These are tips for new travelers, travelers on a budget or students. Students should consider youth hostels (  Adventurous souls might want to take a look at elder hostels (  I use the same tips for hotels at all  prices.  I may not be as concerned with the towels in a 4 star but I want to know what I am getting.

1. Get a list of hotels from the local tourist or visitors bureau in advance of your trip.  Narrow the list down by price, area of interest and type of accommodation.  Select three possibilities.

2.  Once you arrive at your destination visit each of the three.  Ask to see the room  available to you.  Look for cleanliness, towels & sheets, amenities, view and overall comfort.   Checking the bathroom is a priority.   Don’t be shy about asking for the floor to be mopped or the bathroom cleaned thoroughly.

If you are traveling a long distance you may want to make a reservation for one night at one of the hotels and shop around the following day.

3.  If price is a consideration ask for all possible discounts and potential charges.  Does the room come with a microwave or refrigerator or do they need to be ordered for a fee?  In many foreign countries the most you will see is an honor bar, depending on the price of the room, with a small space to keep beverages cold.  Is parking available and at what cost if any? Does breakfast come with the room?

Not a deal breaker but service is another concern.  Would you have to drag all your own bags up 4 flights of stairs?   Is there someone on duty at the desk at all hours? Is housekeeping done daily?  Is there someone on the staff that can give you information about sites and transit? These are things to think about when making your choice.

Check it out before you check in.  Select the best one and enjoy your stay.  If it is a great find please share it.



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