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10 Things You Have To Know Before Booking A Hotel

I can’t think of many things that makes me as happy as going on a vacation.

Whether it's a short vacation in Europe, a indulging trip to exotic islands or even vacation in our small country, Israel – vacation is the ultimate pleasure for many of us.

Vacations allow us to forget all of our daily commitments and errands and provide us endless experiences and inspirations that leave their mark and fill up our batteries.

Over the years it’s becoming easier to do all of the preliminary preparations for vacations straight from our laptops or even from our smartphones, lowering our dependence on travel agents and in some cases completely eliminating contact with them.
There’s nothing simpler than booking a hotel online – hundreds of websites and applications reveal all the information possible regarding a very wide variety of hotels around the world – photos of the hotels, aerial photographs, information about the attractions in the area and reviews of guests who stayed at the hotel, and they also offer us the possibility to make reservations – even booking and arriving at the hotel on the same day.

So how does it happen that we sometimes order hotels that seem gorgeous online, and end up getting a hotel from hell in reality?

And how can you find the hotel that meets all your criteria at the best price?

Here’s a list of tips you need to know in order to book the perfect hotel –

Cut and save 😉

things you have to know before booking a hotel

The first thing people usually do when booking a hotel online is look at pictures on the hotel’s website or on websites like BOOKING.COM.

The most important rule when you look at pictures of the hotel is to pay attention to the pictures of the hotel itself – many hotels show a lot of pictures of the surrounding area of the hotel and nearby attractions, and fewer pictures of the rooms, the breakfast served and the hotel’s facilities.

So, yes, photos showing the hotel's surroundings are also nice and can provide some information regarding the area, but the focus has to be on the rooms and their maintenance.

You can often see that exactly the same images appear at different hotels located in the same area since they weren’t taken by the hotel itself, so they don’t reveal anything the hotel really offers their guests.

Another trick hotels use, especially those that offer tiny rooms, is taking pictures of the rooms with a fisheye camera lens, which makes the room look much larger than it is in reality. Therefore, it’s very important to check the details of the room to understand the actual size of the room.

Once you find a hotel you love, you should check it on a few different websites {sometimes there are sites that display a lot more images than others} and check out the photos on TRIPADVISOR since they also show photographs taken by hotel guests, so they’re much more realistic and not edited and professional like the pictures the hotels upload.

things you have to know before booking a hotel

Hotels offer a variety of room types according to different budgets – from standard rooms to presidential suites.

When booking a room, pay attention to the relevant room to the pricing on the site {they usually present the cheapest price for the standard room} – what the room’s size is, where the windows face {if there are windows} and how the bathroom looks.

Usually the rate increases with a better view {rooms with sea views are more expensive than rooms facing the pool}.
Please note that the sites often show the exact same images for the different types of rooms, in which case the pretty pictures are mostly likely of the better room – take it into consideration and check other sites, too.

things you have to know before booking a hotel

One of the best and most important tools you should use before booking a hotel is Google Maps.

Google Maps can help you navigate through a place you’ve never been to and ensure your hotel is in the center.

All you need to do is go to their website, type in the exact street name of the hotel and press Enter.

Now, you’ll have two very useful options :

  • Street View Photosphere – Clicking this option will allow you to “travel” almost anywhere in the world using photos taken in 360 degrees. For example, you can see which neighborhood the hotel is located in, if there are restaurants, entertainment venues, stores and train stations nearby.
  •  Directions – Clicking on this option will open a new window where you can put any additional location – an attraction, a restaurant, a museum, etc., and see how far your hotel is from that destination with different transportation methods {walking, driving by car, buses, trains and more}. 

10 דברים שחייבים לדעת לפני שמזמינים מלון || 10 things you have to know before booking an hotel room for your next vacation - travel guid tips

things you have to know before booking a hotel

Ok, so you found a hotel that looks great and is also located in the hottest place in town, and surprisingly, the price is also excellent – even too good to be true.

Wait just a minute before you get excited and charge your credit card! Did you read the fine print?

Many people skip this step and fall for things that hotels try to hide before booking it.

First of all, check the cancellation policy – will you be charged an extra fee in case of cancellation? And if so, how much time in advance can you cancel at no extra cost?

What about breakfast – is it included in price of the room, or do you need to add extra money for it?

Are taxes included? Many cities collect additional taxes that aren’t included in the room’s rate, and they tell you only when you checkout. Please note that in Israel, for example, the cost of the hotel rooms on sites like BOOKING.COM or HOTELS.COM don’t include VAT.

things you have to know before booking a hotel

Familiar with all the annoying pop-up ads and banners that take over your screen when you enter hotel websites? Most of us tend to intuitively close them and continue to searching the hotel’s website, but if you’re planning on going on vacation soon then you should definitely enter your email address and wait for special offers these webs offer.

Many times the supplier {for example BOOKING.COM} buys a large quantity of rooms in certain hotels and “get stuck” with many rooms left empty, and then there’s a situation in which prices of rooms, even in hotels that are considered excellent, go down drastically – and the first to know are the people signed up to get notifications from the site.
This is also relevant for the hotels’ actual websites, too – when the hotel predicts that it won’t be fully booked, they offer special deals via e-mail to attract potential customers.

things you have to know before booking a hotel

Every hotel presents information formally written by them describing the facilities and the experience the hotel provides guests, but many times there’s a huge gap between what’s written and the reality.

Therefore, you should read people’s reviews after staying at the hotel on various sites and figure out exactly what the advantages and disadvantages are from a real perspective.

Websites that provide these kind of reviews are BOOKING, HOTELS, TRIPADVISOR and others, and can be filtered by the kind of the trip {a romantic trip, a family trip, a work trip, etc.}. You can also find more reviews by typing a hotel name in Google and adding the word ‘review’.
People tend to write exactly what makes you curious – the level of cleanliness, the quality of the food, the service and surroundings, so it’s more likely to have a good experience if you just make sure to check out these reviews.

things you have to know before booking a hotel

HOTELS.COM offers an amazing service called “price watch” that allows sending alerts about a price change for a hotel you liked.

This is an excellent option for people who book their vacation a long time in advance, and can wait for the right moment when the price is best for them to book the hotel.

10 דברים שחייבים לדעת לפני שמזמינים מלון || 10 things you have to know before booking an hotel room for your next vacation - travel guid tips

things you have to know before booking a hotel

Many times the hotel’s website, as opposed to different suppliers’ websites, offers exclusive packages at substantial discounts if they’re booked through the website before arriving there.

For example, you can get cheaper spa packages, half-board, shuttle service to and from the hotel {often given for free} and even more things the hotel prefers to set prior your arrival for your vacation.

10 דברים שחייבים לדעת לפני שמזמינים מלון || 10 things you have to know before booking an hotel room for your next vacation - travel guid tips

things you have to know before booking a hotel

Bummed out about cramming in a small room during your vacation, but you don’t want to exceed your budget? Don’t forget to check what less exclusive hotels offer – it might be worthwhile to upgrade to a bigger room in a hotel that’s a bit cheaper.
Upgraded rooms are usually significantly better than standard rooms, so even if the hotel is cheaper it doesn’t necessarily mean that you'll get a room that won’t stand up to your expectations. Pay attention to the size of the upgraded room, what it offers and whether it is renovated {since hotels tend to upgrade the more expensive rooms first}.

things you have to know before booking a hotel

When booking a hotel through a supplier, the hotel usually pays a higher commission that’s included in the hotel’s room price through the supplier.

It’s true that sometimes the providers offer very attractive prices for hotel rooms since they buy a bulk of rooms and sometimes get “stuck” with a lot of rooms. However, you should always check the price offered directly through the hotel before booking it, since sometimes they offer the best prices and offer upgrades to make you book it directly from the hotel.

If you enjoyed this travel guide, share it with your friends

If you have additional tips for booking hotels, share them in the comments below!

Are you going to book an hotel? You should definitely check out these 10 tips & tricks to make sure that you won't get an hotel from hell. Click through to see the full guide on hedonistit.com

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4 Responses

  1. I wanted to treat my crew this summer by taking them somewhere for a teambuilding activity. We needed to look for a lodging facility that will meet our budget because there are 14 of them, and it can be quite pricey to book a hotel. I like that you suggested booking in the hotel’s actual website since they might be offering bigger discounts or savings than third-party sites. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Hey! this is a nice post, it’s a very important point for every person for booking a hotel. I would follow this point before booking a Hotel.
    Thanks a lot for sharing a helpful post!


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