One of my favorite things to do when I have free time is to travel. Whether it be the month long summer vacation or the weekend getaway it is important to find suitable accommodations. Maybe you’re going hiking in the mountains or winery hopping in the valley for the weekend. It could be that your traveling around Ireland or Europe and need hotel rooms for the various cities you will be visiting. Whatever your travel needs are I have some tips on finding the most suitable location to fit your needs.
My top resources for finding accommodations are found on the web. The following are a list of websites that you may find useful for finding hotels, motels and B&B’s (listed in order of my preference):
- Booking.com: user friendly, has user reviews, great prices, no booking fees
- Tripadvisor.com: many user reviews, great trip advice, more than just hotels
- Expedia.com, travelocity.com, or others: any of these travel sites are worth a look
- Airbnb.com: good if you like self-service places & getting a feel for local living, can be more expensive and there is a fee charged by airbnb
- aaa.com, or groupon.com: aaa.com if you’re a member and groupon for packages and ideas.
After finding a hotel deal listed from any of the above sites I suggest you go to the hotels website itself to find further possible discounted rates. Occasionally the hotel website will offer lower rates when compared to booking websites. If you are a member of auto club member, a retiree, a member of the armed forces, a government employee or in a hotel rewards program you may be entitled to bigger discounts. It’s worth a shot and only takes a few moments.
One of the things to consider when staying in bigger cities is parking at the hotel especially if you have a car with you. A low nightly rate can become much more expensive if there is no free on-site parking. If your not sure, a quick email to the hotel will confirm the availability of parking and any fees. For hotels outside of the United States you should verify that the rooms have bathrooms ensuite (in the room) or are they shared bathrooms. Many places offer lower rates with a shared bathroom between several rooms. I personally like to have my own bathroom to shower and use when I want. Also check out to see if the hotel offers free breakfast. This can save you time and money especially if you’re traveling with the entire family.
Finally you can usually save even more money if you book your hotel, airfare and rental care at the same time. Many websites offer discounts when bundling all of these services together. Once again I suggest you compare prices with and without bundling. You can also pay for your hotel stay with membership rewards or points you have built up on your credit cards. If you have the points you might as well use them.
I hope these tips will be useful and I look forward to hearing about your travel adventures.
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