Choosing the right hotel is essential to ensuring a good night's rest and a productive trip. A travel agent can help you find the most affordable and reputable lodging options; if you prefer to handle your travel plans yourself, there's a plethora of useful travel websites out there--expedia.com, orbitz.com, kayak.com, etc.--designed to find you the cheapest rates. If you're flexible with your travel days, you'll have a better chance of finding a cheap room--some hotels are cheaper on the weekends or at certain times of the year. |
Make sure you look up online reviews to ensure that the hotel is clean, accommodating, and bedbug-free (bedbugregistry.com allows travelers to report sightings). You can book your room online, over the phone, or through a travel agent. Confirm that the quoted price is correct, and make sure you're clear on the details, such as whether the room is smoking or non-smoking and what the check-in and check-out times are. If you pay in advance, be sure to retain a copy of your receipt along with all your other hotel-related documentation. You'll also want to print out a copy of your itinerary and give it to a friend in case of an emergency. Bring the proof of your reservation along with you to show to the concierge at check-in. Most hotels now have a digital reservation system that minimizes lost information, but it's always good to have the evidence with you just in case.
There's always a chance that your flight could be delayed or you could be caught in traffic, so you should find out how long the hotel will hold your hotel reservation. Most hotels will keep your room reserved until 6 p.m., but you can often guarantee the reservation by supplying the hotel with a credit card number. If you do this, you may be allowed to arrive as late as midnight. If you do encounter unanticipated delays, you should always call the hotel to let them know what's going on.
If your hotel is overbooked, you'll find that the service people at the check-in counter will most likely be happy to assist you by putting in touch with a nearby hotel. If you're staying with a chain hotel, they'll be able to transfer you to another location. The hotel will be required to cover any transportation costs if your reservation was guaranteed.
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