How to Select a Great Hotel for a Vacation

How to Select a Great Hotel for a Vacation

When you’re going on vacation, you don’t want to be living in a place that makes you want to go back home. A vacation is all about not wanting to leave, so find a hotel that makes you feel that way. However, if that was the only factor, everyone would be choosing to stay in 5-star resorts during their vacation. Since budget is, unfortunately, a major deciding factor, you’ll have to consider a number of other things before finding the perfect hotel (or settling for a somewhat adequate one).

Other than that, you should be aware that hotels in foreign countries probably do things differently from where you live, so you’ll need to learn about what services they offer before you can book your room. Here are a few things that can be different at foreign hotels, so you end up with a place that won’t leave you unpleasantly surprised, and has all the necessities.

hotel bathroom


Sure, there are bathrooms in every hotel, but they might not be what you’ve used back home. For instance, you won’t get a combination of a shower and bathtub; you’ll get either one and they’ll be set up quite differently. If you’re looking for an affordable solution, just know that Europe has hotels with a shared bathroom, so be careful.

In some countries, you’ll find a bidet along with the toilet, but there won’t be a washcloth since not a lot of hotels outside the U.S. offer them at all. You will most likely get towels, but they may not be as large as the kind you use, or they may be bigger than the ones you’ve seen.



Your budget takes precedence over all other things because you need to look at what you can afford before making a decision. However, this is not limited to how much you’re spending on a hotel room, but other things as well. For example, you may be saving money by opting for an expensive option that offers meals, Wi-Fi and is closer to tourist sites rather than one that has cheaper rooms but nothing else.

The availability of amenities makes a huge difference as to how much you’ll be spending on your trip, overall. Buying extra food, paying for Wi-Fi and the extra cost of public transport can amount to a lot in the long run. Therefore, it’ll pay off to do some research on the location of these hotels and a thorough analysis as to what kind of amenities they offer before you can choose which one you’ll be staying at.

hotel elevator

Elevator Availability

In the U.S., most hotels have an elevator service for guests to reach their room. Even remodeled historic buildings converted into hotels go through a complete renovation to include hotels, but this may not be the case for hotels abroad. Older hotel buildings commonly don’t have elevators so there’s a high chance that you’ll be carrying heavy bags up the stairs.

If you’re up for it, don’t let this slight inconvenience stop you from getting an affordable room in a good area. Of course, you can always contact the hotel and ask them for a room on the ground floor personally. They’ll make sure to accommodate you as soon as they can until you arrive. However, if you’re bringing along seniors, young children, or disabled family members, it’s best to pay a premium for a hotel with an elevator.

beach view

In-Room Amenities

In the U.S., hotels offer a wide range of in-room amenities that guests can use during their stay. These items include alarm clocks, washcloths, towels, hairdryers, and irons. The hospitality industry in each country considers different items as standard amenities, but it’s very rare for them to offer hair dryers and irons. It’s true that there are exceptions and there’s a chance that you’ll find a place that provides guests with them, but you can’t depend upon the hotel.

If you have a habit of using a hair dryer and washcloth, play it safe and bring your own to avoid any discrepancies with your vacation plan; you don’t want to be stuck with a bad hair right before you’re visiting a high-end restaurant for dinner. If you’re planning to pack light and want to save on space, you can ask the front desk for items like a hair dryer or iron; they most-probably have one that they can offer to guests upon their request.

Air Conditioning

This may come as a surprise but many hotels in foreign countries don’t offer air condition in their rooms, especially if you’re habitual of central air conditioning. Instead of central air conditioning, it’s probable that they have units in every room. Even if rooms do have an air conditioner, hotels may choose to keep them turned off during colder seasons so when they finally them on during summer, you’ll feel that they aren’t as strong.

The rooms can feel stuffy, so you should keep the windows open. If you’re traveling with more people, you should consider carrying a small electric fan to circulate air through the room. This will keep your room cool even if you’re sharing it with friends and family.

If you or one of your friends has trouble sleeping without air conditioning, you shouldn’t risk getting a hotel that may not have the facility. Instead, explicitly look for a hotel that offers air conditioning, and call the hotel personally to ask if the information isn’t available on their website.

hotel bed

Bed Arrangements

Based on where you live, it’s possible that beds are set differently in rooms at foreign hotels. Let’s take the U.S. for instance; over there, you’ll find a single king-sized or two queen-sized beds in a room. In foreign countries, the setting is somewhat the same; a twin configuration, which has two separate beds, and a double configuration, which has one bed for two people.

In other hotels, instead of a double bed, two twin beds placed next to each other will create more space. Hotels know the maximum number of people who can share a specific room, based on the size and number of beds. Hence, it’s best if you explicitly ask the front desk how many people a single room can accommodate.

Knowing this beforehand gives assurance that everyone in your group will get a good night’s rest before heading out for daily adventures. Don’t act cheeky by thinking that sofas will be available, making room for an extra person, because they’re not. So unless someone from your group is willing to sleep on the floor, you’d best get an extra room.

The Size of Your Room

If you’re used to staying in a spacious room, you should know that not all hotels have the biggest rooms. It’s not that you won’t be able to fit, but it may feel stuffy. This is due to the fact that many hotels are in older buildings designed for compactness rather than spaciousness.

Although we’d advise you to be adaptable, there’s no use if you’re uncomfortable staying in a smaller room. You can ask the hotel to make a bigger arrangement for you, but you’ll have to pay a premium for it. Before you book your hotel, make sure to ask the exact size so that you’re prepared for it.


The most important thing, however, is that you’re carrying the right luggage on your trip. You want to make sure that you’re taking along the right-sized bags, based on where you’re going. That’s why we’re offering the best bags and luggage solutions that you can use in-transit and during your trip. Browse through our vast collection of bags that are suitable for every kind of trip, and get ready for a comfortable and exciting vacation.  

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