01 February 2017
When looking for a budget hotel, you could be tempted by the amazing price and overlook important details. Don’t fall in that trap. Here are 8 things you should check before booking and avoid turning your hard earned holiday into a nightmare.
Always consider taking out a reliable travel insurance policy so your pre-paid holiday and hotel costs are protected from the day of purchase. This could avoid possible financial nightmares should anything go wrong.
Marketing companies will aim at maximising hotel bookings and one of the less scrupulous tricks they may try is implying that a hotel is close to the centre of a famous city. You may book thinking that the location is great, only to find out too late that it is actually miles away from the centre. Avoid that by checking the exact location on Google Maps to ensure that it suits you.
The hotel is great, it is in the right place and the images on the website look awesome. So is that all? No – check what other customers think and learn from their experience. Read reviews and look out for any recurring themes that may give you a heads-up to avoid it altogether.
Check the hotel’s website reviews and also any on websites like Trip Advisor and similar. You will find lots of practical information ranging from what the rooms really look like, to the quality of the food and customer service.
Now assuming your hotel really is in the centre of the city, you can assume that parking will not be cheap. Check whether the hotel has parking and the cost. It’s unlikely to be free, but it still might be cheaper than taxi’s and more convenient than public transport.
Nowadays we simply can’t seem to survive without an internet connection. You could have an unpleasant surprise when you discover the price of hotel Wi-Fi, so check before you book. Most budget hotels give you free internet access, but it may have limited speed of around 0.72 mbps. If you want better performance, you may have to pay extra, up to £15 per day.
Breakfast can be the best part of the day. Some hotels might ruin that for you by expecting you to pay too much for too little. Compare the price of breakfast in the hotel to what it could cost you at a nearby café, you may decide to give the hotel breakfast a miss. On the other hand, your chosen hotel might offer a great breakfast, which may even save you buying lunch! Check it out before you book.
Some hotels offer a loyalty programme that provides discounts and other benefits based on points. Sign up if you think it will be useful.
If you are already a member of a hotel chain loyalty programme, you may want to see who they partner with and whether there is an option near your chosen location. It may be cheaper for you in the long run.
Be aware of the hotel cancelation policy. Some booking sites allow you to cancel with as little as 24 hours’ notice for free, so check what fees apply and when, before you book. It could be worth paying extra for free cancelation if you believe there may be a reason why you may need to change or cancel your trip.
Sometimes hotel special offers include extras such as “Spa treatment” which can be tempting, but check the details. There might be restrictions on the days/times you can use it, or the treatments available.
Follow our savvy advice to avoid your cheap hotel costing you more than you think on your next trip.