How to Book the Perfect Hotel from Start to Finish

There are so many hotel options today, and it may seem like there are just as many ways to book them. This can get overwhelming for even the most seasoned of travelers. If you feel like there must be a simpler way to book a hotel, you’re right. From start to finish, we’re showing you how to book the hotel that’s best for you and perfect for your next adventure.

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1. Map Your Location Options

At the very beginning of your search, you’ll want to nail down exactly where you want to stay. Since you already know the city and state, get granular and choose which area of the city you want to stay in. Make a list of the top attractions you want to see and your priorities. Maybe you want to walk to nearby coffee shops and restaurants or be close to the beach or a park for the kids. If you plan on renting a car, you may even extend your search to the outskirts of town.

Either way, a map search function makes choosing your specific location easy. That’s why we have a map tool built in, so you can easily zoom in, pinpoint where you want to stay, and find hotels in that location.

2. Filter Your Search Results

Filter, filter, filter. We can’t say it enough. Skip the time spent scrolling and search only for hotels that fit your needs. You can filter by amenities that you need, like a refrigerator or room service, but you can also filter for so much more. Think about everything you want. This may include a pool for the kids, free breakfast, Wi-Fi, a bar, a fitness studio, late check-out—you name it!

3. Search Only in Your Price Range

We can relate to swooning over dreamy hotels that don’t quite fit the budget. But once you really start planning your hotel stay, we highly recommend you add a price range filter for your search. That way you don’t have to get excited about a hotel only to notice later that you can’t afford it.

4. Check Hotel Reviews

If you don’t have time to get lost in the hotel review rabbit hole, we have a few tips. Think about those must-have qualities in a hotel. While you’re searching, look for those while reading reviews. Cleanliness is important to all of us, but if that’s your number one priority, look for reviews about how clean the rooms are. We make it easy by featuring firsthand user reviews and ratings from TrustYou on each hotel’s description page. Once you find a hotel that checks your must-haves off the list, you know you’ve found the perfect one.

5. Use Hotel Loyalty Programs

This is one of our favorite tips for saving money on hotel rooms: loyalty programs. If you’re already a member of a hotel’s loyalty rewards program and you have a favorite chain, you can use our hotel brand filter to search for those hotels to keep racking up points. If you’re not already a member, we show you the loyalty member prices upfront. This means the price you see for a room on our site is the price you’d pay if you were a member of that hotel’s loyalty program. These rates are almost always cheaper than what you would pay if you weren’t a member, and loyalty programs are always free to join. If you like what you see, you can go straight to the hotel to sign up and get that rate.

6. Set Price Alerts

When it comes to types of travelers, we see these two a lot: people who plan their trip way in advance and those who wait until the last minute. Both methods have their strengths, but price alerts can come in handy, especially for advance planners. With these email alerts, you can wait to book when the best rate comes along and you feel confident in the price you’re paying. First, you’ll need to create an account on so we know how to contact you. Then, simply click on the “Set Price Alert” button on any hotel page. We watch the rates, and if the hotel’s price drops for your specified dates, we’ll email you. You can set as many price alerts as you want, as far in advance as you want.

7. Book Your Stay

The obvious final step of booking your ideal hotel is hitting “book now.” But how you book is important, and we can’t emphasize enough how booking directly with the hotel can make your travels so much easier. We have entire blog posts dedicated to this topic, but some key benefits to highlight are that you know your reservation is secure and not lost in cyberspace with an online travel agency like Expedia. You can also rest easy knowing you’ll get the customer service you deserve and the best price possible.

Booking the perfect hotel doesn’t have to be complicated. When you search for a hotel with Roomkey, we offer an experience that is clean, has truthful search results, and offers plenty of filters and map tools to help you fly through these steps. Plan ahead and search for your exact needs, and the best hotel will be sure to follow.