Planning for your holiday can be very exciting, but also a little frustrating. This is because there is plenty of choice available to us, particularly when booking a hotel for our trip and it can become confusing as to which to choose. This post is here to help you sail through the process of booking your perfect hotel getaway with Booking.com. From booking a hotel for a much needed break near a sandy beach. To a cabin in the mountains to undertake daily hikes or simply, an overnight stop-over. Wherever your destination, this post will help you decide what you need to book on Booking.com for your holiday abroad.
11 Things to consider before booking a Hotel
Before you begin to book accommodation for your holiday abroad on Booking.com or any other accommodation booking site, consider these 11 things before booking.
Types of Hotels can vary abroad
Looking to book accommodation outside of your home country can sometimes feel intimidating, especially when different names for similar accommodation is used. Each country’s idea of a hotel may be different, but the principle behind it isn’t. That principle being, accommodation is offered in return for money.
Standard Amenities are not so standard abroad
As well as the different types and name types for hotels abroad, the standard amenities are not so standard also. Standard amenities could include, miniature shampoo and conditioner, a hairdryer, soap, towels and maybe a white dressing gown available in the bathroom. While a fridge, kettle, cups, plates and cutlery may be found. Some hotels may include all of these things, while others will just provide a room. If you are expecting these amenities to be included in your room, then expect to pay for them, or you may need to reconsider your expectations. When you visit a hotel on Booking.com you will find a list of the amenities on offer. Choose which ones will suit your needs before booking.
Bathrooms, if you have one, are different
Hotel bathrooms abroad can greatly differ from your home country. Some bathrooms I have seen have ranged from a toilet in a shower cubicle to a bathroom the size of my hotel room. But expect lots of variations with bathrooms. Some are really small with no bath tub, or have a bath tub and shower combination, or may just be a shower. Some bathrooms may have a bidet as well as a toilet and offer no toilet paper. And toilets can be different also. I mean, the shape and how the water flushes away. You may not even have a bathroom, but are required to share a bathroom with others. If a bathroom is important to you, then ensure when you are booking a hotel room, the hotel offer these with your room choice.
Free Wifi and TV are not a given
You should not expect to have free wifi and a television in your hotel room. Hotels in your home country may offer these for free as a given, but this isn’t the case in other countries. Many countries charge extra to provide you with free wifi. And that maybe for wifi that isn’t even in your hotel room, it may only be in the communal areas. If these things are important to you along with some amenities mentioned previously, when you do your research to find a hotel ensure you confirm these things are included in the cost. Most of the accommodation booking sites like Whatif, LastMinute, Travago and Booking.com, will let you know if the hotel is offering free Wifi and a tv. This is great because you can make an informed choice. Here is an example of a London hotel on Booking.com to show you the amenities on offer.
Lots of amenities being offered here.
During your holiday you will want to eat. Are you happy to go out and eat or would you like food brought to your room? Depending on the size of the hotel, they may have a coffee shop or restaurant you can visit. Perhaps you would prefer your own kitchen so you can cook healthy meals for yourself. This is quite an important thing consider when looking to book accommodation.
Timing of your visit
As well as wanting or needing amenities in your hotel consider the time of your visit. Will you be visiting during the height of summer. If so, does your hotel have air conditioning and maybe a pool where you can cool off. Or if needing a hotel room during winter, is there appropriate heating available. Hotels abroad may not have heating and cooling in each room, it may be a central system which may be turned off at night, a cost saving measure. What will you do if this is the case?
Keep your budget in mind
Hotels can range from budget to 5 star with everything else in between. You will know what your budget is for the holiday and how much you are prepared to spend. You may have a lower budget for when only needing a hotel room for a night as you may just want somewhere to sleep. But you may increase this budget if you are spending 7 days in the one place cause you will want to use all the amenities that may be on offer in your hotel room.
Location of your hotel to main attractions
As said, hotels can vary in price. This price can often be influenced by the location. I mean, location is the distance from the hotel to the centre of town, to public transport or to the attractions you are there to see and do. Yes, hotel rooms can be cheaper when they are further away from the centre of town, but the cost you save on accommodation may go on transport costs. Therefore, spending a little more on your hotel room may work out more budget friendly. So consider the location of your hotel room from what you are there to see and do. To help you with this, I have discovered that a number of the hotel booking sites offer useful maps that show accommodation and local attractions. Take the following map from Booking.com. It is a map of Sydney showing the popular tourist ‘must sees’ along wth the accommodation nearby and the cost. These are great for helping you find a hotel for your holiday abroad.
Pay attention to Star Ratings
Star ratings can work greatly to your advantage. Star ratings have been introduced because the hotel has attained certain standards. Typically, a hotel’s amenities can determine its star rating as do staff experiences. Though I suggest you pay attention to star ratings of hotels, take it with a grain of salt as the star ratings aren’t all standard between countries. But having a star rating, no matter where you are looking to book your hotel room for you holiday abroad will provide you with confidence of the quality of your hotel. A 5-star hotel rating will provide many more amenities than a 3-star hotel rating.
Consider room size
Hotel room sizes can vary greatly from country to country. The size of your room may matter, but is usually dependent on how long you will be staying in your room. If it is for a one night stay, it may not matter if the room is small however, if you are staying for a week, you will probably want a large room as you will be spending more time there.
Location of your hotel room
Lastly, number 11 on my list of 11 things to consider when booking a hotel room for your holiday abroad is where in the hotel your hotel room might be. Like most, you may overpack for your holiday abroad and if you do, I hope you can easily reach your room. Not all hotels have a ‘bell boy’ or someone to help carry your bags to your room. If this is the case, I hope there are elevators or not too many stairs and hallways to navigate.
Book a room with a view
I hope this post has helped you decide on what you want from your hotel room. There is a lot to consider when choosing accommodation however, when you know what things are important to your hotel room stay, the choice becomes a lot easier to make. And Booking.com and other accommodation sites are great to use to help you choose the best hotel room possible. I’d love to hear about any other things you consider when choosing your hotel room abroad in the comments following.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. She loves travelling to different countries to immerse herself in the culture and in particular, enjoy the food. She currently calls Melbourne, Australia home.