Traveling and Hotels – Choosing a Hotel on a Budget

Traveling and hotels are a huge industry. 1 in 9 American jobs depend on travel and tourism, which generates $2.3 trillion in economic output annually. Traveling can be a wonderful way to see new places and experience different cultures. However, if you are not careful, it can also be expensive. There are many things to keep in mind when choosing a hotel, especially when traveling on a budget.

The first thing to consider is what’s important to you. Are you looking for luxury, or is comfort and convenience more important? Are you concerned about the location or do you want to be close to the action? Once you know what’s important, it will be easier to find a hotel that meets your needs.

A great place to start when looking for a hotel is by using a website that lists the available options in the area you’re visiting. You can filter by amenities, price range and star rating to narrow down your choices. Once you have a short list, look at pictures of the rooms to make sure they match your expectations.

It’s also important to check out the reviews of the hotel you are considering. But beware of the “most relevant” reviews being shown at the top of the page. These are often skewed, and may be a couple of years old. So it’s best to read the older ones to get a more accurate picture of what to expect.

Another consideration is whether you are going to stay at a chain hotel or a more independent option. Many people like to stick with a certain hotel brand for loyalty points, or because they have an image in their mind of what they’re expecting (for example, Best Western). But others prefer to book more independent hotels, which can often offer better rates.

A big mistake many travelers make is not continuing to look for lower rates after they’ve booked their stay. If you see a lower rate for the same dates on another website, don’t be afraid to call and ask the hotel to match it. They would rather give you the lower rate than lose your business!

One other tip when booking a hotel is to pay attention to hidden fees. For instance, some high-end hotels charge a resort fee or amenity fee on top of the room rate. Those extra fees add up quickly and are not always worth it. Luckily, more hotels are implementing female friendly programs that provide free feminine products, hairspray, deodorant, hair straighteners and curling irons, tea kettles, yoga mats and more to help women feel comfortable in their accommodations.

While it’s tempting to cut costs by choosing a less expensive hotel, the peace of mind you will receive from having secure in-room safes, free WiFi and 24-hour front desk staff is well worth the extra expense. After all, isn’t that what makes traveling so exciting? Besides, you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying the amazing things your destination has to offer.