Choosing a right accommodation takes a hell lot of time when you are planning a trip. Lucky are those who can just walk-in and stay at the cheapest available places (Hotels, motels, B&B or Hostels). However, there are people who are not as lucky and need to consider many factors before making a choice. They may be tight on budget but still wouldn’t care spending few extra bucks for a safe and comfortable stay and more importantly they want to make sure that they get a good value for their money. So how do we strike a balance? How do we get a hotel that is safe, comfortable, at a location of our choice and most importantly within our budget.
Here is the strategy that I use to identify the best accommodation for us (My wife and me):
1. Define your Travel Objective – It doesn’t have to be a formal or written objective, like in the corporate world, however, just ask yourself – what is expected at a particular destination and what kind of trip would you want it to be.
For e.g. I usually have one out of the following two objectives:
Objective 1: I am traveling to explore and I am not expecting any luxury or much leisure time. I want to spend more time outside than inside a hotel.
Immediately, it becomes clear that even a B&B which holds good reputation would make a good choice for me. A good reputation is important as I travel with my wife and like to stay in a safe place. For many other reasons also, it is important to stay in a place that holds good reputation, than the one that has modern or majestic feel. The places do not get good ratings or reputation by being inhospitable or non-customer centric. The good ratings are a result of continuous good work and it reflects the kind of attention the hotel has been paying on every single thing which is important from the point of view of a customer.
Objective 2: I am traveling to this place to enjoy sea beaches (or tea plantations) and I think that there isn’t much to explore in the city I am going to or I am going for a romantic holiday and just want to hang out at some cool beaches.
It isn’t difficult to conclude that a comfortable hotel, with good ambience and food will play an important role here. Digging deeper, if we want to explore sea beaches then what better way could be there then staying at an awesome seaside accommodation. Okay, if that’s too off my budget, let us settle for something that’s not exactly at the beach but not that far too. Simple, isn’t it?
2. Use Tripadvisor or AirBnB
Once you have decided what kind of hotel you are looking for, just search tripadvisor or airbnb for options that best fit your requirements. I usually prefer tripadvisor. To begin with, I sort the accommodaitons according to their ranking first, glance at the the list to get an idea of the price ranges and the types of accommodation available at that location. Once I have a fair idea, I sort the hotels according to price, from lowest tarrif to the highest and select the once that have higher ranks and are coming for lower prices.
For specifc requirements I just put filters like property near sea, or with a pool, etc. I am sure different people use different techniques to get an accommodation of their choice.
Do share what are the methods that you choose for selecting a right accommodation.