The task of finding a place to stay when you’re traveling can be extremely daunting. Not only are you visiting somewhere that you’ve never been, but in many cases your native language won’t be the norm in your destination. Don’t let this turn you away! Here are some tips to make it easier on you.
Make every effort to get your ducks in a row well before your intended travel dates. Six months or more is preferable. This not only allows you to get the most affordable prices, but it also puts your mind at ease knowing that you have a plan in place and will not be left on the streets. Without a doubt, when making reservations choose the refundable option. Plans change – just take my word for it. You’ll end up kicking yourself when the day comes that your flight gets rescheduled, you get sick, or you simply have a change of heart while you’re on vacation.
Talk To People
This may seem obvious, but if you have friends or family that have been to the area, let them know that you’re going and see what they have to say. They may be able to recommend a particular hotel, or even tell you to stay away from one, which can be just as helpful. In the best of cases, you can even have friends that live in your destination. This can be enormously helpful for many reasons. They can show you around the town, point out places to visit and places to avoid, and generally act as a tour guide (for free!). Plus it’s nice to have a friend to enjoy your stay with.
Most relevant to this post however is that they may even offer to put you up in their guest bedroom, which can save you a fortune and get you off of the beaten tourist path. As you get older, this advantage gets better and better. On my recent trip to Spain I stayed in my friend’s beautiful guest bedroom for a few nights, and I slept on the most comfortable futon I’ve ever used. Just remember, if your friends were traveling to your home town, wouldn’t you be happy to put them up and show them around the city?
Pay Attention to Detail
The last piece of advice is to think of the little things. You’d be surprised what items a hotel may or may not include, especially when you are paying quite a bit of money. Here are a few things you should check to see if they are included:
- Internet Access (WiFi)
- Air conditioning
- Beach towels
Make sure you know what you are getting into. Maybe you can’t afford hotels that have all of these amenities, and maybe it’s not important to you if they do. The most important thing is that you don’t want to get surprised when you show up to your destination and be left without a key accommodation that you were depending on.