I do love traveling, as you can imagine. I even love all the hassle involved: from booking the hotels to planning all the days in detail to packing. So I thought I will share some of my tips of how to prepare for a perfect trip.
After buying the tickets to the destination, the next thing to do would be to book a hotel. There are three main places I usually check out:
1) If you have bought the tickets well in advance and would like to spend a special holiday and stay somewhere special, I would recommend to check out www.onefinestay.com
They offer home accommodation with a hotel service. The photos of the properties are amazing, so I often find myself daydreaming of living in these spaces, when surfing for a place to stay from their website. The prices tend to be a bit more expensive than medium budget hotels but compare well with higher class hotels. And boy you get what you pay for: you can stay in these luxurious, cosy and unique homes that you would otherwise only dream about when walking by and wondering how these would look like from the inside. It is also very convenient if you are traveling with bigger group. A less fancy version of this is: www.airbnb.com, where you can also stay in someone else’s house, usually in a spare room or something.
2) www.booking.com This is the website where I have booked almost all my stays. It is very convenient to use: browse through different hotels according to popularity, price, customer feedback or look at the hotels from the map. You can also read customer feedback and see what they liked most and least about the hotel. The prices are always competitive plus they have a special deal every day (I have seen some pretty good deals in there). When comparing different hotels the general user rating usually gives a good idea of the general standards (try to avoid everything less than 6 and 7). And I usually look separately at the location rating as well. Some other places to look are: www.lastminute.com
3) As it has happened with me and will most probably happen to you too some day: you will need to book a hotel last minute for the very same day. Either the flight has been cancelled or you are just going with the flow or traveling by car.
Since now I have used booking.com for that as well, but lately a new start-up company launched a mobile app called “JustBook” which is meant precisely for these kinds of occasions. The app is very easy to use: you can book a hotel within minutes. You can choose from 3 best deals in the city chosen, all of which are centrally located and have received good ratings from travelers. There are not many cities available yet, but it can be used for most of the main cities in Germany and some other European cities as well. A popular website offering the same kind of deals and covering most of the world is www.laterooms.com
When looking at hotels I look at two things: price and location.
Everybody has their own budget, so firstly identify the hotels in the budget range and choose the one with the best location. The best location is a relative thing, depending on the purpose of the trip. But the more central the location the better usually.
Be careful with the surrounding areas of the bigger train station (while the location and price might seem attractive, it can be rather dirty and bad neighborhood). Staying close to bus stops and tube stations on the other hand is always convenient.
In bigger cities I would recommend to do a little research and read about different neighborhoods to see what would suit your taste the best. (Also bare in mind to check if they have free wifi).
Some of my preferences in the cities I have been to:
In London I would recommend to stay near West End, Covent Garden or Piccadilly/Oxford Circus. This way most of the places are very close by even on foot.
In Lisbon stay somewhere near the Rossio train station and a hotel with a pool would be just perfect for a relaxing city break.
In Tallinn near Old Town and/or Viru center would be the best place to stay, but it is also probably more expensive.
In Barcelona we stayed in a hotel just by Placa de Catalunya and were rather pleased with the location.
Hope it has been useful 🙂 What are your tips when choosing a hotel?
(Photos are taken from Pintrest)