Choosing an accommodation is one of the most hassling activities one has to do before going off to travel. In fact, many people who don’t find accommodation will end up canceling their trip instead since not everyone can spend a night sleeping outside or bumming beds off a stranger. Some will end up going during the rainy seasons just to avoid the crowd.
However, even if there are a hundred choices available on the date of your vacation, it is still important to know how to choose an accommodation that’s right for you.
First of all, make a list of the possible hotels and accommodations. You can use the internet to make your search, referrals from friends and relatives, forums and blogs to complete your list. Get their contact numbers, list down possible websites and get tentative information about the place.
Second, don’t just rely on websites and online information. Many of the websites are not updated and you never know just when a promo is available. Always make sure to call the hotel or guesthouse to inquire about their rooms and their rates. Just by calling, you will be able to find out what kind of rooms the hotel has, how much per room, how many persons are allowed in a room and the amenities and facilities available. From calling, you already have your first list and by that alone, you can give the hotel a plus or minus based on their rate, customer services, the types of rooms they have and everything else. To ensure you remember this information, write down what the front desk agent says so you won’t forget in the future. From this step alone, you will already be crossing off many of the hotels that don’t meet your requirements. I like to chat on the phone, so if the front desk agent isn’t friendly or accommodating, then that’s a bad sign.
Third, it is also important to consider your wants and needs. Beforehand, you can make a list of your requirements – should they have unlimited coffee, WiFi in the rooms, will they allow 6 persons in one room, is there additional fees, is there are a restaurant, how close is the hotel to tourist destinations – these are just a few of the most common requirements of a regular traveler. If you’re traveling with someone, then it is important to choose an accommodation that will fit the number of people.
Fourth, can your budget handle the hotel price? Some hotels may be able to provide discounts especially during the lean season or the rainy season; others will be more strict, especially if you’re traveling with a group of people. Budget is important for many travelers, so cross out those hotels that you cannot afford or you and your friends cannot share the price.
It may be helpful to make a checklist of the requirements and the hotels you’ve shortlisted after the second step. That way, by the time you’ve ticked off hotels and accommodations, you have the short list of hotels that have actually met your requirements. I’ll also be adding a fifth step, although this is highly optional – after you’ve made your shortlist of hotels and accommodations, ask around about the hotel you’ve chosen. Is the price worth it, are they of good service, do they have good food, is their rooms clean – just a few questions to take into consideration. I’ve expected and have been disappointed in finding an accommodation, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask friends, family or travel bloggers about the hotel you’ve picked out.