In this post, I’d like to list the mistakes I made while searching for hotels and vacation rentals so you know them and hopefully don’t do those mistakes.
It is extremely important to consider the opinions of other users regarding the decision. This does not mean that you have to take all the reviews seriously but it is recommended to read at least a few.
When I booked my first vacation alone, I just wanted to get away cheap and had the cheapest hotel booked. The rating from this hotel was very bad but I did not care. It had the consequence that I first arrived at the hotel and the receptionist told me that the room, which I have booked (double room with sea view) is unfortunately forgiven and they can offer me an alternative with an upgrade to an all-inclusive stay. When I arrived in the room, I realized that I have only a small window, which looks in the exhaust duct of the hotel and where the exhaust air of the bathroom was removed from the hotel guests.
In the bathroom, I then had to realize that the shower has to run for three minutes before clean water comes. In the three minutes, yellow water came out of the shower.
Of course I went the next day to the front desk and the crew has booked another hotel for me. This experience was a lesson to me.
Read the description
It is important that you read what you book. I do not mean the prices but the description of the provider, what he offers you. Often, blurry information is deliberately made to attract more customers, and if you subsequently want to give a bad rating because of this approach, the portal will not accept it because you should have read the description.
I traveled to Rome and was not that experienced with booking apartments. I just searched the Internet for apartments in Rome and found a penthouse. When I read: “Penthouse in the Vatican City with a beautiful view of St. Peter’s Basilica”, that means for me that I get a penthouse.
Once there, a man has received me and gave me the keys to the apartment. I then said that he should prepare the documents and wanted to bring my suitcase to the room.
When I looked around the apartment, I was asked by the host, what am I doing? I said that I rented the penthouse and he replied that I rented only one room in the penthouse and that all other rooms are also rented to another tourists. Subsequently, I was informed that this information was also in the description. I have accepted this as a learning and since then I read the description carefully before booking and see if there are unclear informations.
If you do not have a rental car it is also important to pay attention to where your hotel is. It very quickly happens that one enters his wishes and his budget in a platform and the results are very far out of the city.
In this case, it is very important that public transport is nearby so you do not have to walk so much. It would also be nice to know where to go nearby if you just want to get out of the hotel but do not want to go to town. Maybe a park or a cafe nearby.
You should not simply book a hotel, but open the location in Google Maps and look at the area there once. You could look at the surroundings in Street View and see the routes to the city center or the sights.
In fact, I have never had any problems with the location of the hotels I have chosen. By applying the procedure, which I have described above, you are in any case very well prepared.
Before you book an airport transfer to the hotel, you should think about whether it’s worth it. In some cases, a taxi ride is either cheaper or just a few euros more, but you have no stress and are flexible with your ride.
Once I was in Istanbul in an hotel an as normal it is, I have looked through the documents and information at the reception. There was the information on the wall that you can book an airport transfer for 50 € and I thought “If they organize a bus, which picks us up so early and goes to the airport is worth it for me” and I have paid.
When the bus arrived then I saw that it was completely overcrowded and the driver drove very uncomfortably. I could not even sit next to my wife because it was so crowded.
By comparison, in Istanbul you paid at that time just under 20 € to get to the airport with a taxi. Next time, I preferred to take a taxi to get to the airport. Then you have at least flexible departure times and can, if desired, redirect the taxi driver like you want.
Additional tip: offline maps
One thing I recommend you to do is download offline maps in Google Maps. Then you can mark on the map also your attractions and your hotel, which makes you the orientation easier.
If you have no Internet at the resort or your connection breaks, you can still find your way with the offline maps.
I flew to Istanbul once and the taxi driver did not know my hotel. We searched really long and found it after about one and a half hours. If I had downloaded offline maps, I could have simply navigated to the hotel.
Many taxi drivers love it if you provide them with a navigation that they can follow.
I wrote down everything that I would recommend to my best friend if he asked me what to look for when planning his vacation. I hope that I could help you and if you have any questions, you can send them to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org