If you’re looking to travel far and wide on a budget, you can’t stay in hotels every night. You’ll have to do a combination of hostels, camping, and couch surfing. Still, it’s nice to treat yourself to one hotel stay and really enjoy the amenities while you’re there.
That’s why you have to pick correctly; if you pay a lot for a subpar motel, your stay will become a low-point of the trip.
Here are some signs to look out for when choosing which hotel to splurge on!
#1: The Bathroom Looks Dingy or Outdated
Let’s face it: other than the comfortable bed, the number one reason you’re splurging on a hotel is a nice bathroom. Maybe you haven’t had a hot shower or indoor plumbing in a week. It stands to reason that you want the bathroom to be presentable and clean.
Any hotel manager worth their salt knows that their bathrooms need to be pristine. Showers and bathtubs should be relatively modern and not stained or damaged. Something as simple as Safestep Commercial Tub Refinishing makes the most dingy tubs glisten like new. So if a hotel hasn’t bothered to update the toilet and shower, the other amenities will be subpar as well.
#2: The Website is Amateurish
A good hotel will put their best foot forward with an updated and user-friendly website. If the website hasn’t been updated recently, has typos, or is difficult to read, it’s a bad sign. If a business puts no effort into their website, they might also slack on other things, such as customer service and amenities maintenance.
The pictures on the website can also be quite telling. If photos are cropped so you can’t see the entire room, they might be hiding unsavory stains or other flaws. Don’t stay anywhere that doesn’t have pictures of room interiors. Go with your gut. If something seems fishy to you, it probably is.
#3: The Lobby is Lacklustre
You don’t need chandeliers or grand staircases, but if the lobby has carpet stains or cheap furniture, it’s a sign that the rooms will be even worse. After all, the lobby is the first thing people see. It shows a hotel’s true colors.
#4: There’s Any Chance of Bedbugs
Paying for a night spent with pests in your sheets? No, thank you. When you read the hotel reviews, scan for any mention of bedbugs. A single instance is too many, especially if it’s recent. You can also check BedbugReports.com to see if critter complaints have been lodged against the hotel.
#5: There’s No Answer at the Front Desk
If you call to make a reservation or ask a question and no one picks up, it’s a bad sign. The same is true if you’re left on hold for an extended period of time.
The hotel should be well staffed enough that someone is able to take your call at any time. Poor phone customer service could mean they’ll be equally unhelpful when you’re actually staying there.
Read some reviews of each option, do a thorough website visit, and call the front desk to speak to a representative about a potential reservation. There’s nothing wrong with roughing it as a backpacker or frequent traveler. It’s likely you’re fairly low maintenance if you chose the backpacking lifestyle, but save your easy-to-please outlook for the campsites and hostels.
When you treat yourself to a hotel, you shouldn’t have to deal with dirty rooms or bad service. Doing a little research on a hotel website will help ensure there are no surprises when you check in. Safe travels!