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Top 10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Hotel

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When you go to plan a vacation or trip, one important detail you need to decide upon is where you will be staying. Of course, price is typically the main determining factor, as the hotel rate is going to have to fit into your budget. Yet when selecting a hotel, this isn’t the only issue you need to look at. Here’s a list of the top 10 things to consider when choosing a hotel.

  1. Location: This has a lot to do with why you're traveling. If it's for business, for instance, you’re going to want to be located in a convenient area, whereas if you’re planning to sightsee, a hotel that’s centrally located is probably your best bet. And if you just need to relax or get away from it all, you might want to look for something a little more remote or located in a scenic area.
  2. Parking: If you’re arriving by car at your hotel, you’re going to need a place to park. Things to consider here are if the hotel offers parking, how much it charges for that parking, and how secure the parking lot is.
  3. Extra fees: When choosing a hotel, you need to decide what amenities you’re going to need and find out whether they’re included in the rate. For instance, if you need access to Internet, then you may want to look for a hotel that offers complementary Wi-Fi.
  4. Number of stars: The star rating is the most common way by which hotels are categorized. Essentially, the more stars, the better the quality of the facility is. This is a good way to compare hotels and also to determine whether you are looking at something that’s more economical or more luxurious.
  5. Onsite facilities: Depending on what you’re looking for in a hotel, you definitely want to check into what’s located onsite. You may want a pool or a restaurant, or you may be looking for other offerings, such as a spa or a golf course.
  6. Complimentary breakfast: This can make a real difference in your budget and should be factored into the overall rate of the hotel. After all, buying breakfast for a family of four over a week’s time can really add up. If the hotel doesn’t offer this amenity, then see if you can request a refrigerator and microwave in the room, so you can make your own breakfast there.
  7. Family-friendliness: If you’re going to be traveling with small children, you want to be sure you choose a hotel that will accommodate them. Be sure to research basics, such as optional cribs, a pool or recreation area, and refrigerators in the room. Also look and see what extras each particular hotel has to offer families, such as discounted kids’ meals, onsite babysitting, and other perks.
  8. Pet-friendliness: Likewise, if you’re bringing the family dog, you want to be careful when choosing your hotel. Of course, the facility needs to accept dogs, but you should also look into whether there are any extra cleaning fees, if they provide a dog run, and if there’s a place to walk the dog nearby.
  9. Reliability versus local flavor: This is one of the bigger decisions you have to make when choosing a hotel. You may prefer to stay in bigger chain hotels, where you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Or you might be a more adventuresome type, who wants to stay in a family-owned hotel or a bed-and-breakfast in order to experience more of the local flavor.
  10. Reviews: Finally, when choosing a hotel, always consult the online reviews. There are websites that are solely dedicated to this purpose, and you can read recent experiences of real customers in order to get a feel for what you can expect.

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