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.


Book Ahead

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.


Free Shuttle

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






  • Location is my main thing about choosing where to stay. Breakfast is probably least – only because I sleep past it lol

  • Rebecca says:

    I always check the area of the hotel – if it’s not near where I’ll be spending most of my time, I’ll be spending valuable time and money getting around. The shuttle is a great tip! Better than queuing up in the taxi line waiting on a hotel and usually cheaper.

  • GREAT points there. I never knew that one could get access to a kitchen and cook a meal or two.. and I love Fiona’s suggestions.. she’s always on top of things.
    GREAT post .

  • Jenn says:

    Free breakfast is always a big deal for my husband and I when we travel. It can definitely make a big different in the price of food for the rest of the day. I’ve never been to London myself, but if it is like any other big cities, one “gotcha” to consider is parking. When we stayed in both New Orleans and New York, parking was not part of the deal for hotels and it cost upwards of $100 extra for a parking deck/lot to take our car for the duration of the trip. So, if you are traveling with a car, take that into consideration too…

    • Used York City says:

      Excellent point, Jenn! Parking can surely be horrendous, especially in big cities where everything costs an arm and a leg!

  • Pamela Morse says:

    Location will also determine how much of your tour will be spent doing what you want, and how much will be a commute..good points here. I can’t believe you found that price in London..

    • Used York City says:

      Thanks Pamela! Yeah, apparently if you plan in advance you can score a pretty good deal!

  • In London at least, we have a pretty good public transport system to every airport. Personally, I wouldn’t try staying any further out than zone two on our transport system. There are also some fun, quirky places to stay that are not hotels and can be a lot cheaper. Pubs and Coffee shops sometimes have interesting spaces for instance!

    These two are local to me, but I’d guess most areas of london have their own. Alisdair Sawdy’s guide is a great place to look

    • Used York City says:

      How very cool, I love this concept! And thanks for the Londoner tip on the zones…yeah, it really doesn’t make much sense to spend the entire vacation trekking to and from hotel to sights!

Comments are closed.