03 Oct 2023 - 8 min read
In this modern era, travelers are a lot more flight-savvy than before. Thanks to the budget airlines we have today, many of us can finally afford comfortable and convenient journeys at affordable prices
Hotel Booking Tips - You might always browse for the best holiday destinations, itineraries, recommended foods, and more. But, have you ever thought that learning about the hotel booking tips will make your holiday even more enjoyable?
Choosing the right hotel for our trips is not always easy. There are many things to consider, and our decisions tend to be based on factors like travel budget, style, needs, location and more.
And just when we thought we had booked the perfect hotel that suits our criteria, we realized that it was not even close to our expectations — and we wished we had done better research!
I understand how that feels too, which is why I’ve created a list of top 15 things to consider when booking a hotel. Hopefully, it will help travelers like you when you’re picking the best hotel the next time you travel.
In the past, I had stayed in a badly located hotel where it was almost impossible to walk (peacefully) to anywhere. I had also stayed in a hotel which was far from the city center. I ended up spending so much time just on my daily commute. These experiences taught me to always check the exact location of the hotel of my choice.
Although most hotel booking sites have very brief descriptions about the location of their hotels, many of them provide an online map for the convenience of all customers.
When I booked my hotels in Jakarta through Traveloka recently, I checked their exact location first before placing any booking. That way I can spend less money on transportation and less time on the road.
I’ll always consider booking hotels that offer free breakfast. I’d pay for convenience. This can also help me save on breakfast elsewhere.
Some hotels allow you to exclude your breakfast for a cheaper room rate. But if the room with free breakfast is slightly cheaper than the one without, why not pick the one that feeds your empty stomach in the morning for a dollar more? After all, you might spend a lot more when you have your breakfast in a café outside of your hotel.
Although I don’t always trust everything I read on the Internet, I still find myself browsing through sites like travel blogs for hotel reviews — just to read what others have to say about the hotel they had stayed in. It can be easier but also harder now with so many reviews spreading on social media, right?
The reviews are always helpful albeit not always accurate. There will always be a few discontented travelers who leave angry reviews just because they’re being difficult and fussy. They can make a hotel (whose quality isn’t that bad) look like the worst place on earth. I mean...how can you expect a 2-star hotel to serve like a 4-star hotel?
But it’s sites like these where travelers like me can find useful resources like information on bike rentals, tours and so on. I can even start a chat thread and ask others about a particular hotel I wish to know more about. Getting answers to your questions is a lot easier now compared to before.
Trust me, it can be a problem when you don’t realize a hotel doesn’t provide toothpaste. There was also another incident where I had to do my work in bed as the hotel room didn’t have a table! These shortcomings were not mentioned on the booking sites.
Which is why it’s always good to contact the hotel in advance just to know what to expect. Don’t be shy to ask about breakfast, toiletries, facilities and services. Do this and you’ll get fewer surprises.
At Traveloka, you can filter hotels by their star ratings, prices, popularity and facilities, making it easier for users to compare hotels.
This is very important for most people. As for me, it’s not usually a concern because I always travel alone. But when I travel with friends and family, it’s definitely something to consider.
If you’re traveling with kids, always check the hotels’ family-friendly policies. There are also many special deals for families to enjoy these days. If you see any, don’t let them slip away!
Families traveling together usually avoid staying in budget hotels. That’s because they always want the best for their family holidays. Who doesn’t?
Fortunately, Traveloka has great deals for families. If you’re subscribed to their newsletter, you can enjoy amazing discounts using their hotel coupons.
I’ve noticed many guests complaining about room sizes on review sites. Well, size isn’t the most important to me when choosing a hotel, but it does make a difference to your travel experience. Whether it’s a budget or a 4-star hotel, the size of a hotel room needs to be considered.
A hotel is supposed to be comfortable too. If it’s not even comfortable, it shouldn’t be considered as a hotel! Always prioritize what’s important to you, and don’t compromise on them.
Different people have different preferences. When I checked into a hotel in Jakarta, the receptionist asked me if I would like to have a smoking room. I said I didn’t want it because I’m not a smoker. In another hotel, I was told to not smoke in the room as all the rooms available were non-smoking ones.
I don’t need a smoker-friendly room. But I always try to get a non-smoking room as I worry I might have to tolerate the stench of someone else’s smoke.
Some travelers have special hotel needs. For example, if you’re traveling with a pet, you will need to get a pet-friendly hotel. Or if you’re someone with a physical disability, you will need a hotel that provides a lift or an elevated toilet seat. Safety is always key when traveling, so look out for facilities you require when checking out a hotel.
The good thing is, you can find many hotels that offer such facilities, even for company events and conferences.
I love discounts. And I’m sure you do too! When booking a hotel, I’ll always look out for the most savings. Sometimes I stay in a hotel just to enjoy the discounts it offers.
Loyalty cards are also great to have when traveling. Once, in order to get a free night for my next trip (in any hotel), I was required to stay in one of the hotels offered by the booking site (of which I got my loyalty card from). I never got the free night though. That’s because the site didn’t have many hotel choices that actually suited my budget. I’m not saying that it wasn’t worth trying.
But I love using hotel coupons. Limitations when using them still exist though. But my experience with Traveloka coupons so far have been good and beneficial. I was able to enjoy wonderful hotel discounts all the time.
I think learning about payment policies in a hotel is mandatory, but people usually forget about this. Knowing the accepted payment methods (credit cards, cash, online payment platforms) is essential for planning your payment strategy, whether you book it directly or through a great app like Traveloka.
Understanding the payment policies upfront helps you budget for your trip more effectively. It ensures that you're aware of any deposit requirements or additional charges, such as resort fees or taxes.
Never deny that things happen, life changes, and things can get so unpredictable. Hence, you should always learn about the cancellation policy of a hotel. You can check it on the Traveloka app easily, whether your chosen hotel has a cancellation policy or not, because there’s a lot of hotels that don’t have the option too.
A clear cancellation policy allows you to assess the cost and feasibility of canceling or modifying your reservation if necessary. You don’t have to learn the hard way that understanding the terms and deadlines for cancellations helps you avoid unnecessary charges or fees.
I say you should go for the ones with the clear cancellation policy we talked about, just in case you change your mind. But, if you are already sure (and budget is not your concern), then you do you.
Don’t you ever forget that you have to check for the check in and check out time of your chosen hotel, because it will affect your itinerary. You might have to book a flight that arrives close to the check in time. Arriving too early or late can disrupt your plan, don’t you agree? Also, nobody likes waiting too long for a check-in time, unless the hotel provides the luggage storage facility (we’ll get there later).
Keep in mind that some hotels may charge extra for early check-in or late check-out, so it's good to be aware of these possibilities, especially if you are very aware of your holiday budgeting.
I love hotels that offer a variety of leisure activities or packages. It makes it easier to decide whether I want to stay there or not. A hotel with plenty of activities or packages is like a guarantee that our days spent there won’t be boring at all.
You can suit it to your own intentions. Some hotels will have spectacular activities for children, hence it will be suitable for your family stay. Some hotels offer some guided tours as well. I was staying at a hotel in Bali and they offer guided hiking to a mountain nearby. It sounds really fun, isn’t it?
Plus, I think it’s a win-win solution for people that are saving on the budget. For example, if you’re planning for a honeymoon, you can search for a hotel with a honeymoon package. It’s an extra saving movement for your wallet, since the honeymoon package usually includes a romantic dining, couple spa treatment, and more.
So, starting today, I think you should learn more about the leisure activities or packages that the hotel provides.
I think this one is very important too, as some people will come to their destination earlier than the hotel’s check-in time. If the hotel offers the luggage storage facility, we can easily put all of our luggages in the luggage storage and explore your holiday destination without having to worry about the safety of your luggage. I’m sure you don’t want to get your hands full while strolling around in the city, right?
People often forget about parking costs, even when they bring their own car for the trip. For me, parking costs are a part of budget planning, and I will gladly choose a hotel with complimentary parking. Of course, you can easily browse for this category too on Traveloka.
While some hotels will offer you free parking, some might also charge you the daily rates. If it’s not a problem for you, then go for it! Also, making sure of the availability and the position of the parking area is important too. Is it on-site or off-site parking? You can pick whatever makes you feel comfortable leaving your car in.
Do you agree with these 15 hotel booking tips? At the end of the day, it’s all about understanding what you want from your holiday. Balancing your needs and expectations first will help you determine the best hotel stay for you.
We hope that with these hotel booking tips, you’ll find the best hotel for your next holiday. Let Traveloka be your companion for hotel booking (and flight, and tickets to attractions too). You are just one click away from a perfect getaway!