Accommodations play a big role in determining the success of your travel experience. From the moment you arrive to the minute you check out, you spend a chunk of your vital vacation hours staying at your lodgings of choice. If you’re the type who seeks rejuvenating experiences at the outset, booking a hotel room is most likely at the top of your vacation must-dos.
That being said, hotel stays can also take up a large portion of your travel expenses. Some travelers prefer to overindulge in their accommodations to maximize their stay, but others veer toward practicality and would rather scrimp on features and amenities—sometimes at the expense of comfort and convenience. How much you spend on lodgings depends on you, but you need to remember that certain factors come into play when deciding if a hotel is worth the splurge.
Still thinking about booking that pricey room for your trip? Here are some things to consider to help you choose between saving and spending heavily on your hotel.
Why You Should Splurge
As a traveler, it would be ideal to have a list of non-negotiables when choosing a hotel. Of course, nobody is stopping you from shelling out cash for a hotel room if you can afford it. Nevertheless, it would be good to identify which things make a hotel worth the hefty spend. These factors include the following:
Most of the time, top-rated hotels near the center are pricier than those outside of the city limits. Unless you want to spend on a private driving service like Grab or intend to bring your own vehicle, it’s best to stick with hotels within the metro area. These hotels generally offer easy access to places of convenience such as transport terminals, hospitals, and malls.
If exploration is less of a priority compared to accessibility, you may want to book a hotel in a prime location. Typically, these hotels are ideal if you’re always on the go and have a schedule of activities in the city. For example, if you’re visiting Metro Manila and would prefer hassle-free transfers to the airport, you can check out hotels in Pasay that eliminate the need to go through heavy traffic just to catch your flight.
High-Quality Amenities for Celebrating Milestones
Memorable events like birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries don’t happen every day, so it’s best to make these moments count by allowing yourself a little indulgence. You don’t even have to book a 5-star hotel—what matters is that you get to have a taste of extravagance in the form of hotel services, dining options, and facilities. In short, it’s worth spending more on amenities if you can briefly live out of the ordinary.
Suitability for Long Stays
Budget accommodations are often geared toward travelers who won’t be staying in the same place for so long. If you’re going to be in your destination for a while, you may want to stay somewhere with a comfortable room, attractive amenities, and efficient services so that everything goes smoothly during your stay. Hotel services such as airport transfers, laundry services, heightened security features (i.e., in-room safe), and diverse dining choices may be beneficial if you intend to stay for more than a week.
Openness to Specific Health Needs
Most budget hotels operate under a “one size fits all” mindset, which means that guests have less freedom to opt for personalized services to suit their needs. Those with back problems and mobility issues, for instance, may prefer hotels that have comfortable beds, spacious interiors, and comprehensive accessibility provisions. Similarly, those with special dietary needs may be better off with hotels that are accommodating to menu changes.
Why You Should Save
On the other end of the fence, there may be a few good reasons why you would want to pass on a pricier hotel. A lot of these reasons have to do with a tight budget, but there may be other factors at play that you should know about. Here are some of them:
If you’re fine with not having an ocean view or wouldn’t mind linens with a lower thread count, you may want to consider a less pricey hotel for your next trip. The highest-rated hotels thrive on the idea of giving you an experience that’s designed for your preferences, so it would make sense to spend extra cash to achieve that degree of customizability. However, if you simply want a comfortable and private space to rest at the end of the day, it wouldn’t hurt to go for what a budget hotel can give you.
Rates That Allow Budget Optimization
Having a tight budget usually entails having to eliminate spending on luxuries you can do without. Such luxuries may include various hotel amenities, which could rack up your bill and leave you with little cash for other excursions. So unless you’re willing to give up other trip expenses (e.g., entrance fees, tours, shopping, dining), you may want to make do with a hotel that fits your budget.
Suitability for Packed Itineraries and Short Stays
As mentioned previously, budget hotels are usually great for travelers on short stays. Cheaper options are also ideal for backpackers or guests who intend to do a lot of exploring in the area. If you have a jam-packed itinerary and don’t plan to spend a chunk of your day at the hotel, you may want to go for low-to-mid-range lodgings instead. Just make sure that your room is safe, secure, clean, quiet, and comfortable enough to help you rest adequately.
Enough Space for a Few Bags
Another reason why backpackers favor less expensive hotels is that these kinds of guests often don’t need a lot of space in terms of accommodations. So if you’re amenable to less spacious options and don’t need to bring a lot of luggage, you can skip on the 5-star experience and make up for it in other trip activities.
Some Budgeting Tips to Remember
Before you choose the hotel you’ll be staying at, you need to remember a few things about putting together a travel budget. First, you should bear in mind that where you allocate the largest part of your budget depends on your biggest priority for the trip. In a nutshell, this means deciding whether you’d rather spend more time at the hotel or going out and exploring the area.
On a related note, you may want to identify any opportunity to save on your travel expenses, including accommodations. For example, you can check out discounts or book your hotel outside of the peak seasons to take advantage of low rates.
At the end of the day, though, it’s the memories you’ll be making that should be the core focus of your budget plan. No matter how much you spend, the most important thing is that you are able to reward yourself with a restful and fuss-free getaway.