Choosing the perfect accommodation for your trip can play a huge role in whether or not your trip is a success—especially if you’re traveling solo (Read: Planning Tips for Solo Travelers).
In addition to the no-brainer factors to consider like budget, room size, amenities, and location, there are lots of other aspects to consider before you book: safety, security, and reputation, to name a few.
While staying in a hotel alone might be scary for some, the freedom to stay where you want, without having to check the opinion of other people, gives you a huge advantage of getting exactly what you want, be it an all-inclusive spa on the beach or a twin bed hole-in-the-wall to flop after a day out and about.
With these insider travel tips, brought to you by ProntoHotel.com, you’ll be able to find the perfect hotel to fit all of your solo traveler needs.
Set a Budget
Probably the most important aspect of finding a hotel is your budget. Make a wish list of your hotel priorities and rank them in order of importance: free wifi (very important for location independent people like me!), breakfast included, pool, beach access, free bike rentals, free airport shuttle, locked lobby doors after a certain hour, etc.
With your list of desires and expectations in hand, figure out how much you can—or are willing to—pay to get all or some of them. Having a budget will let you take a realistic look at what kind of hotel you can book and what, if any, hotel wants you may have to cross off of your list.
Draft Your Itinerary
Before you book a hotel, get together a rough idea of what you’re going to be doing on your trip. If you’re visiting a city and plan to spend every day in museums, getting a hotel nearby will save you time and money commuting. If you have an early flight connection to think about, getting a hotel near the airport will be helpful.
Likewise, if you’re going to be dancing the night away, you’ll be happy once last call comes around knowing that your bed is nearby. Thinking about where you’ll be spending most of your vacation beforehand will save you time and energy once you arrive.
Location, Location, Location
With an itinerary and budget in mind, take out a map and see the lay of the land. Take into consideration your itinerary, both what you’re going to be doing and not doing. Sure, if you’re the aforementioned dance queen, you’ll want to be near the clubs.
However, if you’re going to be getting up early for tours or museum visits, you’re going to want to be far away from the nightlife hubbub.
Different locations will also mean different price ranges. A hotel in Times Square, for example, will be very convenient to Broadway shows, multiple subway lines, and Rockefeller Center, but staying right in the heart and soul of New York City will also cost you.
Heading away from city centers is something to consider if you’re looking to keep costs down. One last thing to keep in mind when picking a hotel location is the surrounding area’s safety.
In some places around the world, a distance of just a couple of streets will take you from super-safe paradise to down-and-out dangerous. Especially as a solo traveler, you have to do your research beforehand. (Read: Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers)
Check Out Reviews
Once you have a list of hotels in your budget and fitting your wish list, look the properties up on review sites like TripAdvisor. Don’t forget to turn to travel blogs and websites, as well, including forums where you can ask members if they’ve had any experiences there.
Go Ahead and Book!
When it comes to making a hotel reservation, most people find the best deals online. While many travelers prefer to go straight to their hotel of choice to make a reservation, a lot can be said about booking through an outside website. For one, you’re more likely to get a cheaper rate than whatever the hotel is offering; and secondly, some sites will even compare hotel prices for you from a bunch of different websites.
Once you have your ideal hotel booked for the perfect price, all that’s left to do is pack up your bags and leave. Safe travels!
What’s your tip for choosing the right hotel when you’re traveling solo?
Hotel photo courtesy of John Stavely.