Mistakes You Want to Avoid When Booking a Hotel Room

When booking a hotel room, you don't want to make any mistakes that could result in your being unhappy with your choice of lodgings. Here are some common mistakes people make when choosing a hotel room.

1. Choosing the wrong type of accommodation

You may be tempted to take the first room that is available, but that can mean you end up in an unsuitable or uncomfortable room. Check out each option before making your decision, and choose one that best fits what you're looking for in a hotel room.

2. Requesting specific amenities without checking availability

It's understandable why people do this; who wouldn't want their rooms stocked with luxurious amenities like fluffy robes, complimentary shoe shines, high-end toiletries? But if you don't actually check to see whether the hotel has your requested amenities, then when you arrive in your room only to find it is devoid of what you were expecting, you will be unhappy. You might even feel deceived or tricked into booking this hotel when other hotels that offered the same rates but better amenities are just down the road.

3. Not having a clear idea of your needs

You may think that price is all that matters, but if staying at the cheapest motel means sacrificing comfort and safety, then it won't really be worth it. When planning ahead for your trip, take some time to ask yourself how much you're willing to pay for accommodations; do some research on various lodging options in your area, and plan accordingly. If you have a budget, don't just book the first hotel that pops up. Take your time to find the best deal for you, and once you've done that, stop looking.

4. Booking sight unseen

Yes, online photos can be very convincing, but it is still better to see the place in person before committing to stay there so you can confirm what exactly you are getting for your money. Get directions from the hotel's website if they offer them -- some do but not all -- or locate it on a map and drive or walk by to check it out. This way you won't get caught off-guard when checking in and will know ahead of time whether it's right for you or whether you should keep looking.

5. Not bringing an adequately-equipped flashlight

This is true in many situations, not just in hotel rooms. You don't know what you're going to need in your room when it comes to light, so bring a flashlight with you when checking out the hotel. This way, if the power goes out unexpectedly -- as they sometimes do -- you'll be prepared with one or more sources of light. Be careful though; battery-powered lights can dim after time and are easily forgotten, resulting in much frustration when the lights go out without you having anything on hand that works to help you navigate around the room.

6. Arriving late at night or too early for check-in

You might be eager to get into your room after a long day of travel, but you shouldn't show up too early for check-in or so late at night that the desk has closed. You don't want to be forced into finding alternative lodging just because your hotel room wasn't available when you arrived.

7. Forgetting important items in the room

You're rushing out of the room to get to wherever you need to go right away, and it's easy to forget something essential like your wallet, running shoes, or even your swimsuit if the hotel offers pool access. Always double-check before leaving any hotel room -- whether checking out or staying another night -- even if it means taking twice as long to make sure nothing was left behind. If you do forget something major though, contact the front desk and see if they can help you out!

8. Losing track of time

People often forget to check their watches when they're on vacation, but it is still important to keep track of time as well as your comings and goings from the hotel room especially if you have a scheduled event or other engagement outside the hotel. This way you will know what time it is before going down for breakfast, checking out, etc., and won't miss anything important because of a simple oversight.

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