The Consummate Traveler: How to Find the Perfect Hotel

Recently, I have been helping a colleague of mine plan his first vacation to Italy this coming November. His amazing itinerary will include Rome, Florence, and Positano. Since I have been to each of these locations a few times, I had very specific hotel recommendations to offer. However, sadly they were fully booked, so we had to start the search again from scratch. Going through this process has allowed me to identify a few key steps that can help you find the perfect hotel.

Do Some Research

If you are visiting a new city, you may already know of a few famous tourist sights, but I highly recommend getting on the Internet to learn a bit more detail about the location you are visiting. Personally, I like to type in the name of the city I will be going to in YouTube to watch home videos of different travelers or more professional travel programs like those put on by Rick Steves. By doing this, I came across a post where a substantial portion of a guided tour of the Amalfi coast was captured. The information you can learn from these videos can inspire your final itinerary and impact where you may specifically want to stay.

Pick a Home Base

It is very important to decide on a specific location where you want to be situated out of during your trip, as this will dramatically affect your hotel selection process. If you are a business traveler, you may favor being close to a train station or airport. However, if your plan is a romantic getaway with spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, you will want to stay far away from town and choose a secluded hilltop instead. On the other hand, if your goal is to explore the main tourist attractions in a given city, pick your favorite tourist sight and consider using that as your home base.

Use Google Satellite Maps to Research Hotel Options

Once you narrow down the location of a home base, I highly recommend that you type the name of your city plus the word “hotel” into Google Chrome and then click on the “Maps” tab. Once in the Maps tab, on the lower left hand corner there is a satellite image of the city. Double click on that image and zoom in using the controls on the lower right hand corner (plus and minus signs) to see an incredible bird’s eye view of the entire city. There, you will find several hotels on the map denoted by an icon of a bed. Click on any of the icons to instantly receive a price quote from one or two travel booking websites, an overall rating for the hotel, and a note as to whether the hotel is available during your travel dates. Having a visual layout of the entire city is the most efficient way I have found to pinpoint the perfect hotel location for your trip and judge the distances to your must-see spots.

As always, I wish you all the happiest of travels!