You've got the vacation days off from the boss, the flight purchased, and you're already looking at the weather report to figure out the clothes you need to bring. But hold your horses... you've got to figure out where to lay your head once you get to the Emerald Isle.
The truth is, there are so many options when it comes to accommodations, that it can be a very overwhelming experience. There are a few tips and tools I have used the last few times I have traveled, and it has been such a helpful and easy process.
So are you ready for Dublin? (truthfully, these tools can be used for trips all over- even staycations) Now what?
Keep reading below, and I promise you'll feel more prepared.
Tip #1: Identify Your Budget and Where You Want to Stay in The City.
I get it; you want to wake up with a fantastic view out your window and a plush cloud of a bed. Me too. But maybe you're budget is a bit less than you would like. Perhaps it's more 3 star level. Now don't get me wrong, these tips can be a great help for those who also have 4+ star wallets — cheers for you.
Once you've looked at a map of the city, understood that the closer to the city center the more $$$ will be attached, and then identify where you would like to stay, then head on over to use
I have used Booking.com for trips to Italy, Ireland, Costa Rica, Tampa and beyond at this point. What I'm saying is the search engine has some major flex to it. Here is a helpful video if you are not familiar with Booking.com
Tip #2: Create Lists
Booking and other travel sites will often allow you to make trip-centric list. I can't explain how helpful these list are. Right there, built in the platform are list that you can create and then go on to compare when you start using...
YEP, you read that right. Take it from someone who professionally books flights and hotels for other people (amongst other things #prlife) Google is king when it come to COMPARING.
After you have found a handful of accommodations you are interested, I'd then advise go and give them a looks over on Google. The comparison is easy....
Type the name of the hotel into the Google search bar
BOOM-- see this image down below- something like this will show up on the righthand side of your screen. There you can compare prices of other third-party travel sites, as well as the direct price from the hotel. In this specific search, it looks like Booking is the winner for best price. However, that is not always the case. When I stayed
at this wonderful hotel The Alex, last year. I ended up
booking directly with the hotel and saved money in
the long run.
By the way, The Alex Hotel, was one of the best choices we made when we were in Ireland, along with renting a car and staying in a castle.
It was located centrally enough that we could walk, but was also in a quite area snuggled between Trinity College and Merrion Square park. Right down the block was the best coffee roaster in DUBLIN 3FE and the pub next door, so aptly called The Ginger Man, was full of locals. To top it off, The Alex was gorgeous, and treated us warmly. Sorry not sorry for all these pictures. I mean, LOOK AT THIS PLACE!
Thank you to The Alex Hotel and The O'Callaghan Collection for working with us and being so accommodating EVEN when I needed one extra night that I forgot to book!!
This spot was a local boutique hotel, the type I prefer, but the search engine is great for the bigger well known hotel chains as well- which leads me to the next tip and tool.
Tip #3 Reviews
Ok, finally, a significant tip, that people often forget is to READ THE REVIEWS. There are so many websites like old faithful TripAdvisor that have recent review of the property you are eyeing.
That review by Sue from Topeka might save your back from the lumpy mattress at the hotel you nearly booked. And to all you anxious Annies out there, remember not to let one bad or hmm type review ruin the 300 other great reviews.
I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW- people will do whatever they can in their power to NOT have to speak with someone, but sometimes you can actually get a better rate or at least a matching rate when you book directly with the hotel. Booking via phone might add a little flexibility since you're dealing directly with the hotel instead of a third party. Make sure you call the hotel directly, not the 1-800 number.
Ok, adventurer, I think you are ready. Taking a note from one of Dublin's' native sons, Oscar Wilde, "Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets."
Believe me, follow some of this travel intel, and any regrets surely won't be due to a lousy hotel.