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Educational Consumer Tips


Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Service

If you’re ready to getaway for a relaxing vacation, make sure you settle all the hotel details before you jet set to your destination. Do your research before you arrive to ensure you know what accommodations you are getting. Use these tips as a guide when searching for the perfect hotel to stay during your vacation.

How to Choose a Hotel:

Determine What’s Most Important.  Before you start searching for hotels it’s important to decide what factors are most important to you and your family. Whether it be location, price, amenities, or family-friendliness, it’s best to decide early so you can easily narrow down your searches.

Ask Around.  Ask friends and family members to recommend a hotel they enjoyed staying in. Extend your research by reading the BBB Business Reviews for the hotels you are considering. Don’t forget to check if the hotel has complaints.
Research the Area.  Research attractions, shops, and restaurants you wish to visit during your vacation and make note of their locations. Make sure to stay in a hotel where it will be convenient to visit these locations whether it be by foot or public transportation. It’s better to pay extra for a hotel that is more conveniently located than spend your time and money on cab fare.

Ask Questions.  Before booking a hotel for your stay, call the hotel’s front desk to ask questions, discuss concerns, and judge their level of customer service. If you have a specific request or certain circumstances, be sure the hotel will be able to accommodate your needs before booking a room.

Understand Additional Fees.  Find out if you’ll be charged other fees in addition to the nightly rate. Find out if they charge resort fees for amenities such as, swimming pools or hot tubs, the fitness center, or internet access, regardless of if you use them or not. Some hotels may include a continental breakfast for their guests, find out if the hotel you are considering includes breakfast. When you ask about additional fees you’ll know what to expect on the final bill and there will be no surprises. By accounting for the additional fees you will be able to better compare the prices of various hotels.

Consider a Bidding Site.  Bidding sites allow travelers to get a cheaper rate for hotel stays, but travelers are only informed about which hotel they will be staying in after their credit card has been charged. People who need specific accommodations should avoid this option. Travelers who are more flexible with their vacation plans may be better suited for bidding sites.

Ask About the Cancellation Policy.  Be sure to get a copy of the hotel’s cancellation policy in the event you’re not able to make your stay. Find out their refund policy and determine whether or not travel insurance is needed. Make sure to pay for the hotel room on a credit card, but do not give out your credit card number without verifying the business first.

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

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