inn.