9 Tips for Picking a Hotel on Your Next Solo Trip
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, when you can select your hotel, you can make your trip memorable. The right property comes with a host of amenities to delight your senses and please your needs for comfort and relaxation. Depending on your location, some offer world class dining and spa experiences as well.
If you're traveling solo, you don't need to worry about conferring with your partner or booking an adjoining room for the little ones. This means more budget for you to get the hotel room you desire. Here are nine tips for selecting the right stay next time you hit the road.
1. Proximity to Amenities
If you're traveling to a new area, you don't want to waste much time locating the drug store or the gym, especially if traveling on business. Even if you travel for leisure, you want to spend your time seeing the sights, not consulting the GPS on your phone.
Therefore, strive to select a hotel close to a downtown metro center. If your meetings take place at a conference center separate from a hotel, strive to stay at one nearby, or, if held in a hotel, try to book a room at the same location so you don't have to travel and factor in Uber driving times. If on pleasure, stay close to the attraction you most hope to see.
2. Safety Concerns for Solo Travelers
For women traveling solo, trusting your gut when it comes to safety is key. If something about a hotel feels off, select another location. If you arrive and you feel uncomfortable, remember, canceling the reservation and booking elsewhere proves far less costly in many ways than staying and putting your health and life at risk. The recent deaths of travelers in the Dominican Republic illustrates this principle — even if a quality property seems off, go.
3. Make a List of Needs
What are the must haves in your hotel room? For me, an on-site fitness center. Some travelers may require room service, others may need extra pillows to place between their knees to avoid back pain from sleeping in a strange bed. Deciding on what features you can't live without immediately shrinks your search.
4. Then Make a List of Wants
Sure, maybe no one needs 100 percent organic shampoo in their hotel room, but if you prefer certain products, why not look for a luxury hotel which offers such amenities? Some properties contain attached health spas, while others may even arrange a relaxing massage to enjoy from your room. Allow trained professionals to rub away the stress of your day and make your skin glow. If money is no object, go for the room with a cozy designer robe and a fireplace perfect for curling up by with a good novel.
5. Research Online
Online reviews can tell you much about the guest experience at given properties. While one or two negative reviews shouldn't dissuade you from selecting a hotel, do pay attention to how management replies. If they offer a sincere apology and promise to improve, this tells you they take pride in protecting their brand reputation, so you're probably okay to book. However, if they become defensive and offer excuses, look elsewhere.
6. And Reach Out to Social Media Friends
Social media can help you not only read reviews, but also request recommendations from people on your friends' list. If you're on the fence about which hotel to book, research Facebook groups for the area where you intend to travel. Ask for recommendations as to which property locals recommend and why.
7. Call the Venue
Calling the venue is a great way to gauge the friendliness and helpfulness of staff members. Call with a general question, not to book, and see how the staff responds to your inquiry. If they're open and accommodating, you'll likely enjoy a good stay. However, if they sound harried or churlish, keep making calls.
8. Ask About Emergency Planning
No one likes to think about an earthquake or hurricane interrupting their travels, but emergencies do occur. Ask the hotel when you call about their safety plan. The front staff should outline the measures taken immediately — if not, this indicates lack of training, which can prove dangerous.
9. Consider Overseas Conveniences
If you're traveling overseas and do not speak the language, ask about translation resources when you book. Also, consider proximity to the U.S. embassy — if electronic communication goes down, you may need to walk. If safety is a concern in the region, ask about security measures such as deadbolts on room doors. These are de rigueur in the U.S.; however, not all properties abroad apply such measures. Portable devices exist which can increase your safety in a pinch.
10. Travel Solo, Travel Safe
Regardless of the reason for your travel, your hotel room can mark a highlight of your stay or become the stuff of bad legend. By doing your research ahead of time, you can ensure yourself a pleasant stay. Bon voyage!