Getting a good hotel room involves a little bit more than finding the best price on Hotwire (I can say this from personal experience.) And this is doubly true in foreign countries where you might not be able to get a personal recommendation. Here are some questions to ask about your potential lodgings.
does the hotel allow pets? what size?
does the hotel offer non-smoking rooms?
how much is the room tax?
is the front desk staffed 24 hours a day?
what is check in time? check out time?
what is the fee for local calls?
what is the hotel’s cancellation policy?
what is the policy for late check in?
ask for the extended stay discount for long trips
ask if they offer discounts — corporate, AAA, senior, etc.
if there is a lower advertised rate, ask for that rate
shop for internet discounts and web-only rates
travel agents can often get better deals
are there business facilities — fax, internet, copier, etc.?
does the hotel have a restaurant or cafe?
does the room have a private bath?
is there a phone in the room?
is there a playground or other children’s facilities?
is there a pool or other recreational facilities?
check your confirmation for errors as soon as you receive it
double check your reservations before leaving
give someone your itinerary — arrival, departure, hotel
make reservations with a credit card in case you have problems
read travel insurance policies carefully for exclusions
travel insurance will protect you if trip canceled
ask for a room not on the first floor
check the fire escape route upon arrival
doors opening into interior hallways are safer
find out what the neighborhood is like
hang the “do not disturb” sign and leave TV on when gone
make sure there is a deadbolt on all exterior doors
research photos on the internet and in travel guides
stay away from hotels with numbers on the keys
use the hotel main entrance after dark
use the hotel safe for valuablesClick here for reuse options!
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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