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Here’s a Quick Way to Know Where to Stay in a City

Lounge chairsWhen traveling to a new city that you’ve never visited before, sometimes the hardest part can be figuring out where to stay. A lot goes into deciding what hotel is best, whether it is the price, the amenities, the cleanliness, or the staff. After booking the flights, the passports are ready, and the countdown begins, you are eventually going to have to choose where you’ll stay during your trip. However, how can you possibly decide where to stay, when you’ve never been there before? These tips can help:

1. Figure out what you want to do and see

Chances are if you are visiting a new city, you probably want to check out some cool sights there. Of course, not all sights are located within the same area, and just because you want to visit one attraction, doesn’t mean you necessarily want to be staring at it from your hotel window the entire time. (Unless maybe if it is the Eiffel Tower). The first step is to start thinking of the locations where the sights are that you want to see.

2. Look at a map

Once you’ve figured out what you want to see and do, check out a map. Google Maps can allow you to get a closer look at the city you are going to be visiting. By doing this, you can get a general idea of the shape of the town and where it seems like all the action is going on. For example, the Old Quarter in Hanoi, Vietnam is close to the lake and many famous sights. However, perhaps you would rather not stay where all the tourists stay. A map can help.

3. Learn about the public transportation

Some cities have excellent public transportation; others do not. Find out how accessible it is in the city you are traveling to (and how expensive it is). Keep in mind that being near a station might mean being isolated from everything else (this is when #2 comes in handy). It might be better for you to be walking distance from things you want to see, than walking distance from a complicated train or bus that you have to take every day. On the other hand, if you are visiting a larger city where most people get around my public transportation, then being near a station would certainly make your stay easier.

4. Safety

Especially if you are traveling solo, it is critical to do some research and find out where any unsafe parts of a city are. There might be a reason that several of the hotels you’ve looked up in the Red Light District are just dropping prices by the minute. Learn about the neighborhoods and find out what places should be off limits on your list (at least at night time). Then, try to work out where you are staying around that.

5. Be aware of your itinerary

Only coming for a night or two? Need to catch a plane the next day? Figure out how far the airport is from where you are staying. It would be a bummer if you found an awesome hotel near the best part of town, but it is three hours in a taxi from the airport. On the other hand, if the airport is not too far from where you want to go, then sometimes rates near the airport can be a lot cheaper than those in the city center.

6. Read Reviews

Almost all hotel and travel websites have a section for people to review a hotel. This will give you a good idea of whether or not the hotel you are looking at is in a good location. Many of the sites also provide maps where you can see your potential hotel in relation to other things in the city (which you can also of course do yourself on Google Maps). Also, asking for recommendations from others who have traveled to where you are going is helpful.

7. Know what you like

Some people like staying in the middle of all the action. Others prefer staying a bit away from the center, where it is a little quieter. While some travelers might love the fact that their hotel has bars surrounding it, others might prefer to be near a museum or a quaint suburb of the city. Once all the other details are figured out, you can call the hotel you are thinking of staying at and ask what it is like in the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. Moreover, for the adventurous types that don’t like to book their accommodations before they go, using these tips as guidelines for where to look once you land, can help you get the most out of your trip without wasting time looking for a place to crash.

How do you find a place to stay when traveling? Comment below and let us know so we can Go! See! Learn!

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Michelle Rae

Michelle Rae

Michelle Rae is the creator of The Traveling Vixen, which captures her adventures around the world. Her passion is to inspire others to grow by experiencing and learning new things in the world.