When planning your next vacation one of the first things you need to think about is where you're going to stay on your epic journey. There are so many different options depending on where you're going, your preferences and your budget. Hostels are fantastic for backpackers and travellers on a budget. They are cheap and basic and you know what you're going to get before you get there. Hotels and B&Bs come with the standard star ratings and can reasonably be held accountable to it - however those ratings can be relative to the area; a five star hotel in Vegas will be very different to a five star in Leeds, UK. But what you look for in your accommodation can be broken down into a few easy steps.
No matter where you stay, and no matter your budget, make sure you check out the ratings for the place. Even hostels come in a range or styles - and the basics that you should expect like cleanliness and general safety of you and your belongings will be reflected within the ratings and reviews. If you're booking through a site like AirB&B, you really have to rely on people's reviews. Sites like Tripadvisor do pay for reviews, so look at independent reviewers and local review sites for a more accurate description, or simply ask for opinions on social media for reviews from people you know and trust.
Are you close to the place you came to visit or are you hours away? Look at the realistic travel distance between your accommodation and whatever it is you have come to see. Look at Marriott on the Falls, the views advertised are often a good indication of the hotel location, or of the photographer's skill. Google maps it to get a better indication. You might end up further away from the sights or the city than you initially wanted, but that compromise might mean you get more for your money in the long run.
Each accommodation comes with its own selling points - the more you spend, however, the more you expect to get back in return. High priced hotels should come with great services and standards, as well as included extras like a gym and pool. Look at parking, car rental services and laundry services too. These thing might be extra, so watch your budget. Cheaper places will mean less luxuries, however a lot of three star places will still have pool and gym facilities. With hotels you are given the option of half or full board, as well as all inclusive. Half board means breakfast and your evening meal included in the booking price, full board includes your lunch, and then all inclusive includes all your meals and drinks. Even if you eat out a lot, all inclusive might work out more cost effective, but look into it and figure out which option is best for you. In countries like Italy, hostels can come with some great benefits - on site restaurant, bars and stores and even a pool or two can be found on location.