“What you need to know before you sign up for a hotel reservation is what you’re going to do with the hotel room,” says Michael Litt, a hotel agent who has handled about 2,000 hotel reservations for 20 years.
“You want to have a good, clean room.
You want to avoid the type of places that have been linked to health issues.”
Here are a few tips to help you navigate the process.
First, it’s important to get a good picture of what you want.
“The key to finding a good hotel room is getting an accurate picture of the rooms capacity and amenities,” says Litt.
If you’re planning on staying for a long time, the best way to find a room that’s right for you is to get detailed information about each room and check the reviews on websites like TripAdvisor.com.
“I always recommend using TripAdvisors reviews because they provide a lot of data and tips on how to do the best hotel bookings.
But if you’re just checking out a few rooms to see if there’s something to your liking, just check out the reviews and then contact them to book,” he says.
“There are a lot more reviews out there, but it will help you find a good room for a good price.”
Second, you need a budget.
The best hotel rooms tend to be inexpensive and have a lot in common.
“For example, a $100 room might cost you around $200 to $250,” says Richard, a property management agent who specializes in hotel booking and has handled more than 4,000 reservations.
“So if you want a room in the right location, that’s what you should budget for.
I think you’ll be surprised at how much a room costs.”
Third, remember to consider how long you’re staying in the hotel.
The average stay for a three-night stay in a hotel is six to eight hours, but a stay longer than that will usually cost more, says Richard.
“Even if you don’t have a room booked for the entire time you’re there, it might be worth spending a little bit more money to be able to get your money’s worth out of it.”
Lastly, make sure you have a reservation to be put in a good position to get paid if things go wrong.
If there’s any problem, say something and the agent is ready to help, Litt says.
“You can always say you’re available if you need me, but be careful not to put yourself in a situation where you feel like you’re being bullied,” he advises.
“If you can’t be trusted, you shouldn’t be there.”
And finally, be sure to ask if you can bring along your phone.
“I always bring a wallet, a credit card, a change of clothes, and a credit/debit card with me to check in and out,” says James.
“It’s a very small cost and the extra step is just a bit of extra security for you and your loved ones.
Follow up on this story: How to Make a Hotel Booking Decision