IT’S DONE!!! Finally secured our hotel rooms for the trip, this has been the most difficult part of the planning process so far. There is so much to consider: Location: city center, close to public transportation, close to attractions? Price: When do you splurge, when do you try to be economical? Type: Brand name chain, B&B, or Hostel?
Then comes the comparing of hotels, comparing internet sites, reading hotel customer reviews; then hoping you’re getting close to the hotel trifecta: (1) Good accommodations at a (2) good price (3) in a safe and convenient location. Only time will tell now, how well I did.
This part of the planning process was really starting to make my head swim….little nuggets of advice that I would pass along to another would be to take your time, don’t feel pressured and if you’re not sure….sleep on it.
Time: Choosing our hotels took longer than I anticipated; a full week. The internet is a great tool for comparing websites and individual hotels. I ended up using Trivago for most of my comparisons….it was nice that they gave you info on multiple websites (expedia, travelocity, priceline etc). I could also read customer reviews and access a city map to see its location to other points of interest. If I was leaning toward one particular hotel I’d also directly check out the hotel website….sometimes it’s cheaper to book directly with the hotel than through a search engine website.
Pressure: Don’t fall for the “high pressure make your decision now” tactics that some websites use. More than once a website will apply the pressure to make a quick decision for fear you’ll lose the best offer in history! They will use phrases that look like this “Only 2 rooms left at this price!” and pop windows that flash “58 people currently looking at this property!” “Sombody just booked a room, get yours before they’re all gone!” There were a few times when I almost caved in to these tactics and booked a room; thankfully my cooler head prevailed. Rushing to make a decision rarely ever pays off in the end and I told myself that if a property has no vacancies then it wasn’t meant to be; in the grand scheme of things, not staying in a particular hotel is not going to make or break the vacation.
Sleep On It: It’s ok to take your time….if you haven’t waited until the last minute. Whenever I found myself getting overwhelmed, frustrated and tired I just stopped for the day….or two. I never make good decisions when I’m tired and my brain on overload. The same is true when I begin to agonize over a particular hotel; I find myself going back and forth between, yes I will…no I won’t. A good sleep, fresh eyes and a clear mind really helps bring things into a proper prospective. The Irish Proverb is so true: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything!”
So glad the hotel search is over…..the next step will be to finalize the tours & activities we will be doing. I’m trying to find that balance between organized professional tours to see the landmarks and time on our own to just wander and explore. Hopefully we can achieve the best of both worlds!