Many sites claim to offer the perfect spot for you and your family, but what is the best way to find one? You should start by looking at online reviews and reading feedback from people who have stayed there before. Is the location right near a beach or in an optimal location? What about food options? These factors will help you determine what's important for you on your vacation!
Online reviews give you insight into how other travelers felt about their accommodations. The more stars they have, the better it is. Just because a place has 5 stars does not mean that it is perfect for you. Be sure to read between the lines when assessing these reviews. You need to know what you’re getting yourself into, especially when it’s not a registered hotel. Oftentimes, villa rentals are more luxurious and comfy than hotels, but people don’t choose them because they don’t check reviews. You can see exactly what they offer and what they don’t deliver well.
If you are reading reviews on a travel blog, try to see if the writer stayed at the hotel they are reviewing. This will give you an idea of how much they loved it. A lot of people write scathing online reviews just because someone had their pool towels out before 7 am or because staff members were rude to them once during their visit. These types of complaints should not influence your decision-making.
The best way to find great accommodations is by finding bloggers who have reviewed places that interest you and see what they have to say about the hotels/resorts/cabins/villas etc. You can usually tell right away whether or not the reviewer liked where they stayed so this information is good to have when trying to choose between two or more destinations.
If you are trying to find a place in an area where there are not many bloggers reviewing places, ask around! Go on Facebook and tell your friends about the type of place you would like to go and see if anyone recommends anywhere that they recently stayed. You may also find listings for cabin rentals or hotels that will be perfect for your vacation getaway.
Cabins & condos
If you're looking forward to staying somewhere cozy with all of the amenities of home, consider booking a cabin or condo instead. Some condos/hotels will give you access to their pools and other relaxing spaces so this is often a great perk if it's included in your price range. Plus, most cabins can include a kitchen which means that you have access to everything that you need to prepare the food that you want. This is convenient if there are no eateries nearby or none that accommodate your dietary needs.
Be sure to read the fine print when renting anything! Sometimes, there are hidden fees for things like using the heating/air conditioning units or having pets with you in the cabin. On top of all this, make sure it's clear how many guests are allowed and what size they must be.
Read feedback from friends & family who have stayed there before
Having friends and family members who have stayed somewhere before can give you an idea about whether or not it's something that would interest you. If everyone enjoys their time away from home, it's usually pretty safe to assume that there is something about the place that will please you.
Make sure the location is right for you
If what you're after is pure relaxation, then no point in staying somewhere that doesn't have access to one of your main interests; beaches or mountains/hiking trails! If you absolutely must be near a mall or some other crowded area, look for neighboring places on the same street as the accommodation so you can alter your plans if things get too hectic. Also, try traveling at non-peak hours to avoid some of these issues.
If you are trying to find some time away from technology and its distractions, make sure that it's okay with the hotel/condo/resort, etc. that you bring your devices there. Some places will charge an arm and a leg for internet or will not offer it at all while others prefer that guests leave their cell phones and other electronic devices at home, in their cars, or the office (if they're traveling for business).
Decide what you need in your accommodation
Do you want a pet-friendly place? Is the pool the most important part of your vacation so availability and cost aren't as important as having access to it? Do you need to be near a beach or other body of water for some fresh air and relaxation? Weight these questions and find the answers before you start shopping for a new location. If there's something, anything, at all that will ruin your trip, then don't book it! There is always another place out there just waiting to welcome you with open arms.
Coupons are wonderful things, especially when they bring the overall price of your trip down. For example, if you're planning to travel this weekend then check out what local hotels or other accommodations have coupons for that current date. Check their websites and/or Facebook pages for discounts that could help you save some big bucks! Who doesn't love shopping around for a good deal?
Be flexible with your dates
If there is something about the dates on which you wish to leave that just doesn't jive with where you'd like to go then consider altering them! The more flexible you are, the better your chance of finding a place that will accept your conditions. Sometimes hotels or resorts will keep open rooms and cabins so they can sell them at a later time and the only way to take advantage of this opportunity is to be willing to change up your plans.
If you find that none of these tips work for you, then it's best just to keep looking so you can relax and enjoy yourself while on vacation! Enjoy what nature has provided and love every minute of it. There will always be another place out there so don't get discouraged or stressed about finding one. Sometimes patience pays off and other times people just need to realize when they've found the perfect spot for their next excursion!