Tips for Booking a Hotel

When you are planning a trip, you may have reserved a room and plunked down a credit card to hold your space. But there is a lot more to hotel room planning than just having a place to spend the night. Hotels now offer a variety of amenities to attract customers and you can find amazing deals on room rates and activities if you know what to look for. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are booking a hotel room.

An upscale hotel room in the Renaissance Hotel...

An upscale hotel room in the Renaissance Hotels chain in the downtown Columbus, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finding a Hotel

You can use a travel site like Expedia or Kayak but don’t book your room right away especially if you have a little time before your trip. Use these sites to compare pricing but then contact the hotel directly to see if they can offer you a better incentive. Some hotels now offer free nights or upgrades and it never hurts to ask. When you book a hotel through a site like Expedia, you may pay more for a reservation that you can change. But if you are locked in to a date for your trip, go for the more inexpensive package and reserve your room without the option of changing or cancelling.

Hotel Amenities

Hotels now offer much more than clean towels and free coffee. Make sure the hotel you are staying at has free WIFI if you are going to be doing any work in the evenings. You would hate to get a cheap rate and end up paying $10 a day for Internet. Some hotels have fitness centers in the facility but if not, some of them are linked up with area gyms that you can visit for free if you stay at the hotel. Before you book, call the hotel and ask so you can get your workout in for free while you are on vacation.

Some hotels have spa services like facials, massages, manicures and more. Usually these are additional costs but some packages include a free spa service for clientele. Ask at the desk or before you book your reservation so you do not miss out on a complimentary service.

If breakfast is included in the price of the room, take it. Even if the breakfast space is crowded, it is still worth your while if you are traveling with your family. Load up your plates and take your food up to your room to eat. There is no sense in paying for a meal when you don’t have to.

Some hotels also offer little extras like cookies to guests or free coffee, tea, hot chocolate and fruit during certain times of the day. Some have a little happy hour with complimentary hors d’oeuvres for guests. Inquire at the desk as to what types of amenities you can get by being a guest there.


Inquire at your hotel about classes or activities that might be provided through your hotel. Some hotels will offer bike rentals or yoga classes to guests. While you may have to pay a fee, it might be cheaper than doing these types of things on your own.

The Author is always looking for a good deal in hotels by San Diego Zoo.

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