10 things you need to know before booking a hotel online

Last Updated on 2016-05-19 , 2:12 pm

All of us love traveling. Seriously, who doesn’t? It gives us something to look forward to in our everyday lives and gives us a chance to take a break while exploring a different country and enjoying a different culture. The booking of the trip is always exciting too. From the flight to the hotel to the itinerary, everything has to be perfect. But let’s be honest. The most important part of the trip would be the choice of hotel since that is where we will all go back to after a long day out to rest and relax before another day of exploration. Whatever it may be, there are 10 things you need to look out for before booking your hotel online.

The hotel’s location
Probably the biggest factor when looking for a suitable hotel to put up at. This is especially so if you are heading to a country you are not familiar with. Make sure your hotel is relatively easy to find and located close to amenities such as convenience stores, preferably phone shops and eating places. Also, it is best to be located close to public transport like the subway or bus stops, depending on what the normal route of travel is in the country.

Besides amenities, is the hotel close to any police posts?
To add on to the above point, it is good to ensure that your hotel is located somewhat close to police posts or even the Singapore Embassy in case of emergencies.

The staff of the hotel
Are the staffs of the hotel friendly? Helpful? Will they go out of their way to assist in any doubts you may have with the hotel and the surroundings? A good way to test this out is to call the hotel and ask them something about the hotel’s facilities and see how they respond. It may cost a bit on your phone bill but trust me, it’s well worth it.

Contradicting reviews
The best way to find out more about a hotel is through its reviews. But if you notice discrepancies or reviews that go against each other, you might want to be extra wary of this hotel choice. There have been rumours that the lousy reviews are by actual travellers and the positive ones are by the staff of the hotel.

Haunting rumours
You read about haunted hotels everywhere but I for one sure would not like to stay in one myself. You may be a skeptic but some things are better to be safe than sorry. Check out the history of the hotel and read a few more reviews online to find out more about the spiritual energy of the place before you make your booking.

Does your hotel have elevators
This may seem trivial but in some countries like Japan, some smaller hotels may not have this convenience as most of their travelers travel light. If you are going to be rolling around a 15 to 20kg luggage to and fro, it’s best to be doubly sure, even if it means emailing the hotel or calling them directly.

Make sure your hotel is real
Especially if you are going to a country you have never been to. I always look for hotels that have more than 100 reviews just to be safe. Unless you know for sure that the hotel exists although there is a lack of reviews on it, please look for another one.

Make sure your hotel allows cancellation refunds up to 3 days before you arrive
This is so very important! Don’t get stuck should your trip need to be cancelled close to your date of departure. The rules that apply in Singapore may not apply overseas so always be very vigilant and very careful.

Make sure English is understood and communicated in the hotel
Or at least make sure the staff of the hotel can communicate in any other language or dialect you are comfortable with. I travel to Tokyo a lot and even though I can speak some Japanese (enough to survive I always say), I still prefer to put up in a place where the staff can understand and speak English or Mandarin or Cantonese. I don’t think anyone of us will want to be already tired out from trying to communicate with the locals the whole day, only to come back to the hotel and have to continue doing the same.

Does your hotel have wifi?
First world problem! As much as technology is so rampant now, there are still hotels around the world that do not provide wifi throughout the establishment. If you are someone who requires a connection every day, make sure your hotel has that before you hit the book button or you will live to regret it every single day of your trip.

Top Image: dotshock / Shutterstock.com