5 things to look out for before booking a budget hotel

Here a few signs that should tell you that a budget hotel is not worth taking a chance on.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

When travelling, your hotel is basically your home away from home, your safe harbour or sanctuary. If you are trying to save money when travelling, you may have decided to search for a budget hotel.

The thing about budget hotels is that some have a knack for promising and advertising more than they deliver. You can book a budget hotel room in advance only to be massively disappointed by the facilities, the staff and the overall accommodation experience when you actually get there.

5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50

One notable billionaire made 99% of his current wealth after his 50th birthday. And here at The Motley Fool, we believe it is NEVER too late to start trying to build your fortune in the stock market. Our expert Motley Fool analyst team have shortlisted 5 companies that they believe could be a great fit for investors aged 50+ trying to build long-term, diversified portfolios.

Click here to claim your free copy now!

To avoid such disappointment, there are a few signs you might want to look out for when choosing a budget hotel.

Mixed reviews on multiple sites

Before booking a hotel, it’s a good idea to search for online reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor. Now, it’s best not to let a couple of bad reviews put you off – some guests are impossible to please – but if you come across several negative ones on multiple sites, you are probably better off exploring other options.

It’s also useful to check the dates of the reviews. If you don’t see any recent ones that are positive, there is likely a good reason for it. Something major (such as a change in management) might have happened, resulting in a change of standards at the hotel that is reflected in guests’ reviews.

Unreachable or rude staff

It can help to try contacting the hotel before you book. The response that you get from staff is a telltale sign of the kind of service you can expect once you check in. Ultimately, you need supportive and friendly staff who can quickly and effectively address any problems that you encounter during your stay.

If you call the hotel and the staff are either unresponsive or unfriendly, you can reasonably assume that they will also not be helpful in addressing any problems you experience during your stay.

Poor quality website

A hotel’s website should essentially be an extension of its on-property services. If you find that the website is poorly maintained, difficult to navigate and full of typos, this might be an indication that the hotel’s services are also sub-standard and that the management is generally unconcerned. 

Photos are unclear or just too perfect

If the hotel does not provide clear pictures of its rooms or if all photos seem to be of the same room, this can be a red flag, and there’s a good chance that the hotel is hiding something. On the other hand, if pictures of the hotel’s rooms are seemingly too perfect to be true, they probably are (after all, it’s a budget hotel).

Also, if there are no pictures of the actual rooms, only images of the hotel’s exterior, there is probably a good reason for the hotel not showing you the inside.

Some budget hotels are notorious for posting edited photos of their exteriors. You might be attracted to a hotel’s seemingly beautiful exterior and surroundings, only to discover that the images are out of date or that an eyesore has been conveniently cropped out of the hotel’s promotional photos.

Tools such as Google Maps and Google Images can offer views of the hotel’s real exterior and surroundings and save you from any nasty surprises.

A vague description of location

A vague description of the hotel’s location could be another red flag. A description that, for example, states that the hotel is ‘close to all major transport links’ may not tell the whole story.

Imagine booking a hotel based on such a description only to find that the train station is not within walking distance of the hotel, and you need to book a taxi every morning to get there.

Even when the hotel has provided a legitimate location description, it is still advisable to do a little more research of the area. The hotel may be located in a less desirable area in which you might not feel as safe as you would in the slightly more expensive main tourist areas.

Final word

There are plenty of quality budget hotels out there that offer excellent options to reduce costs when travelling – as long as you know what to look for and what to avoid. Thankfully, poor hotels come with many telltale signs that can help you cross them off your list.

Is this little-known company the next ‘Monster’ IPO?

Right now, this ‘screaming BUY’ stock is trading at a steep discount from its IPO price, but it looks like the sky is the limit in the years ahead.

Because this North American company is the clear leader in its field which is estimated to be worth US$261 BILLION by 2025.

The Motley Fool UK analyst team has just published a comprehensive report that shows you exactly why we believe it has so much upside potential.

But I warn you, you’ll need to act quickly, given how fast this ‘Monster IPO’ is already moving.

Click here to see how you can get a copy of this report for yourself today

MyWalletHero, Fool and The Motley Fool are all trading names of The Motley Fool Ltd. The Motley Fool Ltd is an appointed representative of Richdale Brokers & Financial Services Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the FCA, and we are permitted in this capacity to act as a credit-broker, not a lender, for consumer credit products (our FRN is 422737). The Motley Fool Ltd does not have permissions for, and does not advise on, investment products and services, but may provide information on investment products and services.

The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.

More on Travel

Plane on runway
Investing Articles

Rolls-Royce shares are nudging higher. Should I buy now?

With Rolls Royce shares edging above 120p this week, is the worst behind it? Dylan Hood investigates the long-term potential…

Read more »

An airplane on a runway
Personal Finance

Lockdown 2: are flights cancelled?

Find out what the lockdown 2 restrictions that come into force on Thursday 5 November mean for travellers, including whether…

Read more »

An airplane on a runway
Investing Articles

Forget easyJet’s share price. I’d buy these stocks instead

Easyjet's share price has fallen more 50% in 2020 due to coronavirus disruptions. Is now the time to buy the…

Read more »

Personal Finance

10 must-know travel blogs to inspire your next holiday

Can’t wait to get away when this crisis is over? Check out these 10 must-know travel blogs for ideas and…

Read more »

Young woman sat at laptop by a window
Travel

Careers for the nomadic: top jobs that involve travel abroad

If the thought of broadening your horizons and traversing hills and valleys in search of adventure during your lunch break…

Read more »

Travel

How to travel on a budget

Planning on travelling but do not want to spend a fortune? Here are our top tips on how to travel…

Read more »

Travel

Best eco-friendly hotels in the world

Thanks to the Greta Thunbergs of this world, we’re all just a little more aware of our environment and the…

Read more »