For budget travelers, booking an affordable hotel online is a lot like participating in a guessing game where everything feels like just based on a smart instinct. Believe me, most of the hotels we heard around do not live to the hype of grandeur and romance, so be careful.

Most often than not, when checking hotels online, we are easily enthralled with the elegant images of hotel rooms. Then a grand surprise will hit us when we reach the hotel. In what could have been an elegant bedroom picture we have seen in the hotel website turns out to be a crappy, undesirable room in a warehouse-looking building.

I had a bad experience in 2013 when I made an online booking for a hotel room in Angeles city, Pampanga. It was a lot cheaper but the rate was not far from other good-looking hotels in the area and besides the name sounded angelic and the pictures were cute so I chose it.

My friend and I had a nightmare of our lives when we reached the hotel lobby and went to our room. Oh God! It was so awful and downright disgusting, felt like we were in a dusty, 1960s motel and the funny thing we were all girls! The bedroom was so tacky and dirty and facilities were not properly functioning.

We were not able to sleep soundly as expected and woke up very early on the following morning so that we could leave the place and go to the airport. We just waited for our evening flight at the Clark airport lobby for Hongkong and kept complaining with that murky hotel. Terrible!

I learned enough lessons with that experience and became cautious with my bookings online whenever I have an out-of-town travel. In fairness, the hotels I chose for my out-of-the-country travels were all good and pleasing. I always chose the 3-star hotel because rooms are very affordable and basic amenities like wifi, TV and freebies, bath towel, slippers, are included. Room accommodation in 3-star hotels has a complimentary breakfast, perfect for budget travelers.

Asking how to avoid booking a crappy hotel online? Here are some of my tips:

1. Decide on your budget, if you want an affordable accommodation, make sure to do some research first. Check online resources, actual testimonies of bloggers and their experiences with those accommodations.

2. Trim your research subjects to your destination then include testimonies and reviews of accommodations related to the destination. Check for the best recommended budget hotels.

3. When you search online, make sure you check reviews from customers/clients and view the ratings. Don't be deceived right away with the gorgeous pictures of the room and the building, expand your research related to those recommended hotels.

4. Remember that transient inns and 3-Star hotels are two different things. Decide which one you would choose. Transient Inns have small rooms only good for resting the night. Mostly, it has no complimentary breakfast. This is only ideal if you are traveling to countries with a high cost of living. Rooms in a transient inn is also ideal for budget travelers and backpackers.

5. If you are traveling to countries with affordable cost of living and whose currencies are cheaper than your native country, better choose a 3-star hotel room. The rate is very affordable and basic amenities are provided, example free wifi and continental breakfast.

6. If the information provided by the booking site seems confusing to you, contact the hotel by sending an email to clarify things.

7. Always do your booking at a booking site and not directly in the hotel so that you can check the reviews given by customers and can compare the features, prices and ratings with other hotels in the site.

8. Choose a booking site that offers cancellation period days before your departure so that you can still change your mind and look for other alternatives.

Traveling is always great, it's a fascinating escape from stress and tension, so make it more wonderful, don't let the experience and excitement be ruined with the disappointment of having chosen a crappy hotel room. Be smart and cautious when choosing your room accommodation. Be resourceful before making your decision. Choose only the trusted booking site and don't do it anywhere. Hope you learned something from my sharing!