Hotel booking for a group trip to ESSENCE Festival 2018 can either be a hassle or a breeze; it’s all in the way you plan. Use these 12 tips as your guide to ensure your accommodations are everything you want them to be as you get ready for an unforgettable weekend with your squad.
See you in NOLA!
1 of 12 Lisa Pines/Getty Images
A great way to start the planning process is to have each person in your group recommend a hotel of their choosing. Once you have your short list together, start the research process and discuss the pros and cons to begin narrowing down your list.
2 of 12 Domino
Getting ahead of the rush to take advantage of any special rates or other incentives offered to early bookers is always a plus.
3 of 12 Plume Creative/Getty Images
Did you start planning for 4 and now only 3 are going? Are people arriving or departing on different days? Is everyone working with the same budget? Staying in communication with your crew throughout the hotel booking process can often eliminate any unnecessary confusion.
4 of 12 anyaberkut/Getty Images
Some hotels allow you to receive a full refund if you cancel within 24-72 hours before arrival, while others don't. Get a clear understanding of the policy at the hotel your group chooses and make sure everyone is aware of it, in case you end up having to cancel your stay.
5 of 12 Getty Images
Having a room with enough space to accommodate your group is important. While larger rooms with additional sleeping options can seem like more money on the front end, you might end up wishing you'd upgraded in the end. If the hotel you select doesn't offer a room big enough for everyone, it might be best to consider booking more than one room so everyone can be comfortable.
6 of 12 Dragan Radojevic
While you and your squad are in the process of narrowing down your hotel choices, it can be extremely helpful to find out location details like how far the hotel is from the airport, or how long it would take to walk to Convention Center or the Superdome, if needed.
7 of 12 Bloomberg/Getty Images
Arriving at the airport in NOLA during ESSENCE Fest week may be a little hectic, but finding out the available transportation options beforehand are half the battle. Weigh out the pros and cons of traveling by taxi, shuttle, or rental car for the weekend and determine what works best for your group ahead of time.
8 of 12 Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images
If some, or al,l members of your group will be arriving before hotel check-in time, call ahead to see if they can accommodate an early check-in. If you'll be checking in after midnight, be sure to call to let the hotel know so they don't cancel your reservation. Standard hotel check-in times are usually between 3pm and 4pm.
9 of 12
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc.
Every hotel charges a refundable incidental fee, in addition to the price of the room plus tax. The amount of the fee is held on your credit card for the duration of your stay at the hotel and refunded once you check out. The cost of incidental fees per night, as well as the amount of time it will take for the money to be placed back in your account after you check out, both vary by hotel, so be sure to call ahead and ask before you book so there are no surprises. You may also want to determine which person in your group will put their card down to cover the cost of incidental fees ahead of time.
10 of 12 Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
From nearby eateries, to drug stores, to shopping malls, it's good to know what's in the area around your NOLA hotel—specifically, what's in walking distance and what isn't.
11 of 12
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images
When booking a hotel with a group, having cash on hand upon arrival is always a good idea. Whether to split the transportation cost, or just to be prepared in case of an emergency, make sure credit or debit cards aren't the only forms of payment you have available.
12 of 12
Image Source/Getty Images
Anyone who had to learn this the hard way will tell you that waiting until the last minute to book a hotel for ESSENCE Festival weekend is not the way to go. Hotels fill up quickly and the longer you wait, the more you risk not having accommodations. To see a full list of our partner hotels and their rates, click HERE.
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!