Are you planning a business trip? Are you in the process of comparing hotels, knowing that you need to make the right decision in a timely manner?

It doesn’t matter where you are traveling or what your schedule looks like upon arrival, you know that choosing the right hotel can be the difference between an enjoyable trip and one that lasts entirely too long.

This leads to an important question: what’s the best way to choose a hotel when traveling for business?

Although there is no “cut and dry” answer, there are steps you can take to improve your chance of making a good decision.

Here are five things to keep in mind as you compare hotels and inch closer to finalizing your reservation:

1. Location, Location, Location

Just the same as buying a home, location is the name of the game when choosing a hotel for your next business trip.

Do you need a hotel that’s close to the airport? How about one that is downtown? Or maybe a property in a high-end area? If you’re searching for a Beverly Hills hotel, for example, you can rely on Expedia to point you in the right direction.

You need to know what you’re looking for in regards to location. Overlooking this detail can turn your trip upside down.

2. Price

It doesn’t matter if the money is coming out of your pocket or you can expense it, the price is always important when booking a hotel.

With the average daily rate of hotels in the United States hovering around $130/night, this should give you a starting point as you begin your search.

Maybe you’re okay with spending right around $130/night. Or maybe you need to cut this in half, knowing that your company is tight on cash flow right now.

It doesn’t matter what your budget is, as long as you have one in place to guide your decision.

3. Amenities

No two hotels are exactly the same in regards to amenities. Some are fully equipped with everything from an on-site gym to a luxury swimming pool (think about properties like the MGM Grand Las Vegas). Others, however, don’t have any of this.

Make a list of the amenities that you consider most important. From there, start your search for hotels that have all of these. If you’re lucky, you’ll find one that meets your every need. Even if you don’t, you should be able to find something you can afford that gives you most of what you’re looking for.

4. Online Reviews

If you are visiting a city for the first time, it’s hard to know which hotel is right for you. While you could take a guess and hope for the best, this is no longer something you have to do.

Here’s why: you can read hundreds upon hundreds of online reviews to get a clear idea of what other travelers think about the properties you are considering.

You don’t want to become so consumed with online reviews that you lose track of what you personally want, but you should definitely take cues from those who have stayed at the hotel in the past.

5. Customer Service

This is a tough one because it can be difficult to gauge customer service before you actually step foot inside a hotel. However, there are a few ways you can do this.

In addition to reading online reviews, paying close attention to what others say about the service, you can contact the property yourself.

Call the main number, ask a few questions, and make note of how you are treated.

Did the person on the other end take the time to answer your questions? Did he or she offer to dig up more information for you? Were you treated poorly, such as a long hold time?

A good customer service experience will make your stay much more enjoyable. It’s nice to know that there is always someone available to answer your questions and provide advice.

Tip: there will be times when you forget to pack something, meaning that you may need to ask the front desk for help. A good customer service team will make sure you get what you need in a timely manner.

Conclusion

With approximately 50,000 hotels in the United States alone, you won’t be without lodging options when traveling for business.

Although you may not know exactly what you’re looking for in a hotel, focusing on these five details will give you the guidance you need to make a confident decision in a timely manner.

Do you travel regularly for business? Do you have plans on hitting the road in the future? What steps do you take when choosing a business hotel? Share your personal approach in the comment section below.

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