If I could list all of the hotel horror stories I’ve encountered this blog post would turn into a book. I would have to say myself and my two boys have an addiction to hotels, good hotels that is. We travel to a few places frequently and have become quite familiar with a lot of the common things to look for in most hotel chains. However, now as a frequent traveler there are more options when it comes to accommodations.
1. My first tip is a pretty known thing for frequent flyers and travelers but for those who haven't heard. If your looking to stay at a resort in a high tourist area try to plan your trip during the weekdays for better pricing, the more in advance the better. Especially once the kiddies first get out of school for spring/summer vacation.
2. I went to Puerto Rico for a wedding and our first few days we stayed on a resort that had a private beach. It was very nice and I didn't have any complaints. However, we decided our last two nights of our week vacation we wanted to stay downtown closer to the city and nightlife. We booked a room at a 4 star hotel chain and when we arrive we find that they are having major construction that was not noted on the hotel website. The manager was contacted and we were placed in a higher room away from the construction noise and points on my members card towards upgrades and/or free future stays.
3. Booking.com is a great and inexpensive way to find hotels and usually don’t make you pay upfront.
4. Check the hotel reviews!! TripAdvisor is my favorite because you get current reviews along with pictures from guest and not the hotel. I've come across quite a few reviews where people have experienced mold in rooms or the rooms didn't look as good as the images on the hotel website. This is also a great way to find out exactly what's around the hotel because the site also suggest activities based on the location.
5. Make sure you inform the front desk or maid service that you would like ALL BEDDING changed. Some hotels only change certain parts of the bed or none at all if you don’t request, this includes major chains. I like to use what some call the pen mark method I use a pen that has washable ink and mark the pillowcase, fitted, and flat sheet nothing big or damaging to ensure they are changed.
6. Join rewards programs by being a member. This comes with discounts and the ability to earn points for your stay. Points can be used for free stays in the future or upgrades.
7. If you’re staying at a hotel for more than a week call the hotel ahead of time to negotiate a good rate. Hotels are sometimes willing to give you a better rate over the phone due to the length of time it helps keep the rooms filled. If you're a member its also a great way to get an upgrade in the process.
8. Looking for peace and quite? It’s ok to request a higher floor or a room that isn’t below or beside children. Also, make sure before you confirm your hotel room if you’re a light sleeper that your room isn’t close to a courtyard or an area where a reception would be.
9. Carry some disinfectant wipes to wipe down commonly used items such as the phone, door handles, remotes, sink handles and toilet handle. You don’t want to go on vacation and come back with a cold…
10. Storytime…I went out of town last minute to a city where an event was going on and hotels were booked, I decided to try Airbnb for the first time. I rented a nice condo not far from everything going on in the city. My stay was confirmed money paid via the site great and easy process. I talked with the host and she confirmed my private rental. Well, a couple hours before my arrival time I get a message with her stating something came up with the place and it’s now unavailable. She told me I would need to cancel it and then I can book another Airbnb…well how convenient. I figured being the hotel guru that I am there has to be a cancellation fee or penalty that would apply to me if I cancelled and I was right! I called Airbnb and explained what happened they were able to see the messages between myself and the host and cancelled on her so the penalty would not be on my end. They were also very accommodating in rectifying the situation by upgrading my per night amount complimentary so I could secure another and I must say BETTER place to stay. When in doubt contact customer service and when it applies to hotels contact the Manager.
I’ll be vlogging this summer on my annual vacation spots I’ll let you in on some of the best places to stay! Stay tuned and don’t forget to follow me on all social media!