After researching several great sources for travel tips, we’ve uncovered the often overlooked, yet important questions to ask upon hotel check-in. As it turns out, the frequent traveler Chris McGinnis had some great insights, as editor-in-chief of TravelSkills, as well at the startup Hotel Wi-Fi Test. Our suggestions are as follows:
What’s the location of the room?
This may sound arbitrary, but people need to do this. If the hotel is under construction (which they might have failed to mention) or you’re next to the ice machine, your stay could end up loud and lacking in comfort. After all, you’re truly there for a good nights rest, right? Be sure to steer clear of not only the ice machine, but the elevator bank or housekeeping. You can even take it a step further and request a room with morning sun, or a view. Otherwise, your assigned room is left to the hotel reservation system. This shouldn’t be too overwhelming for the staff, but if the hotel is close to capacity keep in mind you might not get everything you want. Strike a reasonable balance.
Does the room have a connecting door?
Just like suffering from a neighbor’s house party without notice, the same thing can be said for hotel rooms. Clearly people are vacationing across hotels worldwide; therefore requesting a room with no connecting door could be your guarantee of a good nights sleep. Sometimes it’s not simply partying, but loud snorers or TVs left on throughout the night that’s the distraction. If you’re somewhere like Vegas, it might be smart to ask how close you are to the smoking floor. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and can make all the difference!
Do you have my correct loyalty program information?
Whenever we have to be reactive versus proactive, things are already a mess and require clean up. The hassle involved in reversing charges, or adding points after the fact creates individualized work that could have easily been avoided with a quick verification in the first place. It’s unfortunate, but solely relying on a travel agent could result in these annoyances, so make sure everything’s good to go before the transactions pile up. Rehashing these types of charges tends to fall to the low on the priority list, so you just might forget to take care of it once returned home. Correct loyalty number? Check! And it’s all good.
Do you provide free Wi-Fi?
According to a recent study by the startup Hotel Wi-Fi Test, the most reliable connectivity tends to be at lower cost hotels, at least within the United States. Quality Inn, whom operates under the Choice Hotels family, turned out to have the highest quality free Wi-Fi across the most locations; better than the “bougier” upscale chains like Marriott. Aside from the larger chain hotels, independent boutiques faired the best in terms of free Wi-Fi, quality, and speed, at nearly 75 percent of all researched locations. The take away? You might not get the best Wi-Fi at the fancy locations! And it probably won’t be free. Furthermore if you’re traveling internationally, make sure you’ve done your research because the only other option for Internet access is 3G/4G connectivity, which is horrendously expensive. At the same time, if you enjoy the luxury of 3G/4G seamless connectivity, a global SIM card or a local SIM card might be your best bet.
Are any of you frequent travelers and want to share your personal words of wisdom? Please comment below!