UYC’s Guide: 5 Things To Consider Before Booking A Hotel
Now that you’re well versed in all the fabulous free things to do in London, as well as a host of quirky museums that must make your to-do list, the only thing potentially stopping you from jet-setting across the pond to visit our sister city London is, most likely, the shudder down your spine when you think of the hotel check-out bill. Fear not, we’ve compiled a few tips on how to save your pennies when it comes to lodging, even in one of the few cities pricier than New York:
As with New York, location is everything, and something to carefully consider before booking a hotel. While, yes, you can probably grab cheaper rates by staying in Queens or Brooklyn in lieu of Midtown Manhattan (the same can be said comparing London’s Brixton to ritzy Mayfair), you shouldn’t forget to take into account additional transportation time and cost to get to your lodgings. In London especially, the further out you are in the city, the more you will end up paying in terms of public transportation. So while a hotel located in Zone 9 may seem like a great deal (helllooo Rockaway Beach!), it may end up costing more in the end, both in transport and headache.
While some of my more bohemian friends thrive on finding a place to stay once already in the city, I’d argue this works against you when visiting London. Booking ahead can end up saving you a ton, and sites such as TravelStay reward you with up to 45% off with early bird discounts. For those on a strict budget, it doesn’t get much better than $15.39 per person. I, for one, have never heard of prices that good in NYC, even in the worst of the worst neighborhoods.
As someone who truly believes breakfast is the most important part of the day, I take free breakfast when it comes to traveling very seriously. The British, especially, are very well known for their take on breakfast, and when it’s included with the price of the hotel, even better! Some of the standard breakfasts you’ll want to look out for when booking are:
Continental Breakfast usually includes the choice of toast, butter, jam, cereal such as cornflakes or muesli, tea, coffee, and juice.
English Breakfast is a cooked hot breakfast and usually includes the choice of sausages, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, and toast, tea, coffee, and juice.
Scottish Breakfast is a cooked hot breakfast and usually includes the choice of sausages, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, and toast, tea, coffee, and juice. It can also sometimes include some Scottish specialities like kippers, smoked haddock, haggis, and tattie scones.
Self-Catering – Breakfast is not included in the price, however kitchen facilities are available for you to prepare your own meals throughout the day or night.
Room Only – Breakfast is not included, but is generally available to purchase directly from the hotel.
Another biggie to look out for is the inclusion of a free airport shuttle in your hotel price. With cab prices being nothing to scoff at, this could end up saving you upwards of $100 (each way!) in the long run.
Never Hurts To Ask
Finally, one piece of advice I’ll leave you with that I’ve taken away from during my travels: it never hurts to ask. From requesting an early check-in to a late checkout, the WiFi password to a complimentary upgrade, hotels are usually more than happy to accommodate your request if they’re able to. They’re aware just as you are that there’s a plethora of options out there, and when they can leave a good impression and happy customer, they know they’ll be more likely to get your return business or recommendation to a friend…so it’s kinda a win-win for all parties involved.
What do you take into consideration before booking a hotel? Share below!
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen