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Simplify Hotel Hunting With the Right Approach

Aug 17, 2007
It used to be most major destinations had only a few choices when it came to lodging, but now all bets are off. With the choices in hotels ranging from low-budget economy inns to upscale suites and beyond, booking a good hotel now requires a little savvy. Thanks to the Internet, the hunt for good hotels in almost every location imaginable is easy.

Finding the right hotel for a business trip or even a vacation needs to start first with a few questions. Shoppers should consider the following:

* Budget. What are you able to spend on lodging? Is the budget tight or can an upscale stay be included in your trip?

* Length of stay. Sometimes this can make a real difference in what's affordable. A three-week stay in a 5-star hotel might be out of the question, but at a lower-priced, nice location could be feasible. There may even be some discounts available for long-term bookings.

* Location. If you're heading for a conference and need to be near the convention center, knowing the location you need will be important. Check city maps online and even pay heed to information on the conference's web site. There's nothing worse than finding out your hotel that was supposed to be in "walking distance" of the conference is actually 50 blocks away.

* Personal preference. If you like to be pampered on trips each step of the way, your choice might lean you more in the direction of a more upscale hotel. Otherwise, reasonable accommodations should be more than suitable and even offer a few perks all on their own.

As you look for lodging in different cities, you will find there are a number of different accommodations available in most major destinations. Keep in mind, though, if you only intend to use the room for sleeping, you might be better off saving a little pocket change for the trip by going with a more affordable hotel.

The lodging options available in most major destinations include:

* Discount travel inns. Offering little more than a bed and bath, these are Spartan, but ideal for those who want to save money on their trips. Sometimes comfort features are offered, such as room service, but not always. If this is important, check with the hotel online or make the call and find out.

* Business-centered hotels. These cater to the business traveler. They tend to include a lot of creature comforts and practical items, such as internet access and so on.

* Upscale hotels. These tend to be pricey, but when it comes to offering the royal treatment, they don't skimp.

* Resort hotels. Generally attached to a major attraction, such as a theme park, or even a famous beach, these are ideal for vacation travelers and even business guests that want to see it all and get pampered while doing it.

* Bed and breakfasts. Many areas offer these rustic and romantic little inns. These are perfect for couples and even families, offering a change of pace from the ordinary.

* Condo/home rentals. For long-term vacation stays, these can save people some serious money.

Finding the right hotel isn't always easy, but with a little patience and the help of great Internet web sites, the task is made much simpler. By looking online, hotel shoppers can learn more about where they're going and where they intend to stay, too.
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