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Finding a Hotel
Choosing the right hotel for your road trip can be a daunting task. But thanks to advances in technology, it’s now easier than ever to check out everything about a potential hotel before you set off on your trip. You can view everything from pictures to daily rates to customer reviews all from your computer. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when picking the right hotel…
What Matters Most?
Before you try to narrow down a list of hundreds of potential hotels, give some thought to what matters most. For example, do you want a location close to all the action or more remote to offer more privacy and quiet? Do you need a hotel with wifi? Do you want a hotel with a pool? Restaurants? Once you’ve identified the top 5 most important features for your hotel choice, then you can start your search in more depth.
You should have a ballpark number in mind for what you want to budget for your hotel. From there, get on the major online sites to do some comparison shopping. Check out everything from Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz, to Kayak.com, Venere.com and Hotels.com.
If price is of primary concern to you, then consider using a bidding engine Priceline.com, where you can choose options for a hotel, make a bid for what you want to pay and then see if someone accepts it. The downside is you won’t know exactly what hotel you are staying at until they accept your bid, but the cost savings can be huge! An alternate valuable site to try is Tingo.com, which will consequently rebook you and discount your cash if the rate at your lodging drops after you've busy.
Pay close attention to where your chosen hotel is located. If you have limited time in your destination, you will likely want to be close to all the attractions so you do not waste time commuting all day to each attraction. If you are going to be relying on public transportation, then proximity to a large station (bus, train, etc) is key. If you want the ultimate in privacy and relaxation, then perhaps “location” for you may be as far away from the action as possible.
Culture and Local Flavor:
If you'd rather stay away from the enormous chains, you will have many options with local B&Bs to stay in. Most of the online search engines include listings for B&Bs nowadays, but you can also checkout this great resource, Ditch the Hotel: 10 Alternative Ways to Stay.
Every hotel will differ in the type of and quality of amenities provided. This covers everything from on-site activities like swimming pools, beach access, gym and fitness center, room service, meeting room spaces, business centers, and more. Beyond that, you have your in-room amenities like high quality toiletries, bathrobes, wireless music players, TV, fireplace and so on. Based on your specific desires, you will want to do some research on the hotels to see if they will meet your expectations in this area.
For those of you who travel often, you probably already belong to several airline or hotel membership clubs. If you don’t, you should join them as soon as possible. You can earn free nights, free upgrades, free dinners and more all by simply staying at their hotels throughout the world or even just by spending on your credit cards.
More and more hotels these days are focusing on “being green”. If that is something you find important, then make that a sticking point for your online search. While most major cities will have green-certified hotels, you may have a harder time finding available options in smaller cities. In that case though, you can do things on your own to stay green like asking that they do not clean your sheets or towels on a daily basis. Some hotels may even comp you a free drink or other amenity for saving them the hassle of cleaning your room!
When traveling with kids, it’s important to find a hotel that will meet all their (and your) needs. One great resource to check out is Familyvacationcritic.com. Here you will find extensive reviews from parents just like you as well as flash sales, insider tips, and more.