When you’re going away, one of the most important aspects of your trip is finding somewhere to stay that fits with what you want from your adventure – as well as something that suits your budget. It’s never been easier to research and arrange your holiday online, particularly using sites that allow you to compare hotel prices and find the perfect place to lay your head down. But when you’re looking for the hottest holiday accommodation, what factors should you consider?
Location, location, location
The location of your hotel is a really important thing to consider. Do you want to be in a town/city centre, close to the action; or somewhere more secluded and quiet? It’s also worth thinking about getting to the hotel itself – the distance from the nearest airport/train station may mean you need to factor in transfers and/or taxi fare into your budget, as well as trips into town and to local attractions if your hotel is a bit further out.
Depending on the type of break you’re looking for, many hotels will have pretty similar amenities on offer. If it’s a relaxing ‘fun in the sun’ holiday, there’ll obviously be a pool, while hostels and guesthouses will have more basic facilities. Think about whether you’ll want to use in-hotel facilities, or whether you’re just looking for a base to throw your bags in while you go exploring. Also, make sure you know what’s included in the basic hotel cost and what’s extra – for example, a lot of hotels advertise their spa facilities online but actually charge extra for use of them. If it’s something you want to do and it isn’t included, it’s something else to factor in when budgeting.
Eating and drinking
If you’re anything like me, food and drink is a majorly important part of any holiday! For the Salou part of my recent Spanish adventure, we decided to go all-inclusive and it was most definitely worth it. As our hotel was a little further out of Salou, we knew we’d probably be eating and drinking at the hotel a lot – plus, it meant we could spend away on the Barcelona part of our trip without having to worry too much about the rest of the week. However, if you’re set on trying out local restaurants and going out on the town lots, it’s worth looking at your budget and seeing if half board or bed and breakfast options are more suited to your trip.
Read (some) reviews and ask for recommendations
Usually, the quality of a hotel is rated by the amount of stars it has – but these aren’t always the best thing to go by as they can differ from country to country and there can be a lot of variance even in the span of a star. When we were looking at places to stay, we read plenty of reviews online first. Although there’ll always be those who complain about the tiniest things that you can take with a pinch of salt, the majority of online reviews are pretty useful for getting a feel of the general response to a place. Visitor uploaded images are also a great way of getting a ‘real’ look at the place, beyond the glossy marketing shots put out by the hotel itself. As well as this, if you know people who have travelled to your destination before, ask them where they stayed and what they thought.
What do you look for when you’re planning your holiday?