Booking a Hotel in the US



As an international student here in the US, you might want to utilize your school vacation or long weekends to travel to US’ tourist spots / attractions. It is good if you have friends or relatives in the place where you want to visit, because you can stay with them during your vacation. However, if you don’t have anybody that can provide you a place to stay, or if you want more privacy, you will have to stay in a hotel. Therefore, in this section, we provide you some tips on choosing and booking a hotel.

Find a Hotel

Tips for booking / choosing a hotel

FAQ's

Can I get some deals / discounts?

What is the mode of payment for reserving a hotel?

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Find a Hotel

The easiest way to find a hotel is by browsing through the Internet. You can go to some hotel search engine such as hotel.com or hotel-guides.us, or you can also go to travel web sites that provides you a package deal (airplane ticket – rental car – hotel) such as orbitz or expedia.com. The other way to find a hotel is by visiting the web site of the place that you want to visit. For example, if you want to visit the Disney Land, you can go to Disney Land’s web site, and find out the hotel nearby. You might also want to check out our useful links to find a list of hotels. Another less common way to find a hotel is by contacting a travel agent. However, this way will cost you more money because the travel agent will charge you a certain amount of service fee. Last but not the least, you can always ask your friends or family that have been to the place that you want to visit. Since they have been there, they might give you an idea of a good hotel to stay.

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Tips for booking / choosing a hotel

Below are some tips for choosing a hotel:

  • If you don’t have a walk-in coupon, reserve the hotel early, i.e., 3 to 4 weeks in advance. This is because hotels give higher rates if you reserve a room close to the actual date of stay.

  • Explore several options before you make your final choice. If possible, choose a hotel that does not have a cancellation fee, just in case you cancel your trip.

  • Read the hotel description carefully. Pay attention to details such as whether the hotel provide a private bathroom (inside your room) or shared bathroom (outside your room), or whether there is a kitchenette in the room. The room with kitchen might be a good idea if you want to cook and safe some money on food.

  • Read the fine line such as check-in and check-out time, cancellation procedure, and parking fee. If you plan to check-in late be sure to inform the hotel ahead of time.

  • Specify your preference when you book the hotel, such as, smoking / non-smoking or pets allowed / no pets allowed.


  • Some hotels also provide free transportation to and from the airport. If you need this service, please check with the hotel for the availability of this service.


  • Keep in mind that sometimes more expensive hotels provide you more services in such a way that they will actually save you more money than if you choose to stay in the less expensive ones.


  • If you plan to stay in a big city, it might be hard for you to find a parking spot near tourist areas. If you do, the parking fee will be so expensive. If this is the case, you might want to choose a hotel with easy access to the bus / train station and keep your car in the hotel.

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FAQ's

Can I get some deals / discounts?

Absolutely. Hotels or travel web sites give out deals and discounts from time to time, especially during off-peak seasons. If you are a first time customer, you will have to check their web sites and find out their offers. After you registered with their web sites, usually they will e-mail you whenever they have new deals / discounts, unless if you prefer not to get their ad.

The other way to get a deal / discount is by reserving the room early. Normally hotels charge more if you reserve the room close to your date of stay. Therefore, you can avoid this mark-up if you reserve the room early.

If you do not plan your travel, and decide to go on the last minute, you can find hotel coupons on your way to your travel destination. Usually you can find them in the rest areas or information centers on the highway nearby the tourist spot that you want to visit. However, since you don’t have a reservation in advance, there is no guarantee that the hotel will have a room available for you

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What is the mode of payment for reserving a hotel?

If you reserve the hotel on-line, then most likely you will have to pay either by credit card or by debit card. In certain cases, such as when you reserve a hotel through a travel agent, you can pay by check or money order.

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