Finding a Hotel Tonight Is Easier Than You Think

Finding a hotel tonight, or any night for that matter, is much easier than you think. In fact, the travel industries are such that the consumer is no longer working on the whim of an outside agent working in semi-secrecy. Consumer protection progress in the industry, as well as streamlined planning tools, have made it so that anyone can jump online & find what they need.

In this case, we’re focusing on the ease with which someone can plan a stay at a hotel as soon as tonight. Perhaps the single greatest reason that planning a quick hotel stay has become so simple is the advent of the World Wide Web – the Internet. The Internet has allowed us to have a wealth of information at our fingertips for a few decades now, and with that knowledge comes some serious power. For example, there was once a time when knowing what hotels were nearby was the only real way you could choose a hotel. You subsequently had to look them up in the phone book (barring you didn’t make a mistake in their name), and you really had to hope that there was something available at the very last-minute. The number of variables was through the roof, and in many ways, consumers were operating at the discretion of the hotels.

This would be enough to convince even a hardened traveler to cry, “Uncle”, but the real struggle to book a room came when you had to travel out-of-town. Imagine being on a road you’re following on a physical map, and inevitably you’d end up somewhere whose geography you didn’t know, and you certainly didn’t know of any hotels, motels, or motorways you could bank on for a last-minute room. Today, however, you can know your way around town by way of your phone’s Internet access.

Perhaps the other most significant reason for being able to book a hotel room with ease comes by way of competition in the industry. There was once a time when you had a limited amount of choices for hotel stays. Regardless of whether you were traveling & moving about due to vacation or work, you were in a position where your lodging money went one of only a couple of places. Nowadays, you’re able to do quick online searches as to the quality (star rating) of you proposed lodging, amenities, as well as proximity to & involvement with your destination. Moreover, there are a number of hotels vying for your business, which means they are willing to work with prospective customers on pricing & flexible booking simply because they want your booking in a major way. With so much choice & with an added boost in saving on your booking, you as the consumer are the big winner.

When it comes to finding a hotel room tonight, you should set your mind at ease. A little common sense, some quick wit with online searches, and a comfort in knowing that you as the customer have some serious booking power should be your guides to hotel booking nirvana.

Last-Minute Hotel Deals Will Make a Procrastinator Out of You

Last-minute hotel deals were once looked at as being able to get what you could at a price higher than you really wanted to pay. In other words, the idea of a ‘deal’ was relative and was non-existent. Sure, there were times you could score some cheap travel lodging, but it was rare & had a slew of hidden issues attached.

Nowadays, the notion of planning ahead for any type of travel seems almost crazy. What’s more, this applies to travel in-state, state-to-state-, and even international travel. No longer are borders problematic, and considering how finicky lodging can be for some travelers, this is especially welcome & also perplexing.

How is the ease of making last-minute hotel plans possible? One word – Internet. The fact remains that the Internet has revolutionized the travel industry, and you are in the driver’s seat for the entire travel booking process. Never in the history of the world has it been easier to be so involved in all facets of travel, and the truly mesmerizing thing that it just keeps getting better.

Websites all over the world for everything from the most basic motor lodge to the best five-star hotel offer user-friendly websites that allow customers the chance to even be able to see what rooms may be available. Some offer live chats with prospective travelers, and even more profound are the hotels that offer a 360° view of available rooms so that when you book, you know exactly what you’ll be seeing when you arrive. The advancement of technology is just astounding.

21st century technology has now spawned the dawn of the mobile app, which connects prospective hotel visitors to the entire world by way of a little application. On these apps, you can explore rooms, reviews, prices, and even proximity to locals attractions. Even more crucial is that these apps often have four to five-star ratings for their accuracy & ease of use, essentially silencing the critics who believe that such ‘flash-in-the-pan’ tech is limited.

A last-minute hotel room is made even easier because there is so much competition between competing hotels for your business, you can almost list your own terms, including price. There was a time when you were stuck with one option for a hotel stay, and since everyone was vying for the same rooms (i.e., Spring Break, Memorial Day/Labor weekends), you really had to plan far in advance to make sure you had somewhere to stay. While this may still be the case in more rural areas, more often than not, you really have a tremendous amount of choice when it comes to the hotel you want with the type of room you want, and you can wait until even the same day to book.

As a final note, though, travel experts do advise travelers to use common sense when booking their lodging & urge them to understand that waiting too long for last-minute hotel deals can result in having no lodging available all together, so be mindful of your plans & book accordingly.

Summer in London 2017

One of the top festivals that take place in the capital city during the summer period is Lovebox, which is a two day music and dance festival which takes place at Victoria Park. This event welcomes the top DJ’s and live bands and a host of performances. It is fun for the yonger generation that are looking for fun and excitement during their city break.

The next top event that draws millions of people to London each summer is the famous Wimbledon Tennis Championships that takes place for two weeks at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. This tennis championship is the oldest tennis championship in the world dating back to 1877 and today it is one in four major grand slams, yet the only one that is played on a grass court. It attracts some of the best names in tennis right now and is brimming with excitement, strawberries, cocktails and a day of fun in the sun.

The Somerset House Summer Series is a reputable open air festival that attracts thousands of visitors who are looking for a day of music, dance and festivities. It is definitely not one you will want to miss when next in London.

The Lambeth Country Show always attracts hundreds of visitors to London. In 2017 it is celebrating forty two years with home grown vegetables on display, a flower competition, sheep shearing and even a mini farm for the younger children. It’s a fun day out for the whole family.

AfroPunk and Sunfall are both top dance festivals with leading DJ’s and bands that arre guaranteed to get you dancing. Not to mention the famous Notting Hill Carnival, which is the largest street party in London with calypso music, a parade and over thirty sound systems placed strategical through the streets which sees over fifty thousand participants.

There are a few things to remember when traveling to London for the summer season. Whether you are visiting for a mini break or for a couple of weeks, you want to ensure the accommodation you choose isn’t only comfortable, but is ideally located. All the events that take place in London are throughout the city and you will want to be close to the public transport links to ensure you can get to them with ease.

Take a close look at the top attractions and sights you may want to visit during your stay. Do you want to experience the famous London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel that will provide you with staggering views as far as your eyes can see, sitting on the edge of the River Thames. In fact this is the ideal place for some romance, a sunset ride and maybe even a proposal.

Buckingham Palace changing of the guards is another event not to be missed. This attracts hundreds of visitors to the palace gates to watch the guards doing their change, a routine that has been done for years and is a procession like no other.

Remember that there are some fantastic restaurants in London, owned by Michelin star chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay. The concierge at your hotel will be able to advise you and make your reservation on your behalf for added convenience.

Why Should You Always Try and Stay in a Five Star Hotel?

Let’s be honest, not everyone can afford five star, which is why so many people book into three and four star hotels. But before you start shopping around and book the first affordable hotel you find, there are a few things you should really know about.

The first thing is that every country has their own hotel rating system, which means a five star in London is not necessarily the same as a five star hotel in Australia or the United States. Every country has it’s own rating system, which could result in some confusion. In the United Kingdom stars are awarded on facilities, service and customer service, In France they focus on the quality of the rooms and in Italy they focus on cleanliness. Which means knowing the star rating system in the UK can help you look for hotels in other countries offering the same facilities, services and customer service, even if they are not awarded with five stars.

In the United Kingdom, facilities and services are taken very seriously and any hotel which is lucky enough to be awarded a five star status, must provide guests with exploratory facilities and services. They must also have experienced, qualified and excellent staff who focus on providing guests with the highest level of customer service, working to exceptionally high quality standards at all times.

The hotel should provide the finest level of cleanliness, it should be well-maintained and offer the delivery of any services to the highest of standards. In most instances a five star hotel will provide you with some benefits such as a fitness center and on-site wellness center, which should provide you with a range of quality treatments provided by qualities therapists. In addition to this, the hotel should also provide you with a twenty our hour reception desk for added convenience.

It is always advisable when visiting a new city or country, to choose a five star hotel with a concierge service. The concierge has a wealth of local knowledge and experience. They can make recommendations and suggestions on what to see and do, they will book a taxi for you or assist you with public transport. They can also make theater bookings on your behalf or make dinner reservations at a top hotel, saving you time and energy and reducing what you need to do when on holiday.

Further, they should provide a butler service. If you have hired a suite and have guests coming to visit you for an evening meal, then a butler could be the ideal way to spend the evening, enabling them to handle the dinner, serve the meal and clear the plates, while keeping glasses filled.

Most five star hotels will have a choice of public areas. They should have a full on-site restaurant that serves evening meals and maybe even breakfasts, they should also have a lounge bar or relaxed area where you can sit and chill out, maybe with a coffee or dinner cocktail, light snacks should be served here during the day. In addition to this, they should also provide you with twenty four hour room service to quality as five star.

What Is Better – Short-Term Accommodation Or A Hotel?

You have planned your holidays, and now you are selecting the destination. In the meantime, I hope that you have not missed booking the room that you are looking for. Whether you are going for the business trip or you are taking your family members for the holiday, it is always preferable that you book a place that offers various amenities suiting your needs. We all know that the hotels are quite popular in all the tourist destinations around the world, but what about the privacy and luxury. Do all the hotels have the same facilities to make your trip a success?

Now, what is the second option? Have you heard about the guesthouses? They are one demanding accommodation varieties these days; almost all the tourist spots have the residing places that attract travelers from all over the world. I have also once gone for a holiday and stayed in the guesthouses. I will help you to know the difference between the hotel and guesthouse-

1. Guest house has larger space

When you are staying at the B&B accommodation, you are enjoying a larger space than the hotel. In the latter one, you are just getting 1-2 rooms that you are booking. However, in the former one, you are getting the entire space to enjoy. Even, when you are going for the business trip, you can stay in these places. You can organize the meetings with your colleagues too.

2. Unlimited privacy

From my experiences, I know that there is little privacy in the hotels. There are various types of people coming from each corner of the world to live. You cannot totally feel safe and enjoy to the fullest when you are staying at the hotel. But, in the case of the guest lodging, you are going to get unlimited privacy. Therefore, for the next time, when I go with my kids, I will surely stay at the guest houses.

3. Private pool and garden area

When you are choosing the B&B lodging, you can enjoy at the private pool area or at the garden that you like. You can even have your breakfast in the garden. Both these areas are best places to relax and spend the leisure time. You can rarely get the private pool or garden at the hotels.

Apart from these, the best part is that the guesthouses give concierge services, which are great. I hope, if you book a short-term accommodation for your holiday, you will get a new experience.

Tips to Planning Your Honeymoon on a Budget

A wedding is not a cheap exercise. You may have been saving for months or more to get the wedding of your dreams, but what about your honeymoon. When planning a wedding, you always want to leave some of your budget for your honeymoon but when you look at the cost of booking a venue, caterers, flowers, entertainers and even a wedding gown, you will soon find that your honeymoon budget has reduced.

Not everyone has the benefit of being able to go on honeymoon without a budget, which is why you need to have some idea on what you can afford before you start shopping sound. The first step to planning a honeymoon on a budget is to know what your budget is. Your budget should include travel, accommodation, food, drink and experiences to ensure you have a memorable time and the perfect start as your new life together.

That being said, it is always advisable to start saving as soon as possible to push your budget up slightly, though all-inclusive deals may be the best option for you to help your money go further and gel you save on your budget, so that everything is included and all you have to worry about is food, drink and entertainment, or in some cases just your drink and entertainment. It’s something to think about. There is nothing that says you have to go straight from your wedding reception to your honeymoon, you can wait a couple of weeks or months and then go on your honeymoon to ensure you have a big enough budget to relax and enjoy yourself.

The next tip is to look at the honeymoon travel deals and offers that are currently available. It is at this point you may want to look at online travel companies that work with resorts throughout the world and can offer you a type of holiday experience that you will both enjoy. Ideally the company should provide city, sea and snow breaks, so you can choose the one you feel is the best match for you. Have a good look through the honeymoon travel deals that they provide, identifying their costs and see if anything appeals to you that you feel is the romantic getaway that you deserve.

It is always advisable when planning your honeymoon on a tight budget to look at out of season times. Even if you are getting married in the heat of summer and you want to go to a seaside resort, consider midweek or out of school holidays, where resorts and hotels are more likely to drop their prices to fill rooms. Here you can find value for money deals that has you staying in top quality resorts at prices you can afford.

If you are planning your honeymoon on a budget, then the shorter your honeymoon the better. Yes, it’s fantastic to imagine a few weeks or a month away together to spend your first few weeks as a married couple, but you have to be realistic in terms of your budget. You an easily enjoy yourself for a full week, enjoy a spectacular location and five star hotel within your budget. Who says you can’t have more than one honeymoon and if you had your heart set on a longer honeymoon, split it up into budgeted experiences over a period of time.

Another tip when planning your honeymoon on a budget is to not travel too far. If you live in the United Kingdom then travel within your own country or head over to Spain or France, which are easily accessible and affordable for travel so that you can make your budget go a little bit further.

5 Secrets to Finding Where to Stay in Fredericksburg

Deciding where to stay anywhere in the world can pose challenges, but when you’re faced with a particularly interesting city, it can be a little tougher to make the right call. This is the quandary faced when choosing a place to stay when visiting Fredericksburg, Texas.

The city of Fredericksburg was established in 1846, so it has a very long history into the early days of the Lone Star State. What’s more, this city, which boasts a population of about 11,000 people, has gained popularity over the years for all it has to offer to visitors looking for a unique, yet thoroughly Texan, experience.

It’s important to know that Fredericksburg, TX is seen as a gem in the central area of Texas known as the Hill Country. As time has passed, the city has remained small, but it certainly packs a punch in terms of what it offers to visitors, and herein lies the issue with deciding where to put your boots up, so to speak, when in town.

Here are five secrets to choosing the best place to stay when visiting Fredericksburg:

Plan Your Travel – This seems relatively easy as most people plan their travel, but specifically, understand on what roadways you’ll be traveling. If you happen to be on I-10, you’re a little south of Fredericksburg. While not too far, if you’re not keen on straying from I-10, you might want to look elsewhere. If you happen to be traveling Highway 290, however, it goes right through town, which presents more options. Also, if you plan on using Fredericksburg as your home base when taking day trips to either Austin or San Antonio, know that you’re fairly equidistant from both, which means you’ll likely save money by staying outside of the big cities.

Define Your Lodging Needs – Whether it’s one night, a weekend, or an entire week, staying in historic Fredericksburg provides many lodging options in the way of inns & suites, hotels, and B&Bs. Each has its own set of amenities and offerings for visitors, so it pays to know what you want out of your lodging.

Pets – More and more people are starting to travel with their pets rather than leave them with a neighbor or board them. It may be nice to travel with your furry buddy, but the options for finding a place to stay that is pet-friendly are greatly reduced. You may also be one of the many people who travel with a service animal. Though it’s easy to get online & check policies, a quick online search of Fredericksburg pet-friendly lodging gives you very inconsistent results. Calling ahead is your best bet.

Wineries – Fredericksburg is known across the country & abroad for its amazing wine. If you’re traveling to the area to check out any number of the fifteen wineries associated with Wine Road 290, you may want to consider how you plan on moving back & forth. Since you’ll be interacting with alcohol, these wineries take care to maintain safe environments. There are a few wineries that have attached lodging available, but you’ll have to call ahead of time to find out about availability (if applicable).

Know Your Map – Regular travelers know that when trying to secure a deal on a room, businesses offering a place to stay will advertise about their proximity to various landmarks & places of interest. Fredericksburg is no different. For example, a hotel may indicate that they are right off Main Street, which cuts right through the city. That sounds more appealing than staying off of U.S. Highway 290 until you realize that it’s the same road.

Choosing where to stay in Fredericksburg, TX requires a little bit of work on the weary traveler, but in the end, you’ll be greatly rewarded.

What Every Traveler Should Know About Making Hotel Reservations

There was a time when making hotel reservations was as simple as picking up the telephone & booking a room for a specific period of time. Depending on how your travels worked out, you would sometimes have the misfortune of having to book the same day & were hoping for the best, but all in all, booking a hotel room was not a big deal.

Boy, things have certainly changed! When the occasional hotel room “Booker” decides it’s time to make a reservation, the nervous perspiration starts. Palms get clammy, internal temperature starts to rise, and voices start cracking. The issue at hand is that we’re constantly bombarded by commercials on our airwaves telling us that we can find better deals by using technology. Online booking, booking apps, and email & text message alerts for price drops are now the way to book a hotel room not necessarily the right way but the smart way. Of course, no one wants to seem foolish, right?

To begin, let’s keep it simple. First of all, you always want to be sure you have the dates correct for your prospective reservation at the correct hotel. In other words, have the basic information spelled out correctly before you even start. It seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often people will try booking a hotel room with faulty information.

You also want to be sure to try & book early. Even though this may not always be possible, it does help get things off your mind faster than waiting until the last-minute before booking. You also avoid issues of not having a room to reserve because of something on the calendar that is bringing people into town. An example would be trying to book a hotel near the beach during Spring Break season.

It pays to think about how you book so that you can avoid having to contend with overbooking, time crunches, and heavy travel windows. For example, if you are traveling on the weekend, try to book a room at a hotel that tends to have a leaning toward business bookings. In the same vein, if you’re traveling during the week, like to stay in a hotel that has more of a ‘resort’ feel to it. This way, you’re always trying to travel opposite of the general travel traffic.

Finally, here is some input regarding the online & discount booking apps & websites – it can go either way. You can actually save some serious money booking online in some way, but you may open yourself to being booked at a mystery hotel whose identity isn’t known until after the reservation is made. In some cases, you also have to act quickly to take advantage of hotel reservation deals in order to get the pricing, which you may not be in a position to do right away. It’s also important to know about being “walked” by a hotel. Getting “walked” means that if a hotel can’t fill your reservation, it will pay for a night elsewhere. Hotels overbook assuming that there will be “no shows”. Depending on how & when you book, your indirect/third-party booking leaves you as a low priority, and if you’re unlucky enough to have booked at a hotel where everyone showed up, you will be “walked”.

Surprisingly enough, booking hotel reservations directly with a hotel over the phone or through their own website is the best way to book in many cases & provides the most perks. Whether through loyalty programs, flexibility in price negotiation, or being a frequent guest, connecting the old-fashioned way seems to be the best bet for handling your travel lodging.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Boutique Hotels

The lodging industry is one of the oldest businesses to exist in this world. It has been around ever since people started traveling from one place to the other for trade and other purposes. What began as the need of the hour (rest and shelter during long journeys) soon turned into an industry that offered comfort, convenience, even luxury, to their boarders. For example, The Greeks built thermal baths that allowed their guests to rest and recuperate. Romans constructed palatial mansions for travelers, while Caravanserais along the famous Silk Road from Turkey to China offered shelter not just for men but also their beasts.

In the 21st century, hotels have evolved into a flourishing business that has become an inseparable part of the travel industry. The styles range from flamboyant properties to bare-bone youth hostels, and all-inclusive honeymoon resorts to quaint country inns.

However, as competition grew and hotels started offering standard services across the chain, there was need for something innovative in the market. People, tired of impersonal services, started moving towards smaller hotels that offered personalized attention and unique experiences.

And thus was born the darling of the hospitality industry – boutique hotels. Today, they are the most sought after stay option for leisure travelers and the ultimate name in exclusivity. More and more people are choosing to stay in boutique hotels, because they’re almost always guaranteed to have a good time and get great value for their money

Given the popularity they enjoy, it’s worthwhile taking a peek into the fascinating history of boutique hotels and trace their evolution over time.

History of Boutique Hotels

The earliest boutique hotels appeared in the early 1980s, the first two of them being The Blakes Hotel in South Kensington, London, and the Bedford in Union Square, San Francisco. The term ’boutique hotel’, though, appeared much later in 1984, coined by Steve Rubell. He compared his own establishment, Morgans Hotel, to a small boutique, obviously wishing to highlight its exclusivity and set it apart from other hotels that were cropping up everywhere, much like the monolithic department stores.

This is not to say that boutique hotels are a modern invention. There are plenty of documented instances of similar lodging experiences dating back to the 13th century when staging posts were set up for travelers in Mongolia and China.

Here are a few more examples of one-of-a-kind boutique hotels that were popular back in the days:

  • In 1705, César Ritz opened a boutique hotel at Place Vendôme, which earned him high praise from King Edward VII who called him “king of hoteliers and hotelier to kings”.
  • In 1822, Venitian artist Giuseppe Rubino transformed an old palace into a gorgeous hotel and called it “il Rubino”.
  • In 1880, the Sagamore Hotel on Lake George (in the state of New York) became the first to provide electricity in each of its guest rooms, creating no small stir among visitors in those times.
  • In 1900, Edouard Niiermans, known as the ‘architect of palaces’ transformed Emperor Napoléon III’s summer residence – Villa “Eugenie – into a beautiful and niche hotel.
  • In 1919, Barcelona inaugurated a stylish hotel that was equipped with hot and cold water in its bathrooms.

As you can see, there have been numerous occasions throughout the history of the lodging industry when hoteliers applied creativity and offered top-notch services to stay ahead of the competition and offer something extraordinary to their visitors.

Boutique Hotel of the 21st Century – Characteristics that Set It Apart

Today, the term ’boutique hotel’ is used to describe small establishments with around 150 rooms. They are privately owned, or part of a small group of hotels, and are best known for iconic, memorable and, at times, eccentric design themes. The concept of boutique hotels became a trend after hotelier Ian Schrager and French designer Philippe Starck used unique designs to build their hotels. And now, it has become a flourishing industry of its own, complete with unique traits and qualities.

Here’s looking at some of the more important ones.

Size Does Matter

Boutique hotels are generally considered small, but they’re not in the same category as Bed and Breakfast hotels or homestays that have less than 10 rooms. Boutique hotels can have up to 150 rooms, which does make it appear smaller when you compare it to most chain hotels.

However, it is this intimate scale that helps create a home-like ambiance with peace and privacy aplenty. These cozy properties often have a communal “living space” where the guests can sit and interact with each other.

Personality Speaks Volumes

Since boutique hotels are independently owned and not affiliated to any big chain, they are a brand in themselves. They have a distinctive vibe to them that sets them apart from the others. It is their unique personality and absence of cookie cutter solutions that guests find refreshing, thereby drawing more and more people towards boutique hotels.

Design by Desire

Boutique hotels are known for their intriguing interiors, which are very often created by leading designers and architects. Generally speaking, these niche hotels tend to maintain an upmarket look, combining historic elegance with chic details. The decor conveys a progressively forward style and the overall design could range from contemporary and quaint, to homely and artistic. Each guest room is decorated individually, complete with exclusive amenities and upscale linen.

It’s All in the Charm

You know how you walk into a big hotel, but nothing really spectacular or interesting jumps out at you? Boutique hotels will have none of that and the first thing that grabs your attention is their eccentric personality. They are funky, trendy, and offbeat. For instance, the Hotel Monaco in Washington D.C. will bring a goldfish in a bowl to your room, if you don’t have a pet of your own.

Lovely Location

While there aren’t any hard and fast rules about where a boutique hotel should be situated, it’s no coincidence that the best of them have a great location going for them. When designing boutique hotels, most hoteliers choose the hippest and most happening places to set them in. You may even find them in high-end neighborhoods, removed from the hustle and bustle, but still close to the attractions and highlights of the city. Yet another popular choice for boutique hotels would be in areas that are far removed from the city, in the lap of nature and surrounded by lush greenery.

Superb Service

One of the most distinguishing features of boutique hotels is the highly personalized and exclusive services they extend to their guests. The staff is courteous and friendly and is likely to know your name from day one. The hotel provides bespoke luxury amenities, like an extensive pillow menu, custom toiletries, and an array of relaxing spa services. A sumptuous spread of food and drinks menu is also a signature part of a boutique hotel. All these services combined create a top notch and singular experience for the guests.

Delectable Dining Options

Another feature that makes boutique hotels stand apart from other hotels is their significant focus on creating extraordinary restaurants and bars, which are modish and trendy. These hotels make a great reputation for themselves, which is independent of the conventional star ratings. Thanks to their appeal, they’re able to draw crowds not just locally, but also globally.

As you can see, there are a number of reasons why boutique hotels are fast gaining popularity among travelers, who are demanding more than comfort and convenience from their stay options. They want to be surprised, they want to experience something new, something completely different from what the run-of-the-mill hotels offer. In fact, these days, if you’re not staying at a boutique hotel, you’re considered unfashionable.

I don’t mean to imply in any way that hotels are boring or uninspiring. There are excellent hotels all over the world offering out-of-the-world service to their guests. However, boutique hotels break the traditional mold and refuse to be boxed in by regular standards. Offering visitors style, distinction, intimacy, and warmth, they leave guest with an experience they can cherish forever. And isn’t that what hotels set out to do in the first place?

Is Your Hotel Ready for the Millennial Traveler?

Before I continue, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page about who were referring to when we use the expression ‘millennial traveler’.

Millennial, also more commonly referred to as Generation Y or Generation Next, are people who were born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. They make up about 20% of international travelers and it is estimated that by 2020, they will account for more than 320 million international trips.

Phew. Those are some staggering numbers right there! It’s no wonder that hotels are wooing them with everything they have. But for all the effort they’re making, do hotels really have what Millennial want? Do they even know what Millennial are looking for?

If you’re not quite sure, let me drop a few hints your way

Hint No.1: Technology is their life force

Technology is to Millennial what water is to fish – life itself. The perks that most of us consider good to have – Internet, WiFi, hi-speed mobile data – are essential to their way of living.

What this means for hotels

According to a report, almost 71% of Millennial travelers considered free WiFi an important factor when choosing a hotel. So hotels, pull up your socks and put the technology in place for them. Or they’re likely to walk up to your competitor and book a room with them.

Hint No.2: Millennial love their smartphones

‘Technology at your fingertips’ is an expression that’s taken very seriously by the Millennial. He is likely to go for hours without food and water, but not without checking his smartphone. He works, plays, chats, networks, writes emails, watches videos, and stays up to date on news using his phone. Other more complicated actions like booking tickets, making hotel arrangements, and paying bills can also be competently handled by his handset.

What this means for hotels

It’s absolutely imperative that hotels invest in superior mobile technology, starting with a website that adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions. With more than half of millennial travelers using mobile devices to discover and book hotels, the hospitality industry is paying a heavy price for not investing in a mobile responsive website. You might also want to consider getting an app for your hotel, to facilitate functions like mobile check in, check out, payments, and en-cashing loyalty points.

Hint No.3: Millennial are ‘social’ creatures

Generation Y is often criticized for shirking the forms of social interaction that their parents were fond of. They’re considered aloof, standoffish, and a little bit asocial. But the truth is that Millennial do tend to connect to each other, just not in ways that are familiar to us. The online world, especially social media, takes precedence in their social life. Facebook, Twitter, What’sApp, GChat, and Snapchat is where they hang out, check in, upload pictures, start conversations, and share details of their life.

What this means for hotels

Given that social media is one of the biggest influencing factors in the life of a Millennial, hotels must make a concerted effort to have a presence on various platforms. In fact, they must go beyond the token Facebook and Instagram page and build a community online. Reach out to your audience, engage them, solve their problems, and invite them to leave reviews. An active social media profile inspires confidence among Millennial and is likely to win you brownie points in the long run.

Hint No.4: Millennial place great faith in peer reviews

Generation Y is a suspicious lot and they can recognize a marketing gimmick from a mile away. For this reason, they rely heavily on ‘peer review’ to gather information about a place. Whether they’re buying a new gadget or trying out a restaurant in the neighborhood, you’ll see them pouring over reviews before deciding to do anything. They consider it a more authentic and ‘real’ source of information. And you can be 100 per cent sure that they’ll be reading up about your hotel before deciding to stay there.

What this means for hotels

Do not try to patronize or trick the Millennial traveler. All your online properties (website, blog, social media profiles) should display accurate information, accompanied by up-to-date pictures. If you’re offering a deal or discount, lay out the terms in black and white. Encourage your visitors to leave you a review on platforms like Trip-advisor or your Facebook page; incentivize the process, if you have to. Should you receive a negative review, take steps to address it and resolve the situation.

Millennial don’t expect you to be flawless. However, they do expect you to be transparent and sincere. Mistakes are an inevitable part of your industry and if you’ve taken every possible step to rectify the problem, you will be forgiven. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself at the receiving end of a nasty review posted for the entire world to see.

Hint No.5: Millennial are into Bleisure

Generation Y is relatively unencumbered by responsibilities at home and are more open to taking business trips. However, unlike the previous generation, almost 62% of millennial travelers will extend their business vacation to explore the place and gain cultural experiences.

What this means for hotels

Gone are the days when that solitary desk in the hotel room took care of any ‘business needs’ that travelers had. Millennial do not like working inside their rooms. This is the generation that steps out to a coffee shop to sit with their laptops and work for hours. The concept of the ‘third space’, independent of home and office, has been popularized by them. Design hotel lobbies to cater to this demand, so that when they step out in search for a place to work, they don’t have to go very far.

Hint No.6: Millennial look for authentic experiences

Despite what might look like their preoccupation with the cyber world, Millennial are always looking for unique and meaningful travel experiences. They want their stay personalized and won’t pass up an opportunity to learn something valuable. Not content with hitting the high spots of a tourist destination, they crave interaction with locals and enjoy immersing themselves in a variety of cultural experiences.

What this means for hotels

Reject the cookie cutter approach to the services you offer your guests. Offer them a genuine travel experience, one that is immersive, interactive and hands on. Don’t just take them on a regular sightseeing tour that showcases the city from behind the panes of a bus or car window. Take them to meet local artisans, show them the way to the hip and happening underground bar, and expose them to interesting customs and traditions. That’s the only way to add true value to their life and create an experience they will cherish for life.

There’s no denying that Millennial are driving the hospitality industry with full force. They already account for a third of the hotel guests in the world, and by 2020, the figure is expected to climb to 50 per cent.

To keep pace with growing demands, hotels must show a willingness to evolve and reinvent themselves. They have to put aside traditional methods of functioning, revisit their marketing strategy, and curate unique experiences for Generation Y.

Besides, it is in their best interest that hotels up their game. By updating their offers, hotels stay relevant within the industry and equipped to deal with the demands of changing times. Millennial travelers are the cash cow that every industry dreams of, and by catering to them, hotels are ensuring themselves a solid revenue stream for the next few decades, at least.