Once you have picked the ideal destination for your holidays travel, it’s then time to pick the hotel that fits your budget and offers all of the amenities you need.
- book early for warm weather destinations
- find the best luxury hotel at a decent price
- consider independent hotels
- sign up for hotel’s rewards programs
- read online reviews
- forget about Disney World deals
- stay too far away from the main attractions
- neglect to add up all the costs
- assume you can’t afford a suite
- neglect the benefits of various amenities
A significant portion of the country lives in colder climates. During the holidays, many of them choose to escape to a warm and sunny destination. Places including Miami, San Diego, Phoenix, and the Florida Keys are all popular spots. Popularity means the best deals at the best hotels will be picked up quickly. Don’t wait until a few days before your trip to book a hotel – get it early to give yourself time to research the right accommodations for your needs.
In some markets such as Las Vegas where there is a lot of supply, you can find luxury hotels for just dollars more than four-star accommodations. While many people view a hotel as just a place to sleep, paying a nominal amount for more luxury can change your outlook and add a special flair to your holiday’s trip.
Non-chain hotels often need to work harder to secure business. Consider independent hotels that have more leeway to offer you discounted rates and often have amenities such as free WiFi, breakfasts, or evening cocktails and appetizers. Small-sized boutique hotels are often family run businesses and might try harder to make sure your stay is comfortable.
Many hotels offer rewards points for frequent visitors. Even if you don’t travel that often, some of the hotels feature free Wi-Fi or other amenities for rewards members, and you will be on their newsletter list to get access to the best deals.
While you shouldn't put too much stock into a single poor review, it’s important to notice trends. If you see multiple reviews that talk about poor service or especially bad housekeeping, then you should steer clear. Browse through reviews before booking to find the best mix of decent reviews and affordable price. A hotel with many four star reviews might be a better bet than one with an odd mix of five and one-stars.
Going to Disney during the holidays can be great on the wallet. The two-bedroom Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando can be had for around $100 a night, considerably less than typical July or August rates. Two-bedroom suites are a great option for families with kids who want some privacy but are not old enough for their own separate room.
Many booking sites offer hotels that are situated away from the main areas of interest. For example there are many hotel options in San Francisco that are available in Oakland or other suburbs that are not close to Union Square or the Embarcadero. Or if you are staying several miles inland while in South Beach. You should consider both the time and expense required to get from your hotel to the main attractions and make sure you aren't “saving” money on the hotel at the expense of having a good time.
When comparing hotels, be sure to add up all of the fees. These can be phrased as “resort fees”, “facility fees”, or separate fees for Wi-Fi or other services. If you have a room for $50 a night, but the resort fee is $30, then perhaps it’s not the best deal. These fees can often be negotiated. Make your displeasure known at the counter and politely ask for them to be waived.
At many hotels, suites are underutilized. When booking your hotel, consider calling it directly to see if you can work out a deal in a suite. If you are traveling with older children and are considering connecting rooms, then a suite can often make sense, giving you extra room with the added peace of mind of knowing the kids are close to you.
A perk such as a continental breakfast not only saves you money; it can help get you out the door faster so you have more time to enjoy your day. Especially if you are traveling with kids, it’s very helpful to simply head downstairs in pajamas and eat early. If you like to chronicle every facet of your trip, then free WiFi is another good perk to help you connect with friends or even the office (if you have to).
With hotels, picking the wrong one can literally ruin a trip. Make sure you read reviews and be sure to spot any consistent complaints about cleanliness or housekeeping, both of which are warning signs. Through some careful research and proper planning, you can pick the ideal holiday’s hotel that will leave you wanting to come back.